When a State Doesn’t Require a Degree

health care certification

It can sometimes be confusing. In certain health care fields, different states require different forms of health care certification. Fields such as Dental Assistant or Medical Assistant require passing a health care certification exam in some states. Others require a diploma or degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. In others, on-the-job training suffices.

We believe at Concorde that the more education and training one can receive before entering a career the better. You never can be too prepared. The more you know and have trained for, the better your chances at success and a long, rewarding career.

The more education and training you receive prior to launching into your career, the better chances you’ll have at landing that job of your dreams.

“Just about every employer out there that is looking for any level of management and leadership is looking for a candidate that has developed a work ethic that leads them into that role,” said William Lacey, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde’s campus in San Diego. “Going to college and earning a degree can be a reflection of that.

“While earning your degree, you are put in positions that incorporate collaboration, compromising and decision making. These skills coupled with knowledge gained is what makes a candidate attractive to a possible employer.”

When health care certification might not be enough

Lori Liebman, MBA, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde’s campus in Garden Grove, Calif., listed a few reasons why someone should get a degree, even if it is not required by their state.

  • All degrees have a requisite set of foundation classes that contribute to a student’s well-rounded education. These classes include English, math, communications, psychology and sociology. These classes help graduates regardless of the industry chosen.
  • Continuing education. An associate’s degree is the foundation for a bachelor’s degree, which is the foundation for a master’s degree, which is the foundation for a Ph.D. While a graduate might not be thinking about continuing education the minute he or she graduates, once there is a degree, the first step is there.
  • Degrees also show a potential employer that a graduate has what it takes to stay the course and complete something. And, whether we like it or not, degrees carry a level of prestige that could get you an interview over someone without one.

“Professionals who choose to get a degree are usually interested in becoming more knowledgeable about the field,” said Johnni Corwise, MBA, CSA, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde’s campus in Memphis, Tenn. “Advanced education can provide industry credibility. It teaches new theories with new studies and statistics. It builds confidence in new skills and reaffirms old ones.”

Strategic advantage over a health care certification

Ray Riley, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde’s campus in Jacksonville, Fla., said successfully earning your degree when a state does not require it is great planning and a strategic advantage for your future. Here are three reasons why.

  • What happens if you decide to move to a state that requires a degree? By earning your degree, you will be able to transition to other states without the worry of not having your credentials.
  • Having a degree makes you more marketable and qualified for employment and advancements.
  • Job opportunities might be more abundant with increased salary rates in another state, so having a degree might definitely be worth it.

“To stay ahead of the competition, it’s always good to stay ahead of the game,” Corwise said. “Although credentials do not determine competence, dedication beyond state requirement deserves respect.”

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“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”


Kontessa Brown
Dental Assisting Graduate

“I am eternally grateful to Dr. Lu-Ping Gamble at the Garden Grove campus. They not only lit a spark, they lit a torch in my heart that shall burn forever! My education changed my life and has had a huge positive impact on the person I am today.”


Jamie Troccoli
Medical Assistant graduate