Online healthcare schools offer a number of options to suit your educational and professional needs. Healthcare schools can help you select the right program, whether it is a short term diploma to enter workforce quickly or an associate, bachelor, or master degree in a particular field. Many schools also provide hands-on experience to help you pass the certification exams. Like on-campus healthcare schools, online schools keep examining their curriculum and instructors to make sure that what students are learning is in line with the demands of the industry.
Since many students work while going to school, online healthcare schools offer convenience and flexibility. With online degrees and certificate programs, you will get the chance to excel in your career while working around your busy schedule. Online students generally have 24/7 access to coursework and IT support. Student services advisors are also assigned to students, who provide a personalized service to enhance the experience of online education.
The following programs are offered in various online healthcare colleges.
Undergraduate Certificates and Associate Degrees
Undergraduate certificates and associate degrees are the initial requirement for a number of healthcare professions. Students have a plenty of choice as certificates are offered in areas such as fitness training, licensed practical nursing, medical transcription, and medical billing and coding. They also prepare students for administrative as well as routine clinical roles. Besides, online associate degrees are available in a number of medical technology areas such as x-ray technology, cardiovascular technology, sonography, and registered nursing. Students can enroll in community colleges, universities, or health organizations to get these credentials.
An online bachelor’s degree offers a wider range of general education topics, along with a comprehensive introduction to healthcare field. Students also have the choice to acquire a specialized degree. Besides, students get the opportunity to work in a large number of settings. Bachelor’s degrees are available in many fields such as nursing, physical therapy, health administration, and athletic training.
Master’s degrees can be chosen by healthcare professionals who wish to excel in their field. The degrees also introduce students to a particular field such as occupational therapy or physical therapy. It may also include areas such as health management, education, and leadership. Moreover, online master’s degrees offer a sufficient clinical component, where students acquire hands-on experience, under the supervision of clinical instructors.
Healthcare doctorates can be acquired in many areas such as nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. These degrees may focus on research or they may include advanced clinical work. Candidates learn to analyze and interpret scientific literature in healthcare. Students learn about the application of research and also have to initiate a fresh research project. Most online doctoral programs also require students to complete a dissertation.
While researching for online healthcare schools, it is important for you to keep in mind the aspect of accreditation, because many healthcare professions are highly regulated. Accreditation is an evaluation tool, where independent bodies examine the strengths and weaknesses of schools and degree programs. Accrediting agencies are neutral third parties having specific criteria that must be met by the school. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is one of the largest accrediting bodies for health programs.
For students, accreditation serves several important purposes. A degree from an accredited university or program allows them to apply for state and federal financial aid. Degree credits will only be recognized by other institutions, if they are from an accredited school. It is also important to have an accredited degree because students cannot take a licensing exam unless they have graduated from an accredited program. Plus, it will also help them compete with others in the job market and grow in their career.
If you follow workforce trends, you may have heard that health care jobs have good employment prospects. Since, the job market keeps on changing due to economic and technological developments; it is a wise choice to enter the thriving sector of healthcare. Forbes Magazine, quoting the Bureau of Labor Statistics in September 2012 reported that the health care and social assistance industry will have 28 percent growth (5.7 million new positions) between 2010 and 2020. The major cause of an increased demand of healthcare professionals will be due the needs of an aging population. Besides more jobs, Forbes Magazine also reported that there would be a substantial increase in healthcare salaries.
There are a number of jobs in healthcare that stand out in terms of job security, employment opportunities, salary, and work-life balance.