Get a Degree In Healthcare: Find the Best Resources Now
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing job industries in America. Programs are online and on-site and can graduate in 2 years or less.
Many students enroll in a healthcare program because it offers so much job security. No matter where you are in the world, there are patients who need healthcare services. Another reason it is a popular industry is because of how many jobs are available. Some healthcare programs specialize in a specific treatment, while others focus on generalized care. How long it takes to complete your degree varies depending on the program, with some degrees only taking one or two years to complete.
General Healthcare Degrees
If you are unsure what sort of career you want, you can get a generalized healthcare degree. These degrees take longer to get because they cover more courses than a specialized degree, but with the additional knowledge, you have more freedom in your career choices. A common degree is a bachelor’s in public health. Public health focuses as much on education as treating patients. It typically takes four years to get a bachelor’s degrees, though there are some expedited programs available in the summer and winter, which allow you to get your degree in three years.
Two other common degrees which typically take between one and two years are a nursing or medical assisting degree. Both of these degrees cover basic medical testing and working with a healthcare team. Both also leave room for specializing in a healthcare career later down the line.
Another option is a health science degree. While there is a focus on healthcare, you also learn physics, math and chemistry relating to environmental health and health care administration. Depending on your program, it may take between two and four years to finish your degree.
There are many associate and bachelor programs for specialized healthcare careers. Associate degrees are normally completed within one to two years, while bachelor programs take between three and four. These degrees focus on a specific healthcare area, such as working in management or taking on additional responsibilities as a nurse. Some examples of specialized associate degrees include:
Clinical Medical Assisting
Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Office Transcribing
Some bachelor programs offer advanced version of associate degrees, such as a healthcare administration degree. Some unique bachelor programs include:
Long Term Care
Systems Health Administration
You can also get a master’s or doctoral degree in healthcare. These programs take much longer to complete and require you to have previous healthcare experience.
Online Healthcare Degree Options
For many students, online classes are much easier to attend than traditional college courses. Online classes are easier to schedule around, which is important if you are working or taking care of a family member during the day. Typically, online classes are less expensive as well, since you only pay for the classes and do not have to worry about additional tuition costs. As of writing, many colleges offer a hybrid program, with some online elements, but you must still attend classes on campus. There are a few medical degrees which are entirely online.
Herzing offers many healthcare degree programs. While many are hybrid classes, the following programs are taken entirely online and can be completed within 10 to 20 months:
The University of Minnesota also offers online healthcare degrees in various subjects. Drexel, George Washington and East Carolina University all offer extensive online healthcare programs as well.
Graduating Faster with a Healthcare Degree
While there are many healthcare degrees which take two to four years to complete, there are ways you can speed up the process. The prime requirement for graduating is credit based. The simplest way to speed up your graduation is by taking a year-round schedule, which includes summer and winter courses. In the past, this was much harder, but today many students are able to take online programs outside of the school year to get extra credits.
If you have previously worked in a healthcare profession, you may be able to test out of some of your classes. This is determined on a case by case basis at the college you attend. When you test out, you must demonstrate you have enough real-world experience in the class from your job. How this is determined changes depending on the course and school. In addition to testing out, you may be able to have your previous job count as college credit.
Financial Aid for Healthcare Degrees
Healthcare degrees are often expensive, even if you are pursuing an associate degree. One of the best ways to save money is through financial assistance. Financial assistance includes scholarships and student loans and grants. Many corporations and nonprofit groups offer healthcare grants or scholarships, though some have strict eligibility requirements. For example, you may have to pursue a specific degree, or attend college at an eligible location. Some common healthcare grants include:
Maxine Williams Scholarship is for students with at least one semester of studies in a medical assisting program.
DNP/Ph.D. Student Scholarship is for nurses who want to focus on pediatrics.
HIMSS Foundation Undergraduate Foundation is a scholarship for health information or management. Only juniors are able to apply, as of writing.
Undergraduate Scholarship Program is available from the National Institutes of Health. This scholarship is available to low income students specifically.
Medical Education Scholarship is offered by the American Medical Women’s Association for women seeking a healthcare degree.