Just over 15 years ago, the health and wellness job landscape looked vastly different, and less promising, than today. Erin Ratelis, the director of content development with Optum Resource Center for Health and Well-Being, knows this firsthand. She was wrapping up her bachelor’s degree in community health education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, preparing to head into the workforce. Her goal was improving people’s health. However, at the time, there simply weren’t a lot of jobs geared toward the skill set of a health and wellness professional.
“When I started out, you really had to dig to find a wellness-related job opening,” says Ratelis, who is also an advisory board member for the online UW Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program. “Now, there’s this entire burgeoning business around health and wellness. Employers, health plans, entrepreneurs, and public entities all over the world are investing in the idea of creating a culture of health and well-being.”