Degrees that Lead to Healthcare Careers and Professions by Rachelle Wilber

Healthcare is a rapidly growing field that offers a variety of satisfying career options for motivated individuals. With such a vast array of careers, it is important for individuals to identify which degree will land them their dream job.

Nursing Degrees

Nursing is a common healthcare profession, and there are a number of nursing degrees available depending on an individual’s specific area of interest. An Associate Degree in Nursing is a two-year program that leads to a career as a registered nurse; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a four-year program that also leads to certification as a registered nurse. However, nurses with a BSN are eligible for greater career advancement and can enter advanced degree programs for more technical and higher-paying nursing professions. Nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives are often referred to as advanced practice registered nurses, and these high-paying careers require a master’s degree along with licensing and certification. John Hopkins University offers one of the top programs for individuals seeking a master’s degree in nursing.

Social Work Degrees

Individuals who love helping people but can’t see themselves taking the nursing route would do well to consider a degree in social work. Careers in the social work field are diverse, with job titles ranging from therapist to substance abuse counselor. A bachelor’s degree in social work is required for entry-level positions including mental health assistants and caseworkers, but to become a licensed social worker, at least a master’s degree is required. There are many social work colleges around the country to choose from, with online and on campus options. Top schools for social work degrees include the University of Michigan and University of California, Berkley; however, for those interested in management positions, a doctorate is necessary.

Pharmacy Degrees

Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medications to patients, meaning that they must have knowledge of chemical and allergic reactions as well as dosing and medical regulations. Becoming a pharmacist requires a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. To pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy, students must either earn a bachelor’s degree in some type of laboratory science, or they can follow a two year, non-degree lab science prep program designed to fulfill the lab science prerequisites needed for pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy. The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill is considered a top-ranking pharmacy school.

The ever-expanding medical field has a growing need for professionals in a diverse range of careers. Individuals who select a path that interests them will find vast opportunities for specialization with their healthcare degrees.