How to Choose a University for a Healthcare Career?Dr Shafiq
How to Choose a University for a Healthcare Career?
Deciding to pursue a healthcare career is a significant step. But perhaps an even bigger decision is deciding which university to study your healthcare course. Assuming you have already chosen which branch of healthcare to study, figuring out the kind of education you want, where to get it, and which programs will set you on your preferred career path is the next big decision.
Almost all universities around the world offer a healthcare course. Thus, it would be impossible to research each one of them. The key to any good research and preparation is narrowing down the data to narrow the search. Fortunately, we are here to help you do exactly that. The more facts, advice, and experiences you consider, the more effective your research will be and the more confident you will feel that you are making the right decision. Let’s see how to choose a university for a healthcare course.
1. Consider Your Healthcare Career Options
For most of us, a healthcare career usually means being a doctor or a nurse. But the healthcare path is more nuanced than that. Ask yourself what kind of career you want. This will help you narrow down your choices. Considering that some courses can take seven years of study and six figures for fees, you want to be sure of what you want to study before you commit.
Apart from traditional medical careers, you can look into allied healthcare careers. These are some of the fastest-growing careers in healthcare. They provide numerous opportunities for advancement, and they pay handsomely as well. They are more specialized since they offer support to traditional occupations.
Allied healthcare professions include medical technicians and technologists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and even administrative jobs. Statistically, these jobs make up about 60% of the employees in the US healthcare system, so you can be assured that they are in high demand.
2. Things to Consider before Choosing a University
If you are one of the lucky ones, you’ve probably known which healthcare sector you wanted to work in since you were little. However, if you are still unsure even after graduation, you should try to narrow it down. You can follow your heart’s desire, consult with a career adviser, or look at the job options in healthcare and see which entices you the most.
When picking a program, you’ll want to think about the educational requirements for your future career, your prospects after graduation, and the quality of your courses:
Allied Healthcare Requirements
If you are not willing to spend too much studying at university, maybe becoming a doctor is not your choice. However, other disciplines within healthcare have much shorter programs or even on-the-job training.
As discussed above, allied healthcare careers are wide and varied. Thus, the educational requirements are just as varied regardless of what level of education you are seeking.
However, most careers still require a certificate or an associate degree. Others may require some professional training. Fortunately, acquiring a certificate could take you less than a year, and you can advance your career in your chosen field.
The good thing about allied healthcare careers is that they take a short time to complete. They might require further education in the long run, but they do not make you wait too long before you start learning on the field and making a living. For instance, being a phlebotomist (the technician who draws blood and preps it for testing) can be achieved in under two months. From there, a phlebotomist can advance their career as quickly or slowly as they wish. Most phlebotomists advance from that to become surgical technologists and medical assistants.
Healthcare Careers in Demand
why study healthcare? Is healthcare a good career choice?
Regardless of your chosen career, the healthcare industry is a good employer. Almost every relevant set of skills and knowledge is in-demand. So, your prospects are excellent. However, in-demand careers change now and then, depending on the changes in the market. As such, always check the fastest-growing professions in the last two or so years to get insights into which career path you should follow.
Additionally, in-demand careers also vary depending on geographical locations and areas of specialty. Other considerations might include the cost of the program. For instance, if you need significant financial assistance for your studies, you probably should look into a field with high employment rates and good pay so that you are not saddled with debts for years.
Healthcare Program Quality
Assuming you have decided which course you want to take, it is time to choose the best university for your healthcare studies. Undoubtedly, factors like location, cost, and program structure are the first considerations for most students. However, the most crucial element in your decision should be the program’s quality. Here are three ways to judge the quality of the program:
Reputation is one of the best ways to judge the quality of any institution. However, just because a reputable university doesn’t always mean it’s the best. In this case, it has to be the best fit for you. Some schools are known for law; others are known for literature. The school should be reputable for the course you want to study. Some previously well-known schools could have lost their former glory. Thus, evaluating a university’s reputation using the most current standings is essential.
Regardless of your country of residence, there is always a regional or global guide to help you check university rankings worldwide. Additionally, you can also check other valuable details as well. For instance, check whether your preferred university has programs with hands-on training opportunities such as internships. Almost all universities will offer some certification upon graduation, but check what that certification is and what it will allow you to do after graduation. This might be an appropriate time to consult with a career expert or professionals in your chosen healthcare field.
Considering you will be spending 2-6 years of your life in this university, it is vital to investigate how good (or bad) the quality of student life is. University should be a place where you lay your professional foundation as well as advance your personal life. First and foremost, does the general environment (physical, cultural, mental, or otherwise) feel like a good fit for you? You’d like to stay at the university to be as comfortable as possible. Is the administration supportive? Are there clubs and societies beneficial to your course? How large are class sizes? Talking to current or former students is an excellent way to get a feel of the student’s life. Tour the school and perhaps talk to the admissions professionals if you can.
3. How to Start your Select a University
Now that you have chosen a future career and learned to choose a study program, how do you search and settle on a university of choice?
College fairs can be a valuable resource for you, especially if you are still in high school or recently graduated. They can help you evaluate between many universities and programs offered in a relatively short time. It is a more hands-on research method, as you will likely find school representatives offering admissions interviews.
You’ll be able to ask questions regarding various healthcare programs offered, academic requirements, application deadlines, student life on campus, etc. You’ll also be able to talk to the students and get a ‘feel’ of the school before joining it. They are a great way to help you weigh your options.
If you want more specific answers than what you can get at a college fair, you can arrange individual consultations with the university admissions staff. They can help you decide if your chosen healthcare program is a good fit for you. Sometimes, they can advise on alternative options to help you make a more informed decision. They can also advise on exams, financial aid, deadlines, and other necessary information.
These are the people you go to when you need specialized career advice. Students often make hasty, uninformed academic decisions that later ruin their chances of suitable employment, especially among high school graduates. A guidance counselor should be that constant expert you consult at every level of education. By looking at your interests, abilities, courses, and academic performance, a guidance counselor, can advise you on which healthcare programs are best for you.
Top 10 Best University for a Healthcare Career In the World 2023
- University of Oxford, United Kingdom
- University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Harvard University, United States
- Imperial College London, United Kingdom
- Tsinghua University, China
- Stanford University, United States
- University of Toronto, Canada
- UCL, United Kingdom
- Yale University, United States
- King’s College London, United Kingdom
Source: Times Higher Education
To select the best university for your career, you will need to collect and evaluate a lot of information. Once you have the information about what programs are available, you can then decide what factors matter to you the most. Then, you can start making a shortlist of programs and universities to apply to and seek advice where required.