If you are considering pursuing a career in health care, you might be overwhelmed by the number of health care degrees offered at local colleges and universities, as well as online options, that promise unlimited job opportunities after graduation. Health care degrees are good investments, since many of them provide direct training that equates to a specialized profession after graduation. Knowing where you fit within health care can be a challenge, as the field is quite vast. For this reason, there are a few key questions you must ask yourself before investing your time and money in the various health care degrees that are out there.
One question you must ponder is how long you are willing to be a student. If you are committed to spending upward of a decade of your life in higher education, then you might want to consider dental school, an allopathic medical program, or an osteopathic medical program. Physical therapy programs require a doctoral degree, as do veterinary science and ophthalmology programs. If you are more interested in shorter programs, where you can be in and out and skilled in something very specific within 2-3 years, you might want to consider programs in nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy assisting or dental hygiene.
Another key question you must ask is how comfortable you are with working in close proximity to ill people. It might seem like a funny question, but you would be surprised by how many students fail to ask how comfortable and willing they are to work with sick individuals. If you are uncomfortable handling blood or other bodily fluids, nursing might not be the best career choice for you. Instead, you might want to consider a health care program in public health, asking broader questions in health care. Some individuals find their fit in health care administration, working on the backside to answer tough questions in how health care is administered in communities. It is important to do adequate research on health care degrees before investing the time and money.