We spoke with Stanbridge University President Yasith Weerasuriya about trends in healthcare and the school’s commitment to quality training.

Question: What trends do you see in healthcare that may shape the future for students entering the field?

Answer: I am seeing a shift away from volume and routine care to personalized and preventative care. One example of this trend is the move towards wellness centers where all patients are treated holistically. In addition, all services, including traditional medicine, alternative modalities, and behavioral counseling, are offered under one roof. I believe that Stanbridge is very well poised to provide trained healthcare professionals who will be able to meet the challenges of this rapidly changing field, perhaps even more so than traditional colleges and universities because we do not need to retrain our faculty.

Question: What are some of the ways that Stanbridge is empowering its students to succeed in today’s competitive job market?

Answer: We are leveraging online learning tools to break down barriers for working professionals who are trying to balance work, family, and personal responsibilities with continuing education. Our new degree programs incorporate an accelerated format that allows students to begin classes throughout the year. We are also providing career development tools to help our students find jobs in their respective fields by matching them with employers looking for Stanbridge graduates. We are hoping to even provide students with jobs upon completion of their program.

Question: What is your advice for job-seekers in the competitive market?

Answer: I would advise that they focus on honing soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork that can be used in any career field. Hard skills are becoming less important because they can be learned through short on-the-job training.

Question: Where do you see Stanbridge in 10 years?

Answer: I believe that students who are pursuing careers in healthcare will have a distinct advantage because of the healthcare reforms that will be taking full effect by then. Hospitals, schools, corporations, and even the government are seeking out institutions that can help them train employees to treat patients holistically. I believe that Stanbridge is in the perfect position to provide graduates for these types of organizations.

Question: How much demand do you see from students entering this field?

Answer: We have seen a 30% increase in enrollment over last year, and our total number of students is currently 2,500.

Question: How can students interested in these programs get started?

Answer: Anyone who is interested should visit www.stanbridge.edu and submit an application for admissions, regardless of whether or not they intend to work towards a degree program. By joining our database, we will be able to send them updates on upcoming classes and special opportunities that we have available.

Question: Do you have any additional advice for students looking to enter these fields?

Answer: My advice is not to get discouraged if the school of your dreams does not have a program in place. Make sure to do your homework and let schools know what you are interested in pursuing so that they can help guide your future education and provide assistance in preparation for licensure exams.