Do you need experience in healthcare prior to applying to a Bachelor’s in Health Services program? For students who are interested in helping clean up the health care mess in this country, the question is important because knowing the requirements for the degree prior to applying will make it easier for them to get into the program of their choice, according to The New York Times.Here’s what students need to know when applying for the program in America.

Resource: 15 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences Degrees

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Most accredited undergraduate universities and colleges do not require any healthcare background prior to applying for the health sciences program. This is because the program is designed to help students earn entry-level jobs in the field, making it easier for them to work up to a graduate degree and more advanced positions in the future. Because the bachelor degree is often the basic requirement for many positions in the healthcare field, it is very difficult for students with no college education to get work prior to attending university.

Transfer and Non-traditional Students

The possible exception to the rule of work or volunteer requirements comes into play for transfer, second-career, and nontraditional students. Since all of these students have either had prior education, have perhaps earned an undergraduate degree in another field, are entering into online education, or another situation, having some prior knowledge in healthcare-related services is often preferred by these departments. These requirements vary based on whether a student has an associate’s degree in a related field, is applying for an online placement, or is transferring with enough credits to move straight into the major without the need to fulfill any general education curriculum requirements.

Work Experience Can Be Beneficial

A background in healthcare, through a job or an internship, can prove beneficial to a student while finishing their education. While not a requirement for any program, it can serve to help a student combine the concepts they’re taught in the classroom with real-world involvement in the healthcare field. Involvement in the sector can also lead to internship and work placement opportunities, something that students ought to consider prior to applying for this program. A background in healthcare can also be beneficial for students, because some schools do place a preference on candidates who have already had some involvement in healthcare.

Volunteer Work Can Help With Internships

Volunteer work is a great way to gain a background in healthcare; it can also be helpful for a student when applying for a degree in the field. That’s because although volunteer work is not necessary for entry into a program, it can help down the line with internship and practicum requirements. Volunteering in the field will also demonstrate to the department that the student applying for the program is serious about this path and will give them an advantage over other applicants that have no background in healthcare at all.

A lot of change and dedicated professionals are needed when it comes to the healthcare industry in this country. From physician assistants to health policy analysts, each profession in this field requires well-educated and passionate students. The next time you find yourself asking, do I need experience in healthcare prior to applying to a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences program, ask yourself instead, how can I get involved in the healthcare sector today to show universities I’m committed to making this country a healthier place to live in?