Health care is a hot button issue in the news today, whether it’s about health care reform or new advancements in medicine. The field lends itself to a number of careers for interested individuals, in fields such as nursing, health information technology, and health care administration. Some fields involve more interaction with patients than others, while others focus on what happens behind the scenes to ensure that hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes run efficiently and effectively. Minimum degree requirements depend on the field an individual plans to pursue.
Health Care Course Work Basics
Course work will vary significantly depending on the area within health care that you study. However, all health care fields will consist of course work grounded in the math and sciences, in disciplines such as biology, physics, and chemistry. Beyond this, courses may include an emphasis in business, leadership, or patient care, depending on the field. For instance, a health care administration program will feature courses in accounting, marketing, finance, and law, while a nursing program might include courses in anatomy and physiology, nursing care, and nutrition.
Course requirements will include internships and capstone projects. Students interested in pursuing health care should seek internships in hospitals and labs, where they may assist professors and doctors on extended research-related projects. These experiences can also help students hone in on the area of health care that most interests them.
Careers for the Health Care Graduate
Potential salaries vary significantly and depend on the profession that health care graduates enter. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers — who typically hold a master’s degree — average $96,030 per year in wages. Nurses, on the other hand, may have only a diploma or an associate degree in nursing. Their mean salaries are comparatively lower than those of managers or administrators, although still substantial, at $69,110 per year. Note that salaries can depend on other factors as well, such as an individual’s level of education, past work experience, location, and employer.