Healthcare is a dynamic field. It gives you ample opportunities for career growth. But for career development, you need to upgrade your educational qualification and skills. Higher education also puts you on the road to a better financial situation. But the most challenging aspect of registering for a higher education program is choosing the right degree. This exercise can easily put a lot of burden on you as choosing the wrong degree means wasting precious years of your life, also, jeopardizing your career growth prospects.
If you are considering a healthcare career or are considering upgrading it, this article is for you. Explore the prospective degree programs below.
- Mental Health Counseling
Mental health illnesses have become a major health problem in society. According to the CDC, One in five Americans will likely face a mental health problem in any given year. And 1 in 25 Americans lives with a mental health problem such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. Therefore, services like mental health counseling are in demand.
- Healthcare Social Worker
You can also work in healthcare as a social worker. Social workers work individually or in collaboration with mental health counselors. Though the end goal of both professionals is to bring positive change in society, the process that brings about this change is different. Social workers try to improve the quality of their client’s life, while counselors provide therapeutic services.
Working as a healthcare social worker also requires a master’s degree. If you seem inclined to both (social work and mental health counseling) degrees, compare masters in social work VS masters in counseling to make a final decision.
- BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
Nursing is one of the most popular careers. Nurses are hailed as frontline staff who help patients and families during their visit or stay in a healthcare facility. The demand for BSN nurses is increasing, and together with it, your chance to work in one of the most lucrative healthcare careers. A BSN degree prepares you for the NCLEX exam, the exam required to apply for a national license and work as an RN (Registered Nurse).
In the past, nurses could easily work with a basic nursing diploma. But now, the diseases have become more complicated, and new and intricate treatment plans are being introduced. Nurses cannot work effectively in a challenging healthcare environment with basic nursing qualifications. Therefore, hospitals always prefer nurses with bachelor’s degrees over diploma-holder nurses. In some hospitals, it has even become a mandatory job requirement.
- Healthcare Administrator
Doctors and nurses are imperative for healthcare; they are the primary caregivers working at the frontline. But they are not the only individuals bolstering the structure of healthcare. They cannot work without the support of efficient and responsive management working behind their desks. Therefore, the presence of healthcare administrators is indispensable for the smooth working of a hospital or any other healthcare facility.
You need a bachelor’s degree to be part of a healthcare management team. Apart from that, you also need excellent communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills. These skills are necessary to be a valuable resource for the rest of the team.
The demand for healthcare administrators is not going to slow down any time soon. This demand is due to the aging and retiring workforce and the staff shortage due to growing healthcare demand. You can work in a hospital, a nursing home, a private clinic, and other places with a healthcare administration degree. Once you have an administration degree, you can get employed in a good organization in a few months.
Gone is when doctors focused on medication and treatment for curing their patients. Thanks to thousands of research papers daily, doctors have understood the importance of diet to speed up recovery and stay healthy.
The direct link between food and health has increased the demand for nutritionists and dieticians. More people want the services of nutritional coaches to augment the effect of medications by pairing them with the right kind of diet.
To become a nutritionist, you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science. This program gives you the basic skills and knowledge required to perform your job as a dietician. With a bachelor’s degree, you can work in various settings, including hospitals, gyms, sports, schools, etc.
The career outlook for dieticians is positive, according to the estimates of BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The job opportunities for dieticians are expected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031. It is as fast as the average of other professions. Therefore, even if you enroll in this job today, you will still have ample employment opportunities upon degree completion.
- Medical certifications
Apart from degree programs, some healthcare certifications also offer excellent career opportunities. Medical certificates are more suitable if you are not inclined to register for a four-year degree program. Certifications are also more affordable; they help you quickly get into the practical field and start earning.
- Medical Billing And Coding Certification
Patients who access a hospital are assigned a unique identification code. The purpose of these codes is to bill the insurance company correctly. The job of a medical coder and biller is critical. They manage tons of sensitive patient-related data and ensure that no wrong codes are assigned to any medical procedure done on a patient. A small problem can be very costly for the hospital and the patient. Therefore, you are suitable to work as a medical biller if you have attention to detail.
- Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technician is another certification you can earn. The job of a Pharmacy Technician involves performing various tasks every day. They manage areas of medicine such as assembling medications, managing dispensaries, providing drugs to patients, etc.
While working in a community pharmacy is their primary job location, it is not their only workplace. They can work in hospitals, clinics, compounding pharmacies, nursing homes, etc. Whether inside a hospital or outside, their work is crucial for healthcare.
Healthcare is overflowing with career opportunities for anyone passionate about this field. Apart from degree programs, healthcare certifications also put you in the right spot to have a lucrative and meaningful career. Above are some degree and certificate options you can consider if affiliation with healthcare is what you want.