Getting An Healthcare Degree Online

Discover how to get an online healthcare degree for your specialty. 

There are many different specialties available in the healthcare industry. Healthcare is a popular field because it is always in high demand no matter where you live and also represents some of the highest paying jobs. While healthcare is commonly associated with doctors and surgeons, there are many other healthcare professions. Not all healthcare positions require extensive medical knowledge. There are many positions where you only need a basic understanding of medicine. Some positions focus on administrative tasks, such as managing finances for a hospital. Other roles involve assisting medical staff, but without needing all the training of a doctor. There are also specialty roles, such as administering medication or operating an X-ray.

Your chosen specialty determines how much training or education you need. There are many healthcare professions that do not require a full doctorate. In some cases, you only need to complete two years of college or a certification course. Many of these courses can be completed online.

Health Administrators

Health administrators handle the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities. They are responsible for coordinating medical staff and establishing workplace guidelines. In addition to understanding general healthcare policies, they must also understand medical laws. Healthcare administrators are also responsible for managing all the finances for a hospital or medical office. In a school setting, health administrators also create and oversee educational programs. Most health administrators rarely interact with patients and are not responsible for administering treatment. There are many different types of health administrator jobs available.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are most commonly found in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities. This also includes medical offices and select healthcare clinics. Medical assistants are technically classified as healthcare administrators, but many consider them a hybrid between administrative and medical roles. This is because they interact with patients much more than other health administrator roles.

Medical assistants get medical histories from patients. They are also responsible for explaining medical procedures and even help prepare patients for certain procedures. During an exam, a physician may ask the medical assistant to participate in a minor role. Medical assistants may also be asked to perform basic laboratory tests. Another role of medical assistants is explaining how to take medication or setting up special diets for their patients. In many facilities, medical assistants are also responsible for administering vaccinations and immunizations to patients.

On the administrative side, medical assistances enter patient information into the computer. They commonly answer phones and welcome new arrives. Another duty is updating medical records and filing insurance forms. Medical assistants often act as a middleman for laboratory services, making sure samples from their medical facility reaches the lab. They are also responsible for general billing and bookkeeping.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacist technicians are sometimes mistaken for general pharmacists. While the titles are almost identical, the two roles are different. Becoming a pharmacist requires much more training than a pharmacy technician. Technicians focus much more on the administrative side of running the pharmacy. This includes filing insurance claims and providing customer service. Pharmacy technicians fill out prescriptions, but this is based on the information provided by the pharmacist. 

The requirements to become a pharmacy technician greatly vary depending on your state. In most states, you are not required to get a degree to become a pharmacy technician, but you must complete a licensing course through either the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).


If you are interested in a traditional healthcare career where you treat patients and administer medicine, you want to become a physician. After earning a bachelor degree, physicians must complete four years of medical school and complete a residency. Many colleges offer healthcare bachelor degrees, but medical school programs are not as common. Additionally, you must complete your residency at a healthcare facility and not online.

Physicians provide preventive treatment to patients. This includes performing tests, diagnosing conditions and coming up with treatment plans. Physicians also explain medical conditions and advise patients on preventive care. Some physicians choose a specialty, such as only treating heart conditions or working with children.

University of Central Florida (UCF)

UCF offers one of the best online programs for health services administration. These courses focus on management roles in clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, public health agencies and long-term care centers. In addition to learning medical terminology, the classes focus on the financial and legal side of running a hospital or medical clinic. The bachelor’s program is accredited through the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

Pennsylvania State University

Penn State is an excellent college if you are more interested in accounting and financing within the medical community. The courses cover how to make financial decisions while managing a hospital. The program also teaches the different systems used in either hospitals, clinics, public health agencies or mental healthcare organizations. 

Boston University

Boston University is one of the best schools if you want to become a doctor. While the school has many healthcare programs available, the most relevant for future doctors is the health science program. The course focuses on general health concepts, including how to help lower income patients. You also learn how to diagnose patients and administer treatment. Boston University is one of the most prestigious healthcare colleges, which makes it much easier to apply for medical school and other advanced programs.

Financial Assistance

Students who attend courses online have access to the same financial aid as a student taking in-person classes. Many healthcare programs are expensive, especially the lengthier courses. Financial assistance comes in several forms, with the most popular being scholarships and grants. Both private corporations and nonprofit groups provide financial assistance. The type of financial assistance greatly varies based on where you attend school, but there are some general healthcare grants or scholarships available.

The HIMSS Foundation offers a scholarship for undergraduates pursuing a career in health information or management. The National Institutes of Health provide a scholarship for low-income students. The Maxine Williams Scholarship assists students taking a medical assisting course.