Why Get a Health Degree?
The health field is steadily growing, because as the population grows more people need medical care. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, healthcare occupation opportunities are expected to grow 18% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than other occupations. There should be approximately 2.4 million new jobs of different kinds. Many of the new jobs are being created because the aging population is creating a greater need for care. The median wage for healthcare practitioners, including those working in technical occupations like dental hygienists and doctors, was $64,770 in 2017, which is much higher than the overall median wage of $37,690.
Conditions for those working in the healthcare field are good, with most people working inside in office, hospitals or other healthcare settings. Some of those in healthcare get to travel to different locations, but most stay in one place. Hours are usually consistent, and many workers such as nurses get to work schedules where they get longer days followed by multiple days off.
One cannot put a price on the satisfaction that comes with helping people. Many go into healthcare because they know they will save lives or at least make them better.
Kinds of Jobs in the Health Field
There is a wide range of jobs in the health field, from entry level on up, some of them not involving patients. There are at least 500 different careers associated with healthcare, with some of the general ones outlined below:
- Nursing – Many online schools and universities prepare individuals who are interested in nursing. Even those who are already working as nurses can return to online classes to get a more advanced nursing degree and take advantage of better opportunities and pay. The curriculum can be difficult because of the work in science and clinical work, but online schools have found methods to help students who want to master the material so they will be prepared to enter the workforce.
- Doctor – Anyone who wants to be a doctor will need to go to school for several years, and will need to start work at the Bachelor’s degree level. Individuals will be prepared with classes such as science, math, and sociology so that they can move on to the higher degrees. Not as many schools offer the degrees which will help someone earn the terminal degree required to practice as a physician.
- Health Informatics – For those who want to work where healthcare meets information technology, health informatics is the perfect occupation. With more records being kept online and the amount of security needed, there will be a greater need for those who can work with technology to store, sort and interpret medical and personal information.
- Health Sciences – Another field for those who don’t want to work in a clinical area, health sciences prepares those who want to work in professions such as pharmaceutical sales, medical case management and other related fields.
- Public Health – This is also a growing field, and one that does not necessarily involve someone working with patients in a clinical environment. With a growing society, there is more of a need to teach people how to create a healthy community.
- Dentists – There will always be a need for those are able to work with people’s teeth and protect their oral health. In order to apply for dental school, individuals will first need to take classes such as biology, chemistry, statistics and calculus. After that, they will need to pass the entrance test designed specifically for dental school.
Taking Classes Online
Once you have decided that you want to get a degree, you may find that you are running into other obstacles. You may have a family with young children or a full-time job. The degree you want may be offered in another city, and you can’t move there just to go to school. Online classes let you take classes on your terms. They are flexible, letting you do the work when you can, and convenient, letting you make your schedule.
You can choose any level, including a Certificate, a Bachelor’s, a Master’s or a Doctoral degree. There are at least 35 different schools and universities that offer a public health degree online, with many of them being at the Master’s level. The Master’s degree is often the terminal degree for public health majors.
Finding an Online School
One of the great things about taking classes online is that you are still eligible for the same benefits even if you are not attending the campus in person. When you are searching for an online school, make sure it has everything you need before you apply. For instance, you probably want all of these options at a minimum:
- Admissions help — You should be able to get through to a live person when you are making sure that you are completing all the necessary steps for enrollment.
- Your Major — Does the school offer your intended major? Even if it doesn’t offer the specific major you want, it may offer something close, or it may offer flexible programs that allow you to take the classes you need to prepare yourself.
- Financial aid and financial aid advising — Most schools, especially accredited ones, will offer various kinds of financial aid. You may be able to receive scholarships, grants or loans to cover the cost of your tuition, books and other expenses. Because there are so many different programs with different requirements, you should be able to get the advice of an experienced financial aid counselor to make the process smoother.
- Is online support available around the clock? One of the reasons you are taking online classes is because you need the flexibility. If you need help with your class, especially for a technical reason, you need to be able to speak with someone who can help when you are available.
- Academic advising — You should be assigned your own advisor who will make sure you are staying on track to graduate on time.
- Tutoring and Other Academic Support Services — Depending on the kind of school and what your major is, you may benefit from a writing lab, math tutoring, an online library, and many other kinds of services you would expect to have access to if you were attending campus on person.
- Career Services — There isn’t much point for most people in getting a degree if they aren’t able to find a job in that field. A career services department should have career advisors, an alumni network, job postings and other helpful tools for job hunting.