A healthcare degree entails a wide variety of potential fields of specialization. Areas of specialization, also referred to as concentrations, focus on specific courses needed to obtain lucrative & rewarding careers as a medical assistant, dental assistant and more.
Numerous prerequisite courses in addition to specialized topics of study are also required for students to graduate with a healthcare degree in 2021.
What is entailed in the overall pursuit of a healthcare degree? What are the best resources to use when searching for information about the best U.S. healthcare schools & training available today? Read further to discover helpful and important information about obtaining your healthcare degree and starting the career of your dreams today.
What Is a Healthcare Degree?
The COVID-19 pandemic created a significant demand for healthcare professionals in 2021, which is projected to continue for the foreseeable future. The healthcare profession is vast and diverse, encompassing multiple primary career fields and even more sub-categories of each primary field. A healthcare degree entails everything you need to get started on a career in healthcare along with specialized training to help you obtain a job in a specific career field.
Advanced healthcare programs are taught at varied certificate and degree levels of education. Some certificate programs are designed for advancing your career, increasing your salary and helping you stay in compliance with updated healthcare regulations. Other certificate programs are meant to help you acquire entry-level positions in various healthcare fields. Certificate programs last approximately three months to one year from start to completion of each program and cost a varied amount based on multiple factors.
College degrees are divided into two primary categories, which include undergraduate and graduate programs. Undergraduate programs procure associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, which take two to four years to complete respectively. Graduate programs procure master’s and doctoral degrees, which take an addition one to multiple years to complete depending on a wide variety of factors.
The type of healthcare degree you need to obtain a job is dependent upon specific job requirements. If your goal is to run a hospital or large medical facility you will need a master’s or doctoral degree. If you are pursuing a career in medical records it is possible to obtain certain jobs with a certificate or associate’s degree. Higher value degrees help you obtain higher-profile job positions and better salaries, however. While most healthcare jobs are granted to candidates with bachelor’s degrees in 2021, not all positions require them. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly research the types of degrees needed to get hired in your career field of choice prior to making any enrollment decisions.
Various Types of Healthcare Degrees Today
Some of the best healthcare jobs available today involve assistant positions. Assistants earn respectable salaries without needing the same length/level of education required of registered nurses (RNs), medical specialists and surgeons. Assistant positions are sometimes available to candidates holding certificates instead of degrees, which means certificate programs help you enter the healthcare workforce fast. Still, jobs as an MRI technician and healthcare administrator are also rewarding and compensated well.
1. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants assist doctors in administrative and clinical matters inside medical/clinical facilities. Administrative tasks include answering phones, booking appointments, coding and filing. Administrative tasks also include billing, bookkeeping and the scheduling of lab sample processing and deliveries. A few clinical tasks include drawing blood, collecting lab samples, recording patient symptoms and directing patients to various waiting/examination rooms. Medical assistants earn a median salary of $35,850/yr with a projected job growth rate of nineteen percent through 2029.
2. Dental Assistant
Dental assistants assist dentists in much the same ways medical assistants help doctors. Similar administrative/clinical tasks are also involved in this position. Dental assistants organize patient records and schedule appointments. They also take x-rays, assist in cleaning teeth and explain details about certain procedures to patients. Similar to medical assistants, dental assistants are not qualified to provide diagnoses or recommended treatments but are nonetheless an invaluable part of the facilities in which they work. Dental assistants earn a median salary of $41,480/yr with a projected job growth rate of seven percent through 2029.
3. MRI Technician
The job of an MRI technician primarily involves the operation of MRI machines with the intention of discovering various issues inside patient’s bodies using advanced imaging technology. The job also entails safely helping patients into and out of the machines, while simultaneously informing patients of each step during the imaging process. Reading and documenting all patient MRI results based on information detected in the imaging is also an important part of the MRI technician job. MRI technicians earn a median salary of $63,710/yr with a projected job growth rate of seven percent through 2029.
4. Healthcare Administrator
Healthcare administrators take on several important roles under one main title. Healthcare administrators with high-level degrees might become hospital directors. Also referred to as healthcare executives /managers, employees in this position oversee facility finances, manage staffing and are in charge of overall quality control. Some healthcare administrators work for government healthcare organizations and assist in creating new federal/state healthcare policies. Entry-level positions involve overseeing medical records and human resources duties.
Healthcare administrators earn a median salary of $104,280/yr with a projected (and significant) job growth rate of thirty-two percent through 2029.
Searching for the Best Healthcare School Degree/Training Programs - Tips & Resources
Researching the best healthcare school degree/training programs in 2021 begins by assessing each school’s accredited online or on-campus status. Degrees from accredited schools are taken seriously by prospective employers and bolster your hiring/salary potential post-graduation. The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. EDU) provides resources to help find the best accredited schools. Various private websites designed to help prospective students research the best healthcare degree programs are also available, including: