health science careers

What Can You Do with a Health Science Degree?

Economists predict that unemployment rates will surge in 2024, but despite this, the healthcare industry will experience continued market growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health occupations are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, with about 1.8 million job openings expected annually between 2022 and 2032.

Health sciences professionals are always going to be in demand, especially as baby boomers reach old age, new advancements are made in medicine, and the general population prioritizes their wellbeing. As such, a wealth of job opportunities will become available for those holding a health science degree.

Of course, health science is an enormous field, with pathways in environmental health, healthcare administration, laboratory technology, research, nutrition, and more. The careers you can pursue with a health science degree are vast.

As a leader in healthcare education, Goodwin explores the prospects of a health science degree, as well as examples of careers you can achieve with an associate or bachelor’s degree in health science, below.

What is Health Science?

Health science is a broad field of study that’s focused on improving human and animal health through scientific research. Health science involves the discovery and analysis that is later applied to medicine, nutrition, fitness, therapy, and other health-related fields.

Health science professionals are well-versed in topics related to health care, disease prevention, laboratory research, and health promotion. They may work in hospitals, private practices, research centers, government agencies, biotech laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities, animal clinics, and more. Health science careers are largely research and lab-based, as they are focused on exploring and developing new processes, technologies, and treatments to apply to the medical field.

What is a Health Science Degree?

A health science degree helps people become experts in the natural and behavioral sciences, and apply those subjects to health and medicine. Health science degree programs typically cover topics related to health and wellness, public health, research methods, medical terminology, as well as basic sciences like chemistry and microbiology. These courses are designed to provide candidates with a solid foundation in a variety of health-related topics, so that they can explore different fields of study, prepare for relevant careers, or pursue graduate programs in the future.

There are different types of health science degrees, at the associate and bachelor’s level. What you can do with a health science degree will depend on which one you pursue. Associate degree graduates are prepared for entry-level careers in health science. Bachelor’s degree graduates are positioned for more advanced opportunities in health science, as well as master’s degree programs.

No matter your goals, a health science degree is a great pathway to explore different areas of healthcare and complete an impactful degree in a shorter timeframe. Health science programs do not require many years in medical school, and are often offered in flexible formats. At Goodwin University, the health science programs are offered on days, evenings, and weekends, with online, on-campus, and hybrid courses available.

Who Should Consider a Health Science Degree?

Health science is a great career pathway for those who are passionate about science and improving the health and wellbeing of others, but who may not wish to provide direct patient care. Health science professionals work behind-the-scenes and conduct meaningful work that is essential to advancing healthcare for the greater good. Often, those who consider a health science degree are those who wish to:

  • Explore different areas of health and discover their career interests.
  • Advance their current careers in healthcare with additional education.
  • Fulfill college credits needed for a career.
  • Launch an entry-level career in healthcare, without spending years in medical school.
  • Change jobs to the healthcare field without a big time investment.
  • Qualify for healthcare certifications with a degree under their belts.
  • Prepare for graduate degree programs, such as a healthcare administration, public health, or chiropractic program, by earning a relevant bachelor’s in Health Science.

What Can You Do with a Health Science Associate Degree?

An associate degree in Health Science is designed to prepare students for entry-level health careers. This degree can be completed in two years (or less), and enables students to explore different topics in healthcare prior to choosing their career path. Examples of pathways you can qualify for with an associate degree in Health Science include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral analysis
  • Community health
  • Health education
  • Mental health counseling
  • Patient care advocacy
  • Research

An associate degree in Health Science can also be a great option for entry-level professionals who already have a certification or license, but need college credits to launch their career. It is an affordable and fast-paced degree option that can be a steppingstone to a great career.

Examples of careers you can pursue with a health science degree at the associate level include:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:

Many people ask, “Can you become a sonographer with a health science degree?” The answer is yes! Medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technicians or ultrasonographers, use advanced imaging technologies to test patients or capture specific body parts (broken limbs, brain scans, etc.) for medical diagnosis. These professionals are dedicated to the preservation of health by diagnosing and preventing disease. They analyze the captured images for any abnormalities and decide if further imaging is needed before delivering to a primary doctor.

  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT):

EMTs are trained ambulatory professionals that respond to emergency 911 calls. They rush to medical emergencies, diagnose patients on-scene, and provide basic life support services such as CPR, all while transporting them to the hospital. EMTs are trained in a range of emergency skills, from treating shock to controlling bleeding, administering oxygen to stabilizing patients, assisting in child birth to reviving drug overdose patients.

  • Pharmacy Technician:

Pharmacy technicians prepare and distribute medications under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. They can work in a pharmacy or in patient care settings, stocking prescription drugs and pharmaceutical supplies, pricing and ordering inventory, and maintaining records.

What Can You Do with a Health Science Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in Health Science is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skillsets needed for advanced careers in public health, research, and more. This degree provides an in-depth understanding of how to prevent and respond to serious health problems that arise within the field.

Examples of careers you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science include:

  • Healthcare Administrator:

Healthcare administrators plan, direct, and coordinate the business operations of healthcare facilities. They manage departments and practices, recruit and train staff members, set goals for the organization, and ensure high-quality care is provided and compliance is met by providers. They manage the finances behind the bustle of patient care, and help to create processes that make for a more efficient healthcare experience in their place of work.

  • Epidemiologist:

Epidemiologists investigate patterns and causes of disease in populations. They spend their days researching new methodologies to prevent disease, educating the public about preventive health, and developing policies to ensure patient demands are met. In our post-pandemic world, epidemiologists are needed more than ever to prevent and manage future public health crises, such as infectious disease outbreaks.

  • Nutritionist:

Nutritionists are health science professionals who help others make better decisions regarding their diet. They work directly with patients or clients to determine their nutritional needs (for health conditions or for dietary needs like weight loss) and develop plans to help improve their overall health and lifestyle. Nutritionists may work in clinical settings such as a hospital, managerial settings such as schools, or community organizations such as public health agencies.

  • Health Educator:

Health educators promote wellness to the greater good, teaching individuals and communities about various health topics, including how to manage health conditions and how to find proper healthcare. Health educators also assist doctors in educating patients about medical conditions, treatments, and procedures.

  • Medical Technologist:

Medical technologists (MTs), also known as clinical laboratory scientists (CLSs), are the true leaders of the laboratory team. On one end, they oversee use of the laboratory: standardizing, maintaining, and troubleshooting equipment. MTs also organize, supervise, and perform qualitative and quantitative diagnostic analyses on laboratory specimens, to identify patient conditions and determine proper treatments.

Graduates holding a bachelor’s in Health Science will also be qualified to pursue graduate-level degrees such as a master’s in Public Health (MPH), master’s in Nursing (MSN), and more.

The Health Sciences Career Cluster

As you research what you can do with a health science degree, you may come across the health science career cluster. The health science career cluster is a phrase used to describe a group of occupations that require a health-related skillset, and that can often be attained with a health science degree in hand.

The health science career cluster is sometimes used to describe a type of education, as well, focused on teaching students to become healthcare professionals. Once known as vocational education, certain schools focused on the health science career cluster will offer technical, career-focused training programs to develop skillful and knowledgeable health professionals.

What Will you Do with a Health Science Degree?

Whether an associate or bachelor’s, a health science degree can prepare you to take on a range of positions in the healthcare field. And the job opportunities are growing. With many of the fastest-growing jobs currently being in healthcare, there is no doubt that now is the time to take your step forward and earn the education you deserve.

To learn about all the health science degree programs available at Goodwin University, or to explore other tracks related to healthcare education, please visit us online or call 800-889-3282 today.