dcsimg
 

Online Health Care Programs

Home > Health

Health care is big business. The increasing demands for services, coupled with an aging population and new ways of doing business, are creating seemingly unlimited career potential for prospective students and current health care professionals. As an industry, health care is projected to see employment growth of 19 percent between 2014 and 2024, an increase of approximately 2.3 million jobs throughout the country. By 2024, more than 21 million individuals are expected to be working in health-related and social assistance occupations.

These occupations -- nearly 200 career pathways -- are divided between five main health sciences career clusters. Below is a list of the five health care clusters, with sample career avenues for each.

  1. Biotechnology Research and Development: Occupations focused on and involved in bioscience and biomedical research, studying diseases and development new devices, technologies, and treatments to provide patient care or improve diagnostic testing. (Examples: biostatistician, biomedical engineer)
  2. Diagnostic Services: Occupations dealing with the assessment, testing, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of illnesses, diseases, injuries or other physical conditions. (Examples: radiologists, medical laboratory technician)
  3. Health Informatics: Occupations involved with administrative and data management, including financial and patient information. (Examples: epidemiologist, medical coder)
  4. Support Services: Occupations responsible for creating therapeutic environments for the delivery of health care services. (Examples: health care administrator, health care social worker)
  5. Therapeutic Services: Occupations focused on providing direct patient care, such as diagnosis and treatment, education, and counseling. (Examples: dental assistant, registered nurse)

Health Care Degree Programs

A unique industry, health care affords prospective students an extensive, diverse collection of both career- and academic-focused programs. This education can range from certificate programs that typically take six months to complete to multi-year doctoral degree programs. The amount of time required to complete a diploma or degree depends both on the academic award and the specific discipline. For example, the educational minimum requirement for a physician assistant is both a bachelor's and master's degree (six+ years of study), while a licensed vocational nurse may only need to complete a one-year diploma program.

Diploma Programs

Also known as a career diploma, these programs of study are typically technical or vocational in nature and provide students with industry- or occupation-specific training and education. Traditionally, diploma programs can be completed in as little as six to twelve months of study.

Example diploma careers (with 2015 median salaries):

  • Emergency medical technician ($35,430)
  • Licensed vocational nurse ($44,030)
  • Dental assistant ($36,920)

Associate Degree

The associate degree is commonly offered by community colleges, technical schools, as well as four-year private and public universities. As programs of study, associate degree programs are typically two years in length and are available in several formats for health care majors, including the Associate of Science (AS) and the Associate in Applied Science (AAS). The AS is an academic degree program that allows students to transfer their earned credits into a future bachelor's degree program. The AAS is an application-based program of study designed to prepare students for direct entry into a profession.

Example associate degree careers (with 2015 median salaries):

  • Medical coder ($40,430)
  • Registered nurse ($71,000)
  • Cardiovascular technologist ($56,100)

Bachelor's Degree

The bachelor's degree is an undergraduate program of study that typically requires four years of full-time study to complete, depending on the specific field of study. These programs are academic in nature, offering students a comprehensive curriculum divided between general education and major coursework in the specific health care discipline.

Example bachelor's degree careers (with 2015 median salaries):

  • Dietitian ($58,410)
  • Occupational therapist ($81,690)
  • Exercise physiologist ($49,740)

Master's Degree

The master's degree is a graduate level program of study designed to provide health care professionals with advanced training in their particular discipline or area of practice. Typically requiring between two and three years of study to complete, master's degree programs also may include clinical practicums and rotations that provide complementary real-world experience to classroom-based learning.

Example master's degree careers (with 2015 median salaries):

  • Physician assistant ($99,270)
  • Family nurse practitioner ($101,260)
  • Genetic counselor ($74,570)

Doctorate

The highest level of degree within health care, the doctorate is a complex program of study designed to prepare graduates to assume positions in clinical leadership, research, or academia. A wide-ranging degree, example doctorates include the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Example doctorate degree careers (with 2015 median salaries):

  • Physician ($202,450)
  • Oral surgeon ($233,900)
  • Podiatrist ($136,180)

Health Care Program Specializations

As noted above, health care degree and training programs are closely aligned to career pathways and curriculum is specific to the particular field of practice. For students considering a career in health care, deciding on an area of interest can be challenging. Below is an example list of the various types of health degree programs available to students:

  • Allied Health
  • Gerontology
  • Medical and Dental Assisting
  • Medical Billing
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Radiologic Science
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Ultrasound Technology

A review of graduation data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows the most popular fields of study included registered nursing, clinical nursing, and nursing administration, allied health, medical assisting and medical administrative services.

Health Care Career Outlook

The health care industry is full of opportunity. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 12 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the country from 2014 to 2024 are health related. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, allied health and ultrasound technology are a handful of programs with career paths projected to experience double digit career growth. Below is a list of a few of fastest-growing health care careers according to the BLS.

Occupation Degree Required Career Growth Avg. Salary Projected 2024 Employment
Home health aides Less than high school 38.1% $22,870 1,261,900
Physical therapy assistants Associate 40.6% $55,250 110,700
Occupational therapy assistants Associate 42.7% $58,340 47,100
Physical therapist aides High school degree or equivalent 39% $27,440 69,500
Genetic counselors Master's 28.8% $74,570 3,100
Physician assistants Master's 30.4% $99,270 123,200
Physical therapists Doctoral or professional degree 34% $85,790 282,700
Occupational therapy aides High school degree or equivalent 30.6% $31,090 11,600

Sources:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, US Health Care Spending Projections, http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/proj2012.pdf
  • ISEEK.org, Health Care Career Clusters, https://www.iseek.org/careers/pathways.html
  • National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds
  • ONET Online, Health Care Careers, https://www.onetonline.org/find/industry?i=62&g=Go

Online Health Care Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
            • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
            • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
            • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            UEI College , Riverside
            • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
            • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
            • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
            • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
            • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
            • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
            • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
            • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
            • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
            • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
            • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
            • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
            • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Summarize the roles, functions, and impacts of an effective healthcare manager.
            • Evaluate existing research using quantitative statistical tools to assist in healthcare management decision making.
            • Identify, evaluate, and respond to common types of healthcare ethical dilemmas.
            • Describe the value of personal and professional development, community service, and life-long learning in healthcare management.
            • Evaluate the impact of information systems and technology on healthcare processes and the securing of health information.
            • Analyze the strategic impact of human resource development and management on healthcare organizations.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
            • Get Matched to the Right Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Healthcare Administration, Health Informatics, Nursing and Health Sciences Degree Program for YOU.
            • Affordable and Flexible Health and Medical Assisting Degree Programs from Top Colleges Across the Nation. Both Online And Campus!
            • Just Fill Out a Few Questions and You Can Find Your Perfect Medical Degree Program Within Minutes.
            • Start Using our Fast, Free, and Easy Matching Service Right HERE and Right NOW!
            • Online Courses
            • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
            • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
            • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid