Continuing Educat... General Want To Expand Yo...
Want To Expand Your Career? Consider a Shift Into Wellness
Want To Expand Your Career? Consider a Shift Into Wellness
Continued Education Can Enhance Your Skills and Expand Your Career

HR professionals know very well the benefit of regular assessments and opportunities for professional development. Certifications and degrees are an excellent way to grow in your career and to add knowledge and skills in specialized areas such as worksite wellness.

An HR professional looking to enhance skills in the area of employee wellness could learn from the Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis (HESPA), a survey performed by leading wellness industry organizations, which outlines the following core responsibilities of a health promotion specialist:
  • Assessing needs, assets, and capacity for health education;
  • Planning and implementing a health education;
  • Conducting evaluations and research related to that education;
  • Administering and managing the developed education;
  • Serving as a health education resource, including communicating and advocating for the program.
What type of education will lead you in the direction you wish to go with employee wellness or well-being?
There are numerous options for additional credentials: nationally recognized certifications, targeted training in health coaching or wellness program management, or comprehensive degree-completion programs. Whatís the best choice for you?

The answer is, it depends. It comes down to which area of wellness you feel will best support your career. If your professional goals include success as a wellness practitioner, youíll want a certification that concentrates on skills such as behavior change management and prevention techniques. If, on the other hand, your focus is on wellness program management, look for credentials that highlight program benchmarking, increasing employee engagement, and measuring metrics. If you arenít yet sure which area of wellness management youíd prefer to work in, feel that a solid foundation in each would enhance your career, or havenít yet completed your bachelorís degree, opt for a dual-focus degree that provides education in both areas of wellness management.

Different ways to gain additional wellness credentials
Once youíve narrowed down your direction, you may explore different options. To build individual skills, there are a variety of trustworthy online sources offering courses and certifications.  HPLive.org and  StateofWellness.org  are two websites focused on wellness leadership and skills development. If you decide youíd get the most benefit from a bachelorís degree, there are many traditional in-person programs. However, for many working adults, their lives are simply too busy for these programs. In those cases, the UW Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program provides a quality education in a flexible online format.

If you already have a bachelorís degree, you can gain a competitive edge in the field by earning a masterís degree.  As the wellness field expands, roles are becoming increasingly niched. A masterís degree curriculum puts a targeted focus on the more specialized facets of health promotion, such as health systems and policy, wellness law, biopsychosocial aspects of health and behavior, and development in organizations.  Explore the curriculum developed for the new UW Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management to decide if it might benefit your career.

Worksite wellness continues to grow as an industry, with no signs of slowing down. To remain competitive in the field and advance as an HR professional, you must focus on your own development. By being mindful of your professional goals and precise in your pursuit of continued education, you can ensure a thriving ROI for your career.

Take the next step
Want to make a real difference in your organizationís wellness program? Complete your bachelorís degree online with University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management. And, beginning this fall, the Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management is an option for those seeking a graduate-level degree. Applications are currently being accepted.

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