The health care industry plays a vital role in America’s social and economic well being. There are a ton of options out there for anyone considering a career in health care and choosing the right area of study can feel like a daunting task.
Before choosing a college degree, it’s important to consider several factors. For instance, are you someone who wants to work directly with patients, or do you prefer administration and management? If you’re a sports fan, maybe massage therapy or physical therapy is a good choice. Here are a few of the top healthcare college degree options.
Health Care Administration
There’s more to the heath care industry than treating patients directly. In fact, there’s always a need for talented health care administration professionals. Health care administrators plan, supervise, coordinate and direct the delivery of health care services. It’s complex, but very rewarding work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of health is growing at a faster-than-average rate. A degree in this field will help you develop a keen business sense and provide the pleasure of knowing your work is saving lives. To meet the future demand, many colleges offer online health care administration degrees.
For those who are interested in online healthcare administration degrees, but also have a desire to work with patients, medical assisting is a great choice. The job prospects are described by the BLS as excellent and practitioners get to work closely with physicians and patients. There’s also an administrative side, which includes tracking insurance, admissions and laboratory forms. Clinical medical assistants perform a number of important tasks and work directly with patients. It’s a broad field that will cater to your business goals and desire to help people.
This degree path draws those with a passion for healthcare and an entrepreneurial spirit. A large percentage of massage therapists are part-time and self employed. Practitioners treat patients for any number of issues, from injury recovery, stress reduction, muscle rehabilitation, sports injuries and plenty of other afflictions. Massage therapists generally specialize in one of more than 80 types of massage ranging from deep tissue to acupressure. Like many healthcare professions, the industry is expected to grow, making this a great choice for a health care degree.
Nursing is a highly rewarding profession with a lot of flexibility, specialty areas and opportunity. Choosing to study nursing in college also comes with several choices. Those interested in an associate’s degree will be ready to enter the workforce in two years. Bachelor’s degrees and three-year nursing diplomas are also popular options for anyone interested in the nursing field. If you are caring, kind and enjoy the thought of working closely with doctors and patients, nursing is an ideal career path.
Medical Records and Information
This is yet another option for anyone who may be interested in health care administration schools. If you have a keen eye for detail and in interest in protecting patients’ private medical information, medical records and information technology is a solid choice. This also would include billing, coding, managing sensitive data and checking documents for accuracy. Medical records workers usually enjoy a comfortable office environment and work in a field expected to grow at a much faster rate than average.
Physical Therapy Assistant
Becoming a physical therapy assistant is a good choice for people who plan on getting an associate’s degree and entering the workforce two years after staring school. Degrees are offered through several online and brick-and-mortar campuses. The job outlook is very good with the field expected to grow 38 percent by 2018. Physical therapy assistants work under the guidance of physical therapists and are often responsible for maintaining records and monitoring progress.