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Degrees for a Career in Medical Care

Medical care is an extremely broad field, encompassing hundreds of occupations and employing 14.3 million people as of 2008. It's also a great choice if you're concerned about future job security: The health care industry is expected to grow 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, and half of the 20 projected fastest-growing professions are health care-related.

The following snapshot of degrees in medical care for some of the leading professions can help you prepare for a career in this exciting and in-demand field.

Degrees for Nurses

picture of doctor and nurse

In order to become a nurse, you can choose from one of several educational paths. While some nurses obtain a diploma, this option is becoming less common as members of the profession become better educated. As of 2010, 36.1 percent of nurses had associate's degrees, and 36.8 percent had bachelor's degrees. A four-year degree is the best college degree for a career as a registered nurse, as it opens the greatest number of job opportunities.

If you want greater job responsibilities and a higher salary, consider a career as an advanced practical nurse. The best degree for jobs in this field, which include clinical nurse specialists, nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, is a master's degree in nursing.

Degree Programs for Physicians

Physicians have some of the most rigorous educational requirements of any profession. But if you're not daunted by the prospect of four years of undergraduate work, four years of medical school, and three to eight years of internships and residencies, you could be rewarded with a sizable salary and a respected occupation. The top degrees for physicians are medical doctor (MD) and doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO).

Degree Programs for Medical Technicians and Technologists

Some of the most popular careers in this category include:

  • Clinical laboratory technicians and technologists. The top college degree for clinical laboratory technicians is an associate's degree, while the top degree for technologists is a bachelor's with a major in one of the life sciences or medical technology.
  • Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. These workers generally have a high-school diploma and complete a formal training program. Paramedics have better job opportunities with an associate's degree, however. Some professionals in the field are calling for more EMTs and paramedics to obtain bachelor's degrees, which is likely to become the best degree in medical care for these professions as workers become more highly educated.
  • Radiology and ultrasound technicians. At present, associate's degrees are the most common degrees held by these workers. However, a bachelor's degree can make you a more competitive job applicant in this growing field.

Medical Degree Path for Your Profession

Whichever career you choose in the wide field of medical care, be sure that your degree path provides you with the educational background you need to secure a good job. Talk to employers and workers in the field, and take a few minutes to scan job openings, paying attention to educational requirements. This research can pay off when it comes time to enter the workforce.


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5 Program(s) Found
  • Online programs including BS, MBA, MHA, MPH, MS, DHA, and DrPH options.
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The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

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Grow Your Career with the University of Saint Mary

The University of Saint Mary is a Catholic institution in Leavenworth, Kansas, that has been educating students since 1923. Guided by the vision of its founders, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, USM seeks to inspire students and to prepare them for value-centered lives and careers that will benefit our global society.

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  • Online Bachelor's programs include Healthcare Management, Public Health, IT, Psychology, BBA & Criminal Justice
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899
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  • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
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  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
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  • At West Coast University, your education can pave the way to your healthcare career
  • With West Coast University, you can choose to study healthcare online or any one of the 6 campuses located in California, Texas or Florida
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  • Our online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree program can help you improve the experience of healthcare providers and patients.
  • Walden’s online MHA program prepares leaders who can respond to the needs of their communities while optimizing organizational performance and outcomes.
  • Taught by doctoral-level faculty, our online MHA degree program features curriculum with multimedia that lends a real-world perspective to your online learning experience.
  • Two ways to earn your MHA: choose from a course-based format or our competency-based Tempo Learning® by Walden that allows you to learn on your own schedule, at your own pace.
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  • Health Care degrees include BA in Health Care Administration, BS in Health Information Management, BS in Nursing (RN to BSN), and more.
  • Coursework focuses on relevant topics in the health care field, such as administration, planning, and policy.
  • Students can specialize in areas like Human Resource Management, Health Care Informatics Systems, and Long-Term Care Management.
  • Online degree programs that can help students pursue a degree on their own schedule.
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  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
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  • Registered nurses, advance your career - earn your Master of Science in Nursing online with GCU.
  • Our MSN degree will strengthen your knowledge, values, analytical and critical thinking skills so you are prepared to advocate the highest-level of care possible.
  • GCU prepares nurses for leadership roles in today's rapidly changing healthcare delivery systems.
  • Earn an MSN degree with an emphasis in health care informatics, nursing education, public health and more.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
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Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

Set Yourself Apart at American University

At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

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  • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
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Sacred Heart University Online is an affordable and convenient way to earn a degree online from a university ranked among America’s best colleges. Experience Sacred Heart’s signature core values and degree programs based on interactive personal attention, small classes, and rigorous academics offer students a unique life platform for career advancement and personal fulfillment.

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