Associate's Degree Versus a Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration
"Why get an associate's degree versus a bachelor's in healthcare administration"? is a question often asked to individuals enrolled in associate degree programs. With the way the healthcare industry is rapidly growing, the career outlook for healthcare and health services administration continues to look positive. Graduates of associate degree programs have many career opportunities available to them. Here are some reasons why some choose an associate's degree in healthcare administration rather than a bachelor's degree.
Some students choose to get an associate's degree versus a bachelor's in healthcare administration for financial reasons. Even with all the financial aid and student loans now available, getting an education can still be expensive. The tuition rates at most colleges are per credit, so there can be a big difference between a 60-credit associate's degree program versus a 120-credit bachelor's degree. When you factor in lodging, gas, food and miscellaneous college fees, it's substantially cheaper to earn the associate's degree in healthcare administration.
Many candidates are eager to begin their careers in healthcare administration once they'd decided on that career. Earning an associate's degree only takes two years to complete, while bachelor's degrees typically take four years. To candidates eager to begin working in this industry, two years can make a big difference. There are also online healthcare administration associate's degree programs offered through many colleges. The online programs allow students to do their school work from their homes at their own pace. The online student may also earn the associate's degree while also working, which is a great way for the student to complete any internship requirements the program may have.
Can Join the Workforce Sooner
U.S. News & World Report states that healthcare administration is one of the nation's most dominant industries and one that many candidates are eager to join. Completing an associate's degree program allows the individual to have the degree sooner and, therefore, join the workforce sooner. As soon as the individual begins working, he or she is gaining experience that can be beneficial to that job or any possible advancement. Graduates of associate's degree in healthcare administration programs are qualified for several entry-level jobs, such as medical records clerk, medical records coder, medical billing and coding specialist, medical office manager, front office supervisor, medical transcriptionist, health office manager, and customer service representative, among others.
Can Transfer to Bachelor's Degree
While some associate's degrees are geared toward the student who wants to work immediately after graduation, others are designed to act as stepping stones towards baccalaureate degrees. The candidate can still work with that associate degree, but it is also transferable to a bachelor's degree if and when the individual decides a bachelor's degree is the next step. Earning a bachelor's degree can then lead to management positions, particularly if the individual already has some work experience obtained from having an associate's degree.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical and health services managers should see job growth of 20 percent during the 2016-2026 decade. Graduates of healthcare associate's degree programs may be qualified for various entry-level positions in this field. Choosing an associate's degree versus a bachelor's in healthcare administration can have them working and gaining experience all that much sooner.