With a nursing shortage crisis expected to reach its peak at some point in the next decade and the entire field having jobs in high demand, now is a better time than ever to start pursuing a career in healthcare. While you don’t need captain obvious to tell you that getting a nursing degree or becoming a doctor is a great idea, you might have to put a bit of thought into what kind of degree you’re going to be earning first, especially considering you’ll be working on it for at least the next 2-6 years and it will affect your career in the long-term. With that said, here’s a quick introduction to three of the most popular healthcare degree courses:
1. Doctorate in Nursing Practice
While a master’s degree in nursing is just as popular, we listed the doctorate first because it carries the most career potential. The impending nursing shortage crisis is going to create a lot of open job opportunities, however there will still be competition in every sector and employers will be looking for people with the most experience and the best degrees. Thus, it may be preferable to go ahead and commit to a doctorate’s degree to improve your chances of landing a higher salary and more reliable job opportunities.
2. Masters in Healthcare Administration
If you’d rather work in an administrative position instead of dealing with directly with patients all the time, a degree in healthcare administration might be more suited to your personality type. This degree will also make you eligible for a career with a high starting salary, and you’ll be able to apply at variety of organizations like hospitals, universities, military institutions, and public health clinics.
3. EMT and Paramedic Major
The employment rate in the field of paramedics is expected to increase by about 25% during the next ten years, so similar to a nursing degree, an EMT and paramedic major would equip you to perform a job that will consistently be in high demand. Plus, this is an ideal entry into the medical field, and many doctors and nurses have chosen to become EMTs before advancing their career. It only takes 1 year to earn a paramedic’s certificate, but in many states the requirement is moving up to an associate’s degree, which still only takes 2 years.
Should You Pursue Two Degrees at the Same Time?
The answer to that depends on how confident you are in your ability to juggle two courses at once. Many colleges and regulatory authorities either strongly discourage it or don’t allow it altogether because they say it places an extra burden on the student and may affect their ability to retain all of the information learned through both courses due to information overload. However, if you have a completely open schedule and want to pursue an associate’s degree in paramedics alongside a doctor of nursing practice, for example, the best course of action would be to opt for a distance learning (online) university.