Bachelor of Health Science: Courses & Career Path
The Bachelor of Health Science degree will open a lot of doors for you in the healthcare industry. In essence, this field will provide you with the basics that can be applied in a wide range of healthcare professions. You can pick and choose from the different specialization that will provide you the most fulfilling career.
Here are two of the main reasons you may want to get a bachelor of health science:
- You can use this degree as a stepping stone toward a specialization. For example, you may want to specialize in sports science, nuclear biology, radiography, advanced patient care, clinical research, and many more. You do need to take further studies to pursue a specialization. But you won’t be accepted into these programs without this degree.
- You can use this degree as a stepping stone for earning a good living. The best thing the health science degree is that even if you are earning a good income, you will also feel like you are making a difference. This is characteristic of most fields in the healthcare industry where you deal directly with patients.
However, if you don’t have either the patience or budget to wait four years for your bachelor’s degree, you can opt for an associate’s degree in health science. You can still specialize, although your options are more limited. You can perhaps pursue a career as a medical administrative assistant, medical assisting, or pharmacy technician.
Depending on the program, a specialization of your choice may offered as well, such as medical administrative assistant and pharmacy technician.
One advantage of an associate’s degree is that you can get some units credited if you choose to follow a bachelor’s degree later on after you have saved enough money for the tuition. But make sure that your program is accredited by duly certifying bodies.
Here, you will learn what you need to do to earn a BS in Health Science, your career options, as well as your expected salary.
Health Science Degrees & Career Paths
As the foundational instruction for this degree, you will be taught different disciplines that will provide you with the skills and knowledge that can be applied in various healthcare professions.
If you have a health science degree, you can easily find work in these institutions:
- Research laboratories
- Private clinics
- Public health
- International NGOs
- Healthcare offices
- Government facilities
- Rehab and recovery centers
Meanwhile, if you don’t like to build a career in healthcare, you can also work a journalist specializing in health. With your foundation, you can easily explain the jargon and technical terms in simple language. You can also work as a community educator or a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.
The other options available to you are:
- Healthcare administration: You handle the administrative side such as medical records, data management, office management, marketing management, and community relations.
- Clinical health: You can also work as an assistant to the physician, a physical therapist, occupational therapist, dental hygienist, or nutritionist
- Public sector: If you want stability and good pay, you can work for the public sector. You can be a community health liaison, public health officer, epidemiologist, research specialist, health education educator.
Of course, you need further education to pursue a career in some of mentioned professions. The important thing is that your one foot is already inside the door, thanks to your BS in Health Science degree.
Bachelor of Health Science Career Options
What a BS in Health Science degree will give you is flexibility. Whether you want to specialize or just use your education to earn a good salary, you have all these options available to you.
- General programs will equip you with the requisite skills and knowledge that can be applied in different healthcare settings. You will also be afforded with the flexibility to try out several jobs so you will know which one to settle on.
- Specialization programs will give you a narrower career path. This is best if you really know what you like to do for the rest of your life.
If you have a health science degree, you can specialize in the following:
- Nuclear medicine
- Biomedical Sciences
- Global Health
- Regulatory Affairs
- Health Informatics
- Advanced Patient Care
- Computer Tomography
- Child Health
- Pre-Physical Therapy
- Pre-Physician Assistant
- Family Dynamics
- Healthcare Administration
- Aging Studies
What Types of Classes Do You Need?
The curriculum for health science degrees is characterized by its very wide spectrum of programs.
In essence, you need to soak in different disciplines and core courses so you can become familiar with the broad range of fields.
Among the courses you will learn include:
- Evidence-based research methods
- Communication and writing in the healthcare professions
- Healthcare system and issues on healthcare
- Dealing and managing culturally diverse populations
- IT applications in healthcare
- Financial management and issues
- Medical terms
- Health and safety in health environment
- Basic principles of public health
- Principles of Public Health
Not all programs offer the same courses. That’s why it’s essential to do your due diligence to research on their curriculum to see if the subjects appeal to you.
Is There On-the-Job Training?
Just like most Bachelor of Science degrees, you will also spend a lot of time honing your craft in real-life scenarios. All programs in health science require that you finish the number of hours of externship. The main aim is to equip you with hands-on training and enable you to perform the classroom teachings in a clinical setting.
The practicum typically takes place at the end of your course. The number of hours varies depending on the school. Typically, you will log in the same number of hours as professionals in a hospital, clinic, government agency, or a private health organization. You will be monitored and your performance assessed, which will go into your final grade.
How Much do Health Science Graduates Earn?
The beauty of a health science degree is the many opportunities available to you. You can essentially work in almost every field in the healthcare industry. As such, the salary will also vary according to your job and your specialization.
Just to set some examples of how much a certain job will earn, consider the facts below:
- A medical technician or a lab technologist has a median salary of $51,770
- A dietitian or nutritionist has a median salary of $59,410
- A community health educator has a median salary of $45,360
Those are entry-level salaries. However, you can potentially earn more if you decide to take graduate studies. For instance:
- A medical health services manager can earn $98,350 annually
- A physical therapist can earn as much as $86,850 annually
- An occupational therapist has an annual income of $83,200
- An epidemiologist can earn about $69,660 each year
The source of the salary levels is the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How Does a Health Science Degree Benefit You?
The world’s population, not just the US, is rapidly aging. And that means that the demand for doctors and other healthcare professionals is increasing. Earning a degree in health science will prepare you for a good career in healthcare.
You will really carve a niche in this industry, and will also ensure that your future and your family’s future are going to be bright.
Because the industry needs workers, there are several financial aids, scholarships, and other student loans programs that you can take advantage of.
You can follow this link to find the best scholarship or financial aid for you. Among the programs are offered by The National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Program, Tylenol Future Care Scholarship, Gates Millennium Scholarship, and others.
You can also visit the loan forgiveness programs resource page so you can gain insights and tips on how to apply for this benefit.
What Can You With Your Health Science Degree?
While you can certainly work directly after finishing your course, you should also consider further education to open more doors for you in terms of career choices.
For instance, you can pursue a Master of Health Science degree, which will enable you to focus on the following fields:
- Healthcare Policy
- Clinical Research
- Healthcare Risk Management
- Healthcare Leadership
Earning your Master’s in Health Science will allow you to pursue a career you really love in the fields of health informatics, health education, public health, and communication, health services management, and others.
Meanwhile, you can earn a health sciences certificate. This will only take 12 months or less, unlike the graduate program, which typically takes 24 months including thesis.
The certificate will allow you to pursue specializations in environmental health sciences, public health sciences, pre-health, and global health, among others. In fact, this could be the pragmatic solution if you don’t want to spend too much time earning more units.
Accredited Bachelor of Health Science Program
You can choose to earn a degree on-campus or through online courses.
Whatever you do, please don’t forget that the program you take is accredited. If not, it would be the most expensive worthless piece of paper you can have. All hospitals and government healthcare agencies will ask for your documents when you apply for a job.
One of these documents they will inspect is whether the program you choose is accredited. For practical reasons, scholarships and loan assistance programs also insist that your school is accredited before you can apply for one.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the main body that does the accreditation of health sciences programs. But it’s not the only one. You can follow this list of accrediting agencies from the US Department of Education to be sure.