Finnish social and health care professionals’ perspective of the future

Hanna Hopia, Anne Hakala


The aim of the study is to describe the perceptions on the future of professionals in the social services and healthcare sector in Finland. The study examines on what the sector will be like, what kind of competence will be required and how this will be obtained in 2025 and onwards. The sector will encounter major changes over the next decade and therefore more research is needed to identify how professionals view the future of their work. Eighty-three students (n = 83) studying for a master's degree in social services and healthcare participated in the study. The data was collected by means of the Futures Wheel method in 2014. The respondents generated a total of 424 statements that were analyzed with the thematic analysis method. The results showed that in the future the ageing population will form a new type of client group, and individual services will be offered equally to everyone. Technological solutions will be in active use within the social services and healthcare sector. A strong ability to change, adapt, and quickly reform the methods of working will be required in the future. Furthermore, professionals will increasingly be independently responsible for acquiring competence in the future. In result, the competence-related educational programmes will be more tailored to match the needs of working world. The results identified in the study should be taken into consideration when developing practices and reforming curriculums in healthcare and social services. Professionals should be able to predict the future of their sector, the choices and decisions affecting the future are being made now.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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