More jobs are projected to open up in healthcare than any other field. Enrolling in an online healthcare degree program can help you build the real-world skills needed for a job in the healthcare industry.
The demand for healthcare occupations arises from the need for more healthcare services overall and the aging baby-boom population, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As reported by the White House, the healthcare sector is likely to open up 3.5 million new jobs by 2026. Some healthcare occupations, like registered nurses, home health aides, massage therapists, genetic counselors, and EMTs, are seeing significant job demand.
Government initiatives such as Health Career Pathways launched in 2016 seeks to identify jobs in healthcare that are most in-demand and align education and skills to meet the needs of healthcare employers. The government's 10-year plan initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop an interoperable IT healthcare infrastructure is also likely to directly impact those who are interested in careers related to online health information, health administration or health informatics. The highest projected job growth in upcoming years is expected to be for the healthcare support, healthcare practitioner, and healthcare technical occupations.
What makes a successful healthcare professional? According to Ram Raju, President and CEO of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, "One of the most critical elements for success is having high-quality diverse talent that can engage patients in improving their health - not just providing routine healthcare services."
Whether you are a high school graduate, a working professional or an adult learner ready for a career change, there is a vast array of choices from associate to graduate levels for online degree programs in healthcare. This page can serve as a guide providing the information you need as you consider a career in the healthcare industry.
What can you do with a degree in healthcare?
Explore Online Healthcare Degree Programs
Online health degree programs vary in length of time and depth of study, but the Lumina Foundation estimates that two-thirds of high-quality jobs will likely require some type of postsecondary education by 2020. A variety of online health degree programs can be found in the fields of administration, rehabilitative therapy, health and fitness or mental health and may offer the quality education you seek.
Be sure to click on the buttons under each section to find detailed information on each degree program — information that can serve as a guide as you consider your degree options.
Use our top college listing to find an online college that can provide you with the best online student experience. Our rankings consider factors important to you as a distance education learner.
Healthcare administration is a broad field with online healthcare degrees available at many levels. The Lumina Foundation reports that "technology growth and the retirement of the baby-boom generation is creating more demand for IT and health care workers," suggesting that online healthcare programs in the IT field — like informatics — could be a smart move. However, administrative jobs could include others, such as dental office management, medical billing and quality control and safety.
Click on any of the buttons below to find detailed information such as the salary you can expect, the typical duties you may be performing, career outlook and the kind of coursework you can expect, by degree level.
Healthcare therapy is another field offering many different career paths and room for growth. For example, you could choose a degree program in an area like respiratory therapy or occupational therapy. These fields can be highly rewarding, allow you to work one-on-one with people and also earn a rewarding salary. Reasons for entering a therapy field, such as physical therapy, include the opportunity for growth, the shot at a flexible schedule and the chance to help rehabilitate patients.
Click on the buttons directly below to find out what you can do with any one of these degrees and what might your income, responsibilities and coursework look like.
You may love the opportunity to help others get fit and healthy through a career in nutrition, sports and fitness or even public health. While academic courses are different for each of these, they all give you the opportunity to impact others. The fact that people are interested in health and fitness is reflected in the demand for nutritionists and dieticians. Job growth in these fields is expected to be 15 percent, or much faster than average, from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. Similarly, job growth for fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026.
Check out degree programs related to health and fitness by clicking on the buttons below to find detailed information on wages, coursework by degree level, and the kind of jobs you might be able to do with any one of these health and fitness degrees.
You may think that pursuing a career in the mental health field means becoming a psychologist and while this is one option, you also could train to become a counselor or school counselor. In fact, job growth for school and career counselors is expected to be 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average job growth for all occupations. As a career counselor, you can help people transition from one career to another while counseling on college campuses is a need as students prepare for the work force and its real-world demands, according to the BLS.
Clicking on the buttons below provides more details about online mental health degrees such as the kind of jobs you may be able to get, estimated wages, and coursework, by degree level.
Specialized practices in healthcare may include degrees in medical technology, nursing, radiological services, veterinary and health sciences. These fields provide an opportunity to specialize in very specific fields of care and to complete a degree that prepares you for entry-level work. Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026 — growth that is considered much faster than average, according to the BLS.
Be sure to click on the buttons directly below for information on salary, jobs related to each degree and the kind of coursework you might need to take.
Top Ten Online Colleges for Healthcare by Degree Level
We ranked the top 10 colleges for an online healthcare degree based on a number of quantifiable factors. These data-driven rankings include schools offering an online or hybrid degree program in the healthcare field. We ranked these online colleges for healthcare using factors important to online students such as tuition, percentage of financial aid and placement services. We encourage you to look at the methodology at the bottom of the page.
An online associate degree program can take around two years to earn. If you choose an allied healthcare field, such as dental hygiene, medical technology, respiratory or occupational therapy, you may quickly be able to find an entry-level job. Check out the chart below for degree ideas, and keep in mind that online programs at the associate level in healthcare could lead to competitive wages.
Online healthcare programs at the bachelor's level typically take four years to complete, but sometimes can be completed at an accelerated pace. This means you could find a job in the workforce earlier than anticipated and begin to earn wages appropriate to your degree. Some occupations, such as healthcare management or health information management, require just a bachelor's degree.
An online master's degree program in healthcare typically takes two years to complete, although some programs are available at an accelerated pace. Available degree programs include a master of science in healthcare administration and an MBA in healthcare administration. Healthcare administration can be a high-paying field, reports the BLS.
In-Demand Occupations in Healthcare
About 2.4 million new healthcare jobs are expected to be created between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. This is much faster than average, resulting from an aging population and an increased demand for services. Overall, the healthcare sector should add more jobs than any other sector to the economy. The chart below can help you explore the most in-demand, top-paying jobs in healthcare, many which may be achievable through online healthcare programs.
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
Registered Nurses 203,600 $75,510 Bachelor's degree Coaches and Scouts 42,000 $43,870 Bachelor's degree Dental Hygienists 17,500 $75,500 Associate's degree Physical Therapists 16,800 $88,880 Doctoral or professional degree Pharmacists 15,300 $123,670 Doctoral or professional degree Physicians and Surgeons, All Other 15,200 $203,880 Doctoral or professional degree Physical Therapist Assistants 14,700 $57,750 Associate's degree Nurse Practitioners 14,400 $110,030 Master's degree Radiologic Technologists 13,600 $61,540 Associate's degree Veterinary Technologists and Technicians 10,700 $35,560 Associate's degree