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Booming Field

The genetic counseling field is expected to expand, as personalized medicine becomes more of a reality, CNBC reports. It notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the field will grow by 29 percent by 2024 — faster than other professions.

"Genetics permeates everything — there won't be enough genetic counselors to see every patient who gets genetic information," Mary Freivogel, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, tells CNBC. Her organization is doing outreach to high school and even middle school students to drum up interest in the field.

David Feinberg, the president and CEO of the Geisinger Health System, adds that genetic counselors are becoming key members of patient care teams. Geisinger in particular has a need for genetic counselors, CNBC adds, because of its MyCode Community Health Initiative in which genetic data from some 150,000 patients is being correlated with their medical records to tease out disease causes and treatments.

Megan McMinn, a genetic counselor at Geisinger, says the field gives her "a good split between patient care and the hard science research end of things."