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6 Key Points to Consider When Pursuing a Healthcare Career Online

Are you thinking about a career in healthcare? Today there are many program options to choose from including online programs that offer college degrees, diplomas, or certifications in varying healthcare fields. Blackstone Career Institute offers a variety of online diploma and certification programs in allied healthcare career training.

If you are considering obtaining education for a career in healthcare through online courses, there are important factors to keep in mind when making your decision and before moving forward.

1. Accreditation

Since there are numerous organizations and schools that offer healthcare training programs online, make sure that the school or university you choose is accredited. Accreditation means that the institution has met the required educational standards to provide the coursework and correct training, and ready students for their chosen careers. As well, accrediting bodies provide suggestions to the organization for improvements in their educational programs over time.

Accreditation is granted to a school or university by the national governing organization Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Usually, an accredited school such as Blackstone Career Institute also has accreditation given by a regional commissioning agency.

2. Coursework, Transcripts, and Success Rates

When choosing an online program offered through a school, be sure to review the application and training program requirements for the healthcare career you are seeking. Most schools require a minimum of high school graduation or GED completion.

You also want to find out if your certification upon graduation and the courses that you completed count toward credits that can be transferred in case you want to advance your healthcare career. Check the online coursework to make sure it aligns with your desired healthcare career.

Equally important is knowing if the programs being offered are established programs or relatively new. Know the reputation of the school or institution. Does it have a regional or national branding identity for its programs?

It is also valuable to know the success rate of students: how many complete graduation of those who enrolled in a specific program, and how many found jobs in their field.

3. Check Out the Admissions & Enrollment Process

Since making contact with a person in the Admissions Department—whether by phone or an email contact form—is usually the first step in the application and enrollment process, assess whether the enrollment process is easy or difficult.

Ask if there is an individual you can speak with to help you decide which program best fits your interests and needs. Note if the admissions representative responds in a timely manner to your calls and/or emails after submitting your application form.

4. Explore the Time It Takes to Complete the Healthcare Program

Once you decide on which online healthcare diploma, certificate, or degree program you would like to pursue, keep in mind the length of time needed to complete the program and your personal schedule. Most online programs allow you the freedom to work at your own pace; some have to be completed within a specific time frame.

Coursework training time required to obtain a home health aide certification may be different than the training time to become a  pharmacy technician. Depending on what healthcare career path you are choosing, and whether you are obtaining a degree or certification, the time for program completion can vary from six months to 14 months or longer.

You must consider how much time you can commit to education training, when you can realistically complete the program, and how soon you want to be employed in your healthcare career.

5. Student Support

Since online courses can be socially isolating, find out if the school provides a way for you to connect with other students in the same program. How available is the faculty to provide support and answer questions that you might have? Who can you rely on and contact for coursework challenges?

Does the school’s mission line up with your personal educational values and goals? Blackstone Career Institute’s Mission is “committed to providing quality, relevant and affordable distance education programs that focus on the knowledge and skills needed for entry-level careers, professional development or personal goals.” Programs are focused on training in allied healthcare careers as well as continuing education.

Find out how to access study materials and how and when they are released. Will textbooks be required or are e-books used? You need to know what computer requirements are for taking the coursework.

Compare costs with other organizations offering the same or similar allied healthcare career programs. If you are a member or former member of the military, ask if there are programs offered at a discount or geared toward veterans who wish to pursue a healthcare career.

Find out if and how the school prepares students to take certification or licensing exams required by your chosen healthcare field’s state licensing organization.

6. Employment After Graduation Assistance

Assistance with job placement after completing training may be offered through the school’s Career Services Department. Even if job placement services are not provided, the school should at least provide you with resources to be successful in finding employment.

Keep all these points in mind before making a final decision on when and where to pursue your healthcare career online training program.