Healthcare Education and Careers

Healthcare Education and Careers

More and more people are pursuing healthcare careers due to the fulfilling, altruistic nature of the work, and the growing economic and professional viability of the healthcare industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, *10 of the 20 most rapidly growing professions are healthcare related.

Since healthcare professionals are responsible for the lives of their clients, aspirants for jobs within the industry are expected to be highly motivated, dedicated, and skilled. For this reason, healthcare education is vital for securing employment. There are a variety of degrees in healthcare at the associate's, bachelor's and master's levels. Choosing between all the different educational options available can be difficult, but taking stock of your long-term career goals will help you decide which degrees will best help you achieve them. If you're looking for a bright future in healthcare, here are some options you might want to consider.


According to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, *registered nurses make up the largest segment of healthcare professionals, holding 2.6 million jobs in 2008 alone. Due to an aging workforce and stricter immigration laws resulting in fewer international job applicants, there is and will continue to be a great demand for registered nurses. In order to become a registered nurse, you need to complete a diploma course, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing education and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. While some people pursue diploma courses, associate's and bachelor's degrees tend to be more popular options because of the instruction provided, the opportunities they can afford, and the fact that there are significantly fewer diploma courses out there. Both bachelor's degrees and associate's degrees in nursing education can help prepare you for the required NCLEX-RN exam (though taking the exam requires time and expense outside the program), and are designed to give you the training, instruction, and qualifications required for entry-level positions as a nurse.

A bachelor's degree typically takes three to four years, while an associate's degree can be completed in approximately two years. However, a bachelor's degree can offer more scope for advancement and can qualify you for research, educational, and management nursing positions. An associate's degree in nursing education is a viable option for those who wish to complete their education and start working as soon as possible.

Surgical Technologist

In 2008 alone, surgical technologists held approximately 91,500 jobs, and over the next decade or so job opportunities for surgical technologists are estimated to rise by 25%. *In order to become a surgical technologist, you need to complete an Associate of Occupational Studies in Surgical Technologist degree from an accredited institution. The duration of the degree is approximately two years, during which students receive instruction in psychology, anatomy, physiology, general surgical procedures, pharmacology, microbiology, and more. Admission criteria include a high school diploma or an equivalent GED® diploma.

Respiratory Therapy

Americans are living longer than ever before, which has resulted in an expanding elderly population. Since this age bracket has the highest incidence of cardiopulmonary disease, there is a growing demand for qualified respiratory therapists. In 2008 alone, respiratory therapists held 105,900 jobs, and by 2018, this number will have increased by 21%. In order to practice as a respiratory therapist you must have either an associate's or a bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy. An Associate's of Respiratory Therapy takes approximately two years to complete and can qualify you to sit for the CRT Certification Exam. A bachelor's of respiratory therapy degree, on the other hand, takes three to four years, can increase your chances for employment, and can also qualify you for supervisory and management positions. Criteria for both degrees generally includes a high school diploma or equivalent GED® diploma.

Healthcare Administration

A master's degree is often a requirement for working in the public health sector or advancing to management positions in healthcare. One of the most popular healthcare degrees is a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration. The focus of this degree is the operation of healthcare organizations from the business point of view; students are trained to evaluate, streamline, and optimize administrative systems, strategies, programs, and policies, as well as supervise and manage employees, resources, and processes to maximize organizational efficiency. This degree can allow you to apply for positions in hospitals, government organizations, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, nursing homes, nonprofit organizations, and assisted living facilities as a health administrator, manager, or supervisor.

The future holds great promise when it comes to healthcare careers; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, *healthcare will generate 3.2 million jobs between 2008 and 2018 alone—more than any other existing industry. With the right degree(s) in healthcare education, you could secure the potential of a stable, fulfilling future for yourself.


Stevens-Henager College was established in 1891 and is one of the oldest colleges in Utah, offering degree programs for master's, bachelor's, associate's, and associate's of occupational studies degrees. Working professionals can enhance their careers and qualifications with the online degree programs offered by Stevens-Henager College's Salt Lake City/Murray campus.

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One Comment

  • July 14, 2012 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    This is a nice web site. Good fresh interface and nice informative articles. I will be coming back soon, thanks for the great article.

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