Five reasons to consider a career in Health and Social Care – Tracy Walters

Here at CareerWave, we define a Career as ‘an individual’s personal journey through work, learning and other key activities in a lifetime’. So, if we look at it like that, why shouldn’t you choose a Career journey that will allow you to grow and thrive.

Here we have 5 reasons as to why a person should consider a Career in Health and Social Care. We’ve also included some good links for further information:

1. IT’S ONE OF THE BIGGEST SECTORS OF EMPLOYMENT – This is regarding the vast variety of roles and vacancies available.

Did you know that there are over 350 different job roles in the Health and Social Care sector?[1] Wow, that figure is pretty phenomenal and this showcases the vast number of different jobs a person could progress to within their Career in the Health and Social Care sector, making it a very attractive career indeed.

It’s not all about the NHS either, types of employers and work are far reaching and extremely broad. Within the Health and Social Care sector, a person could work in the National Health Service (NHS), charities, a partnership with the NHS and their Local Authority and in the Private Health sector[2].

How is Health and Social Care one of the biggest sectors? Well, in June 2019 census, there was over 1.2 million working across a variety of roles within the NHS![3] That’s not counting those working for charities, in a partnership or in the Private Health sector.

According to the NHS Jobs website, there are around 25,000 vacancies advertised every month. Which shows just how big this sector is. [4]

Another appeal for the Health and Social Care sector is that your skills and experience are completely transferable, making you an attractive prospect across the world, not just the UK.


You can have a Career in the Health and Social Care sector with several different qualifications (level of qualification and the type of qualification), skills and experience.

As reason 1 states, the Health and Social Care sector is one of the biggest sectors. Because of this, it means a variety of different roles will require different qualifications, skills and experience.

Depending on what role a person wants to pursue, they will require a certain level of qualification and possibly experience; usually starting from a Level 2 Health and Social Care qualification, up to a Doctorate (Level 8) in a specialist area. This makes the sector one of the best in terms of career progression. If you begin on Level 2 can you imagine where you might be in a few years?

If you want to find out more about the different qualification levels and the ways in which you can achieve those levels visit this link –

So, let’s imagine you are a person who has an interest in Health and Social Care, but you don’t yet have the qualifications for the career area you are interested in. Don’t worry about that because many Colleges, Work Based Learning providers and Universities have enough education and training provision to help you get started, even if this is from Level 1. At CareerWave we often hear from people who have not been in the paid labour market for a long time but may have lots of experience of looking after someone, or they just want a change of direction. There is no doubt that anyone could progress to a role within the Health and Social Care sector.

For example:

Using the website – I compared the role of a Social Worker and a Support Worker.

To become a Social Worker a person would need a degree level qualification (Level 6 or above) whereas to become a Support Worker, there are no set entry requirements but a qualification within Health and Social Care is usually required, this could be a Level 2 qualification.

They are both similar in the sense of supporting children, young people and adults to live more successfully as a unit or as individuals.

We can achieve these qualifications in a variety of different ways, usually starting from school (GCSE/ BTEC), to Post 16 study at College (Vocational/Technical)/ Sixth Form (A –Level) or Apprenticeship, then onto Post 18 study at University, Higher Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeship’s etc.

See CareerWave website to gain an understanding of what the above means –

In summer 2018-2019 there were approximately 122,000 apprentices taken on in the Health and Social Care sector, doing a variety of roles[5].  Once again this is another ‘Wow’ moment which shows that a person doesn’t need to go down the perceived ‘traditional route’ of school onto college and maybe even on to university.

However, if that is the route a person wants to take, then there is endless opportunity doing so!!


Because of how many different jobs, there is something for everyone.

Want to work with babies? Want to work with the elderly? Want to specialise in cancer patients? Want to find the cure for cancer? Or try to find a cure for any disease or illness for that matter? Then, the Health and Social Care sector has a role for you.

It is such a varied sector, that whatever a person’s interest are, whatever they want to specialise in, there is most definitely something they can do. It all depends on the individual’s motivation, strengths, drive and skills.

When we think of Health and Social Care, most people think of ‘Doctors and Nurses’ when in fact, those roles themselves have so many different specialisms. A Doctor, for example might specialise in Surgery, General Practice or Pathology (amongst many other options) Similarly a Nurse might specialise in Mental Health, Learning Difficulties, Cardiology or Diabetes, a Care Assistant might specialise in Dementia or Home Care. The list can quite literally go on and on. Whatever your own interests there will be a role or even a specialism for you.

A person may have a primary focus on a different subject/ sector and then their secondary idea is ‘you want to help people’ – this doesn’t mean you have to do one or the other; careers are rarely ‘singular’ these days and are more likely to be multi-faceted, meaning people will be able to mix their passions together. An example of this could be; a person may love art and anything creative and then have the idea of ‘wanting to help people’ that person could pursue a Career as an Art Therapist. A Nurse might want to diversify into Aesthetics because the regulations of this sector mean you must be a Registered Nurse to administer beauty treatments like Botox or Fillers. Some Nurses even have a licence to prescribe – something that was only ever left to Doctors in the past.

Think about how digital developments are changing the way we work in Health and Social Care; this is great news for those of you who embrace these types of changes and would see them as a part of your own career development. We know that there are challenging times ahead arising from a growing and ageing population and a tidal wave of chronic diseases. Without a doubt the culture in Health and Social Care will be transformed by digital technologies with care becoming ‘smarter’ delivering more cost-effective patient centred care.


Let’s face it, in the current economic climate one of the main worries people have is losing work and therefore not being able to live the life they aspire to have.

Unlike many sectors that are perhaps losing workers or in decline because of socio-economic factors, the health care field is growing rapidly and arguable more than any other growing sector Dozens of health careers have good or excellent job prospects, meaning finding a job is easier.

A career in social care offers long-term employment prospects, with opportunity for promotion and progression as well as job security.

Adult social care is one of the few sectors where jobs are increasing, offering significant numbers of long-term career opportunities in the current job market. There’s an estimated 1.49 million people working in social care, and by 2035 we’ll need to fill around 580,000 more jobs.

Somewhere in your community there’s a job that you can do to help others. If you like working with people, social care offers a worthwhile job that can turn into a rewarding, long-term career[6].


What’s not to love about helping and supporting others on a day to day basis?

Probably the biggest benefit of working in the Health and Social Care sector is job satisfaction.

Usually, people who work within Health and Social Care, have a passion for helping and supporting others. This can be with Physical, Intellectual, Emotional or Social support – if a person is able to help another person, it is in most cases a very rewarding feeling.

A person working in Health and Social Care is making a difference to someone’s life.  If you ask the professional, they’ll probably tell you that the patient/client has usually enriched their lives in some way too!

So, what’s stopping you from considering a Career in Health and Social Care?

This is just a small number of reasons as to why a person should consider a Career in Health and Social Care.

It will take a person on a journey, not just a professional one but a personal one as well.

A person can start their Career in this sector from school, or later in their professional lives. It’s a sector inclusive to everyone – so, why not consider it?!




[4] image from –




Tracy Walters is an experienced and qualified Careers Advisor, working with Careerwave to support schools, sixth forms and colleges to make sure that their learners get the best impartial advice to set them on the right path or the future. You can find out more about the services that Careerwave offer on their website, or by following them on Twitter at @careerwaveuk