It’s no surprise that the outlook for healthcare-related fields is at an upward incline. Between nurses, doctors, and physicians assistants, there has been an increased need for such specialists in the medical workplace. But with more and more millennials opting for creative employments that emphasize flexibility and creativity over stability and routine, a career in healthcare might not be so alluring at first glance. However, it’s important to note that careers in healthcare extend beyond the traditional image of white-coat professionals. Between therapists, trainers, interpreters, and analysts, the healthcare world offers far more unique opportunities than meets the eye. Not only so, but these careers can extend beyond the four walls of a hospital and can be pursued anywhere including labs, gym facilities, schools, and offices.
One noteworthy path that may be overlooked is that of a speech pathologist. Humans do plenty of amazing things, but one of our most remarkable accomplishments is the formation of spoken languages that act as communication tools. Speech has made it possible for humans to cooperate and build an elaborate society in a way that no other species has. So when an individual has trouble with speech, it can be devastating, as the disadvantages and frustration can be overwhelming. This is where speech-language pathologists come in.
Speech-language pathologists are experts in speech problems, and their hard work is what makes it possible for us to identify and, in many cases, correct speech problems in people of all ages. That makes speech pathology an incredibly important vocation — and an incredibly rewarding one, as well.
What Speech Pathologists Do
Speech-language pathologists focus on communication disorders in children and adults. They assess, diagnose, and treat these problems, which means they directly help individuals affected by these difficulties.
Perhaps the most enticing aspect of becoming a speech-language pathologist — aside from its personally-rewarding and fulfilling duties — is the flexibility in place of employment that it offers. Speech-language pathologists can work either in healthcare facilities or in schools. They work with individuals to identify speech disorders early on and work closely with those who suffer from such disorders to help treat and correct the problems. Though the work is rooted in health and communications science, there’s nothing cold and clinical about working as a speech-language pathologist, especially when working with children.
Becoming a Speech Pathologist
A speech pathologist must complete the proper education requirement, which is typically a masters in speech language pathology. That means, of course, that they should start by securing a bachelor’s degree — ideally with a focus on a related major, like communications sciences and disorders (CSD) — before moving on to a suitable master’s program.
An additional benefit to this path is that there is always room for advancement. There are doctorate programs and other higher degree programs available that can help a speech-language pathologist progress in their career and, in turn, open up a variety of employment options.
While healthcare careers are on the rise, they may not be as enticing to pursue due to their lack of creative stimulation or flexibility in type and place of employment. However, there are plenty of healthcare career options that offer these benefits, namely speech pathology. A career in speech-language pathology offers individuals the chance to have a positive impact on the lives of people suffering from speech problems while offering both a flexible and rewarding lifestyle. And with advancement opportunities that come from both experience in the field and further education, it is no surprise why this career path has an 18 percent growth rate — a much higher than average trajectory.
This is Renisa Barnwell a freelance writer and also a married mother of two, ages 2 and 6. Lives in Victoria, Canada Area. In the last few years I've been lucky to turn my passions into full-time work both online and offline in sales and marketing, writing and editing, with plans to leave the workforce and focus on working online and staying home with my children.