Estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that careers in the health sciences are expected to grow substantially over the next decade and beyond. The job growth rate for all healthcare occupations is 13% through 2031. So, perhaps you should be exploring a health science degree, right?
Job growth is undoubtedly an appealing factor for those looking for a career in the health sciences. There’s also a more noble reason people choose this route. Most of them are driven by the rewards that come from making a real difference in people’s lives every day.
Whether want to help people be at their best, work on a patient care team, or find new methods to promote wellness, a health science degree is a terrific path that leads to great personal satisfaction.
The benefits of attending a smaller university with a focus on 2-year and traditional health sciences degrees are plentiful:
1. Specialized Programs
Smaller universities concentrating on health and life sciences often offer specialized programs tailored specifically to these fields. Such programs have a focused curriculum, which allows for an in-depth exploration of the subject matter. One example is a degree in Human Biology rather than a more generalized biology degree.
2. Close-knit Community
Smaller universities usually have a smaller student population, creating a tight-knit and supportive community. This can provide a more intimate learning environment with smaller classes, enabling significantly more interaction with faculty and fellow students.
Statistics tell us that close relationships with faculty members can enhance mentorship opportunities and personalized guidance throughout your academic journey.
3. Accessible Resources
Rather than competing with other departments for resources, health and life sciences universities typically have the resources they need for well-equipped laboratories, research facilities, and cutting-edge technology.
4. Collaborative Research Opportunities
At smaller universities, undergraduate students may have more opportunities to engage in research alongside faculty members. Collaborating with faculty on research projects can add additional perspectives to your health science degree, plus develop or improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
5. Networking and Alumni Connections
Alumni from health and life sciences programs tend to be more willing to connect with current students. These connections often increase opportunities for mentorships, internships, job opportunities, job shadowing, and professional advice after graduation.
6. Smaller Class Sizes
College experts know that for life and health sciences degrees, the learning comes fast, and there’s much knowledge to master. Statistics indicate that smaller classes are best. One college expert says a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 or lower is ideal.
So, where do you begin? It starts with deciding which of the broad range of occupations and specializations within the world of health sciences best fits your goals. The branches of the field include traditional medicine, alternative healthcare, and occupations that may involve regular patient interaction, require technical skills, or both.
Think of health sciences as having 5 primary career paths:
Naturally, you’ll need some help narrowing down the list. Your high school career guidance office will likely have information, and your nearby university – especially if it offers health sciences degrees – has advisors to answer questions.
Here’s a quick look at a collection of careers requiring health sciences degrees. These careers have above-average growth potential through 2031. This information is from the U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook, where you can search by keywords to discover job titles that fit your talents and interests.
Occupational Therapy Assistants: 25%
Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) help patients recover and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. OTAs provide direct care to clients. OTAs work under the direction of Occupational Therapists in private practices, hospitals, rehabilitative centers, or senior care/assisted living facilities.
Doctors of Chiropractic: 10%
Doctors of chiropractic (D.C.s) are healthcare professionals focused on the diagnosis, care, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system and the associated effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health.
Exercise Scientists/Physiologists: 9%
The field of exercise science explores how humans move and the biomechanics affecting health and well-being. Various specialties within this field lead to many opportunities.
Those choosing an exercise science degree, for example, might serve as a wellness program director in a corporate setting, a health and wellness initiative manager for a community or state agency, or work in a hospital in a rehabilitative role. Exercise physiologists have an M.S. degree. They analyze patients’ medical histories and assess their risk factors to determine the best possible exercise and fitness regimen.
Clinical Laboratory Technologists & Technicians: 7%
Clinical Laboratory technologists and technicians, who typically have a biology/chemistry-focused degree, collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. Laboratory technologists and technicians are typically employed in hospitals, doctor’s offices, diagnostic laboratories, and governmental agencies.
Radiologic Technologists: 6%
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers or X-ray technologists, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays. Many “rad techs” have MRI, CT, and sonography certifications. They work in healthcare facilities, and more than half work in hospitals. Increasingly, rad techs are on the staff of group physician offices and urgent care centers.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in the Kansas City area suburb of Overland Park, Kansas. Founded in 1922, we’re on a mission to educate and develop leaders in health promotion.
CUKC students know who they are, what they want, and why they’re here. Whether they’re pursuing a college degree to become a Doctor of Chiropractic, a radiologic technologist, occupational therapy assistant (OTA), or perhaps a B.S. in the emerging field of exercise science, our students are passionate about helping others. Our student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1. (More about CUKC here.)
Here’s an overview of our degree offerings:
Need more information on CUKC health science degrees? CUKC admissions advisers are ready to answer your questions and navigate your options. Request more information about CUKC programs today. While you’re at it, be really prepared for success with our free eBook: Your Guide to Navigating College Financial Aid.