What is a Health Sciences Degree?

The healthcare industry is one that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects rapid growth in during the next decade, and a health sciences degree may help a student enter this lucrative and growing job market. From 2014 to 2024, the BLS expects healthcare occupations to grow by 19 percent, which is considered much faster growth than what the agency expects for all occupations. The BLS also reveals that healthcare positions often enjoy a higher median annual wage than the median wage amounts seen when all industries are averaged together.

Related Resource: 15 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences Degrees 2016-2017

Health Science Degree Basics

Students who enroll in health sciences programs usually have an interest in working in healthcare, and these programs are available in many formats at public colleges and private universities. Some programs offer students the convenience of online study. A health sciences degree is appropriate for individuals who wish to enter the workforce immediately after graduation, as well as for students interested in going on to more advanced degrees like those in dentistry, nursing, or pharmacology.

Some of the subjects a student may study in a health sciences program include epidemiology, nutrition, and healthcare management. In traditional bachelor’s degree programs, students will also take a variety of foundation courses or core courses in related areas that will help the student graduate with broad knowledge of essential skills like writing, mathematics, computers, and sociology. Classes a health sciences student may take include Ethical Issues in Healthcare, Health Law & Regulation, and Human Anatomy and Physiology. In addition, students may take a variety of science courses in chemistry and biology.

Occupations Available with a Health Sciences Degree

A recent graduate with a health sciences degree may seek out employment in the healthcare industry in a variety of roles within clerical situations, laboratory settings, counseling, and communications, as well as focused industries like dentistry, dietetics, and engineering. Students may even become part of the educational system in their community or take on a variety of science-related roles in the public, private, and government sectors.

Some general clerical positions available to a health sciences degree holder include Health Unit Coordinator, Medical Records Administrator, and Medical Secretary. Roles in a laboratory setting include Cytotechnologist, Histological Technician, and Medical Laboratory Technician. Interesting roles available within communications include Biomedical Illustrator, Health Science Writer, and Health Science Librarian.

These are just a small sampling of the roles available to health sciences graduates. Some types of employment may require additional training while others may be available to graduates seeking entry-level work. With most occupations associated with a health sciences degree, workers must exhibit excellent organizational and communication skills, as well as the aptitude and knowledge of medical terminology.

Learning Outcomes for a Health Sciences Graduate

A health sciences degree holder has many paths available, including enrollment in an advanced degree or professional program, entry into the healthcare industry, and work in the private, public, or government sector. Not only will a graduate receive specialized knowledge in general science and applied science, but the student will also receive broad, integrated knowledge that will help the student succeed in a health sciences role.

Students who wish to enter the health care industry and don’t yet have healthcare experience may wish to explore health sciences degree programs to learn about their educational options. Additionally, individuals in the workforce who already have experience in healthcare may wish to broaden their knowledge or obtain additional training with a health sciences degree. The swift job growth expected in the health care industry gives excellent value to a health sciences degree for any student seeking to expand his or her knowledge.