Medical_Technology2In a tough economy, deciding which college major can make the difference of whether or not you find a job when you graduate. The Wall Street Journal found the top 10 most employable majors. One of those majors is in the UAB School of Health Professions (SHP).

Medical Technologists, also known as Clinical Laboratory Scientists, ranked eighth with a 1.4 percent unemployment rate. That’s good considering last month’s joblessness rate for people with a college degree or higher was 4.4 percent.  SHP also offers a master’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

“The practice of modern medicine would be close to impossible without the valuable information provided by these professionals,” said Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., interim chair of the UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.

Clinical Laboratory Scientists perform a full array of complex tests in five major areas of the laboratory including hematology, chemistry, transfusion medicine, microbiology, and Molecular Diagnostics.  The results generated are provided to physicians and other healthcare providers to aid in making a clinical diagnosis, adjusting treatment, and developing management plans for those in need . 

Medical Technology“Seventy percent of all medical decisions rely on laboratory data which translates into a substantial volume of specimen analysis in the clinical laboratory,” said Michelle Brown, M.S., MLS (ASCP), assistant professor in the UAB Medical Technology program. “The highly educated personnel required to perform the specimen analysis are in constant demand due to an increase in the volume of testing with the aging population and the development of new diagnostic assays.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 14% growth over the next seven years for the laboratory profession due to the increase in test volume as well as retirement by the large baby boomer sector.

Rounding out the top 10 included Nuclear Industrial Radiology at 2.2 percent unemployment rate. That field is very close to SHP’s Nuclear Medicine Technology.

“With the Computed Tomography education and radiation safety classes our students currently get, they could easily cross train into this industry,” said Norman E. Bolus, MPH, CNMT, director of the Nuclear Medicine Technology program.