California finally has moved past its employment peak from 2007 and now is at a record level. That’s according to the latest positive information taken from the Beacon Employment Report.

Not only is that great news for the entire state, but it’s also great news for the San Jose health care industry, which enjoyed an 8.7 increase in jobs from the same time last year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also released reports on the San Jose area and new jobs were up seven percent in the Education and Health Services sector, continuing its positive swing all year. But even more surprising might be the amount of available health jobs in San Jose.

Glassdoor, a job and career site based in Sausalito, shows more than 1,200 health care jobs open in San Jose and over 10,000 positions within 50 miles. With the industry growing amid a shortage of health care professionals, people interested in pursuing a related career can enter into a number of local educational programs to prepare themselves in the field of their choice. For instance, San Jose State University has an outstanding nursing program, Santa Clara University has prominent programs including public health, biology and chemistry and Stanford University has one of the world’s top medical schools.

Among local community colleges, West Valley offers a number of programs, such as clinical assistant, insurance billing specialists, medical assistant and orthopedic technician. Evergreen Valley has offered a nursing program for more than 50 years, in addition to associate programs for psychology, biology and chemistry, while San Jose City College also offers programs in chemistry, biological sciences and psychology, in addition to dental assisting, emergency medical services, kinesiology, health education and health services. The remaining local community college, De Anza, also has programs to prepare students in the industry, including biological sciences, health technologies, medical laboratory technology and nursing.

While it may take some years to complete an academic program, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests a strong need for more health care professionals, particularly for registered nurses, respiratory therapists, radiologic, MRI technologists, physicians and surgeons, all with a job outlook of at least 18 percent, far higher than the national average. Because of this continuing positive news, the outlook for health services jobs in San Jose seems very bright, possibly leading to a well-paying and rewarding career.

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on


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