An associates degree in Health Science prepares students to meet the rapidly growing and changing demands of the healthcare industry. Health Science students learn a variety of topics including physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, biology, medical ethics and terminology and organic chemistry. Students may also have a general education focus on psychology, sociology or communications.
This broad range of health-related studies prepares students to work at many entry levels within the healthcare industry. It also covers some of the basic educational requirements for nursing, medical school or healthcare administration, and it is a good starting point for those higher career options. This degree attracts dedicated individuals who seek to help and heal. Those looking into a health science career path should be interested in working with people on sometimes difficult and complex science-related issues. They should be comfortable with work settings such as hospitals, medical labs and care facilities.
How to Find the Top Associates Degree in Health Science Programs
Students should choose their college or university carefully when looking for the best associates degree in Health Science programs. For a beginning associates degree, many smaller colleges, even some community colleges, may offer Health Science programs. These programs are usually attractive because of lower costs or smaller class sizes, but there are several noteworthy limitations to choosing a smaller college for this degree type. First, this degree is a gateway to many other healthcare degree options, and it would be wisest to choose a campus or program which offers possibilities for continuing education. Second, the best programs also offer hands-on lab work and practicums at distinguished healthcare facilities. Smaller campuses or programs may not have access to these resources. Online courses are excellent options for some students, but most suffer from the lack of hands-on learning opportunities vital in this area of study.
The following universities have top ranking Health Science programs.
1. Kaplan University: This is one of the best accredited online program options for those students who prefer online learning. It has an extensive array of programs with plenty of access into other healthcare fields without the need to worry about transferring credits. This is especially important since online credits often do not transfer between schools.
2. Harvard University: The best Ivy League option for Health Science degrees, Harvard not only has a complete selection of programs for continuing education, but also has among the best connections to hospitals and research programs. It also has the resources to give students the ultimate level of hands-on learning opportunities.
3. Everest University and College System: This university stands out because of its high degree of flexibility and options. It has campuses all across the US and Canada, and its class flexibility is geared toward already working adults. It gives nearly as much freedom as an online program, but maintains the hands-on opportunities most students will look for.
Careers and Salaries for Individuals with an Associates Degree in Health Science
Associates degree in health science careers are as varied as the field itself. The degree sets a graduate up for access to higher level degrees and areas of focus, but also qualifies a graduate for entry-level healthcare positions right out of school. The hiring rate in the healthcare field is very high. Most programs report a 90% job acquisition rate among their graduates.
The possible associates degree in Health Science salaries are varied and depend heavily on location. Graduates should look for positions which will give them good practice and preparation for a more advanced position and provide connections within groups of healthcare professionals. Surgical technologists, for example, prepare exam rooms for senior surgical staff and earn an average of $39,400 annually. They will have plenty of opportunity to interact with senior surgeons, doctors and nurses, and they will become comfortable in their working environment. There has never been a better time to consider an associates degree in Health Science.
Additional Resource: Top 10 Best Online Health Science Degree Programs