9 Healthcare degrees you should consider

When we’re kids, we often want to become astronauts, rockstars, or doctors. Of course, some career prospects are a little easier to reach than others. But even then, studying to become a doctor takes years of medical school – which might not work for your other life plans.

So, you want to work in healthcare, but can’t justify the cost or time needed to become a doctor? Thankfully, there are a huge number of ways to get into the healthcare industry, without having to take on the grueling process of applying and studying medicine.

In this post, we’re going to share 9 different degrees and occupations in the healthcare industry you could dive into and study online. We’ll also discuss how to know whether a role in healthcare is right for you.

Is a career in healthcare right for me?

While we would all love to have the chance to help others, the healthcare sector simply isn’t for everyone. There are several things to consider when making a decision as to whether healthcare is right for you.

You can work under pressure

Healthcare work is fast-paced and often challenging. You’ll be expected to work efficiently and calmly under pressure in a huge number of scenarios. While some people excel in stressful situations, others can crumble under the pressure. Take a look at previous roles you’ve had and other stressful events in your life and how you coped. This could potentially be the first tell-tale sign of whether the industry is suited to you.

You’re excited by life-long learning

With constant technological advancements and a whole variety of specialisms available, those in healthcare have the opportunity – or necessity – to stay on a continuous learning curve throughout their career. If the unknown makes you a little uncomfortable, and you’d much prefer to qualify and be done with studying, healthcare might not be the right choice. Those that are excited to continuously take on new challenges and learn new skills with certainly thrive in the industry.

You’re a team player

Unlike other professions, where are a lot of work can be done autonomously, healthcare will require you to be a motivated team player just about every day. You’ll likely have to work with a number of other caregivers and different teams across the industry in order to provide the best care for patients. So, you’ll need to create communication skills, and an openness to learn and collaborate.

You’re in it for the right reasons

There are a huge number of perks for working in healthcare. Nurses in the US, for example, earn one of the best nursing salaries in the world – making it a pretty appealing profession. Similarly, healthcare facilities often need staff to be available at all times of day, meaning shifts can be flexible and worked to suit you. While these are benefits to the work, they shouldn’t be the main reason to pursue a healthcare career.

If you’re the type of person genuinely looking for a way to make a difference and to help people, you’ll love the industry. However, there are other people who relish in the power and control that can be bestowed upon them as caregivers and managers. If you think you might be in it for the power aspect, there are many other roles available that will allow you to thrive, without jeopardizing other people’s health.

So, if the healthcare industry sounds like a good fit for you, here are 9 degrees that you could choose to study. Most can be done at both undergraduate or Master’s level, meaning they can often be a great second career choice for those looking to switch things up.

Occupational therapy

Very few people enter the industry for the money. It’s usually down to a moral need to help others. Studying occupational therapy will allow you to fill this need while working with patients that are suffering from both mental and physical conditions.

These therapists work to find ways to ensure patients can stay independent and live comfortably. It’s the perfect alternative to becoming a doctor, as you’ll still have a significant say in how healthcare is dispensed to patients.

Nutrition

For those interested in health and nutrition, studying a degree in Nutrition will be a perfect fit. Nutritionists work with people from all walks of life to improve and benefit their lifestyle through healthy eating.

Another degree that is often mistaken for nutrition is dietetics. Dieticians are slightly different, and work more specifically with patients likely to develop diseases like diabetes or gastrointestinal conditions. They can also work with people struggling with allergies, intolerances and cancers.

Both degrees will allow you to work within clinical settings prior to graduating so that you have the experience you need when stepping into your first post-graduate role.

Pediatrics

Becoming a registered nurse is often a route that people take when they want to help people in a hospital setting. However, even once you’re registered, there are plenty of specialisms available to take.

For instance, if you have a particular interest in working with children, an online degree could help you become a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner. Practitioners are typically more qualified than nurses and can often run their own practices, rather than working under a GP.

Biomedical science

For those that want to take a more academic route, biomedical science is a versatile and flexible degree option that still allows you to work in healthcare. You will have the option to specialize in a variety of sectors – from molecular biology to pharmacology.

Healthcare Administration

Again, if you are passionate about working in healthcare, but don’t think the physical side would work for you, healthcare administration is another less hands-on option. When studying for a degree in healthcare administration, you’ll learn how to manage different sectors of the industry, break down policies and research. From here, you will be able to take on more managerial positions in the clinical setting.

No matter which direction you want to take, being part of the healthcare industry is an incredibly rewarding and respected career to pursue. No two days will be the same and there are a huge number of ways to progress.

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