If you think you have to burn gallons of midnight oil before you can arm yourself with a degree in healthcare, think again. The Bureau of Labor Statistics points that most healthcare professionals have less than four years of college education. Add to this the satisfaction of being a care giver to those who need it the most and healthcare could be that dream career you always wanted.

Besides doctors, professionals in this growing industry include nurses, respiratory therapists, healthcare administrators, etc. Depending on what interests you, you can choose from a plethora of health science programs offered by colleges and universities across the country. Some of the popular health science degrees include Nursing, Respiratory Care, Allied Health, and Health Care Administration.

While some of these degrees are offered at Bachelor s and Master s level only (Nursing), a few health science degree such as Respiratory Therapy and Allied Health are offered as Associate Degrees. Some colleges also offer certificate courses in subjects such as Health Psychology and Community Health Education. What’s more, many health sciences programs> are offered as distance learning courses. This works particularly well for people who need to work because of financial reasons or those who have families to care for and cannot attend on-campus programs.

It is no secret that more and more people in the U.S. are approaching old age and with advancement in medicine, life expectancy is increasing. Given this situation, the need for healthcare professionals is bound to grow. A case in point is the burgeoning demand for nurses. According to the American Nurses Association, over 65,000 people were given nursing license in the first half of 2006. Inspite of this, there is a growing bridge between demand and supply of registered nurses. Employers are, therefore, looking at improving working conditions and compensation packages to attract and retain trained licensed nurses.

Similarly, hospitals and clinics need sound professionals to run them. A degree in Healthcare Administration will go a long way in fetching you these high-profile administrative and managerial jobs in healthcare facilities.

Another subfield of healthcare that is likely to see faster than average employment growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is respiratory therapy. One needs a Bachelor s or Associate s Degree in Respiratory Therapy to be eligible to work in hospitals, clinics, or home healthcare services.

With the job market for community health workers flourishing, community health education is also finding many takers. These professionals are responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating various community welfare and health programs. If you are passionate about working for the welfare of society, community health education is the way to go.

Abundant opportunities, ample growth prospects, attractive pay scales, and above all – the satisfaction of being a healer – a career in healthcare will give you all this and more.

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