Why Consider Online Education in Healthcare?
In these uncertain times, one thing remains to be true, the healthcare industry is essential and is one of the largest sources of employment around the world.
Society’s evolving medical needs has sustained the growth of healthcare career opportunities, behavioral & mental health disorders that are only recently being brought to light, the increase in chronic diseases, and technological advancements in patient care delivery.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for healthcare employees of all kinds is to increase by 15% in the next 10 years, enticing students to explore medical degrees. There has been a surge of popularity in online healthcare degrees among college freshmen, non-traditional learners, and medical professionals looking to expand their careers.
Various online healthcare programs have different requirements & lengths depending on the career. The advantage of opting for a degree online is that you can find out more information on the endless options from the comfort of your own home. While healthcare providers, administrators, and technicians commonly need advanced medical degrees, healthcare support workers on the other hand can enter the labor pool with an associate degree or specialized postsecondary training.
5 Popular Online Healthcare Degrees
1. Physician Assistant Studies
Physician assistants can enter the healthcare sector quicker than doctors, even though they pretty much provide several similar services, just by accomplishing a master’s degree in 2 years. Employment increase is projected at 31% until 2028 and is the highest amongst other medical fields. Tuition for this program is quite high ranging from $80,000-$90,000 but the financial investment is well worth it as a graduate can earn an average salary of $112,260.
2. Healthcare Administration
Healthcare administrators are essential in a majority of medical facilities. They are responsible for coordinating financial operations, non-clinical services, and human resources. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare/public health administration or business administration is a minimum requirement for these positions. Tuition varies widely depending on the degree level, ranging from $9,000-$34,000. With an 18% job growth, healthcare administrators can look forward to an average salary of $100,980.
3. Physical Therapy
A graduate degree from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is needed to become a physical therapist. While a 3-year physical therapy degree may be a huge investment at $75,000, a profession in physical therapy can be rewarding at an employment increase of 22% in the next decade. Supplementary certifications in geriatrics, sports, and cardiovascular specialties can push your earnings to over $89,440.
4. Registered Nursing
An associate degree in nursing (ADN) or diploma program can be accomplished in only 2-3 years, while a bachelor of science degree would take 4 years. Necessary clinical experience and the required NCLEX-RN is already included in an ADN at a much more affordable cost.
A constantly aging population fuels the demand for registered nurses, projecting a 12% rise in employment. A registered nurse’s average annual salary is $73,000.
5. Medical Laboratory Technology
While a more advanced clinical laboratory technologist position requires a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology that will set you back around $60,000, clinical laboratory technicians on the other hand only need to accomplish a 2-year associate program which costs as little as $2,500. A foreseen 11% rise in employment is quite promising with an average salary of $53,120, definitely a good return on investment.
Online Healthcare Degree Application
Admission requirements vary depending on which online healthcare degree you want to apply for. Programs that lead to the highest-paying positions require a bachelor’s degree in the medical field. Many graduate programs require you to submit letters of recommendation, GPA & GRE scores, and a personal statement. As for programs in technical and healthcare support, there are fewer requirements depending on the career. Interested high school graduates can enroll in associate, diploma, or bachelor’s programs. Aspiring students should inquire about specific requirements, as they vary from school to school.