Health Care Degrees and Programs
Health care is one of the largest occupations in the world--in 2008, there were 14.3 million health care jobs in the United States alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the health care industry is projected to add 3.2 million jobs between 2008 and 2018, making it the largest growth industry in the country. What's more, 10 of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. are related to health care. Business is definitely booming in the world of medicine.
Get into a health care program, stat!
Health care professionals include certified nursing assistants and aides, who can earn their certificate or diploma within a year, as well as medical doctors, who must attend four years of medical school and complete a multiple-year residency program. Typical health care courses for those in any medical program include anatomy, biology and physiology. Ethics and legal issues in health care are also covered in many health care degree programs.
Some of the fastest-growing career paths within health care include registered nurse, home health aide and dental assistant. The mean annual wage in 2010 was $67,720 for registered nurses, $21,760 for home health aides and $34,140 for dental assistants. Surgeons are some of the highest paid health care professionals, with a mean annual salary of $225,390 in 2010.
For those who prefer an office to an operating room, health care administration is also a growing field. Job opportunities range from positions for entry-level office assistants and medical records clerks to advanced management careers in health care administration.