Before entering any career field, it is important to research the status of the industry. You would not wish to spend your time, effort, and money to train and enter a career field that is not growing or is in severe decline. The Occupational Outlook Handbook contains statistics regarding different careers. It explains the education you need to enter the career, the money you can make, what you actually do on the job, and if the career is projected to grow or decline over the next few years. Most medical and legal careers are growing at a fast rate. When looking to invest your time, effort, and money into training for a new career, you should pick something that interests you and offers a training time that you can work with. For example, you may not wish to jump into a 4-year degree program if you need to start working within the next year. Examples of careers that have been outsourced or affected by technological advances are medical transcription, court reporting and scoping (editing for court reporters). The advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made it profitable to outsource jobs to other countries. As a medical coding and billing instructor, I am frequently asked if medical coding and billing will be outsourced, taken over by software or technology. First, medical coding and billing is already done by software at present. However, there is still a need for qualified medical coders and billers to input information and to make sure it is accurate. The software just speeds up the process. Will medical records be outsourced to other countries for the sake of coding/billing? It is being done to some degree. I have a good friend in India who works for a company that codes medical records for a US company. However, the government projects this career field to grow by over 20% through 2020. So, the impact of outsourcing on medical coding and billing careers is not huge. The Affordable Care Act has created the opportunity for more people to access healthcare. More people accessing healthcare means more jobs. The aging of today’s baby boomer population means more older people are accessing healthcare services and creates a need for qualified and well trained personnel. The training time to learn medical coding and billing and the pay one can earn, makes this both a profitable and growing career. Medical billing and coding certification online schools are a great jump off point to gear you toward certification after you graduate, which will help you in getting paid a better salary and open up more job opportunities. Now is a great time to enter the healthcare industry as a medical biller or coder. The way to get started is to look into medical billing and coding classes online. I am also frequently asked if it’s possible to land work from home MT jobs. The answer is “yes” but it may take a little experience to land the work from home jobs. Some companies will test new graduates but one would need to be nationally certified to land such a job. Many people are interested in medical coding and transcription from home, which can be great for a mother of small children that also needs to work. It’s the beginning of a new year. Set goals for yourself. If you’ve been thinking about making a career change or entering the workforce for the first time, make the decision now and by the end of this year you will be in a great new career. Also, remember, you are never too old to learn something new.