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What the Medical Field Can Provide You

What Can The Medical Field Provides You Careeer Wise

Anyone trying to figure out which career field to pursue will ask themselves “how will that help me?”  This is a great question to ask. You want to know how you can benefit from your career choice. This can be especially true if you are thinking about entering the field of medicine or healthcare.

One of your first steps in beginning any career search is to evaluate your personal needs and desires. What are you short and long-term goals? Do you want an entry level job or to be a top executive? How much education do you want to obtain? How will your family be affected by your career choice?

These are just a few questions to help you assess your personal goals. You can also assess your existing strengths and weaknesses and compare those to the medical field to see if they align.

Once you have evaluated yourself, you can begin to evaluate the industry itself. Look at all aspects of the medical field. Below is information to help you get started.


Variety of Career Choices

The medical field is one of the largest regarding the career options available. Many of these areas require certification or minimal higher education. Meaning, you can get into the field quickly.

Career choices in the allied health sector include medical assisting, pharmacy technology, medical office administration, healthcare administration and vocational nursing.

Specific careers in these areas may include phlebotomy, medical billing and coding, nursing assistants, medical transcriptionists, medical records technicians, medical secretaries, clinical laboratory technicians, home health aides, and diagnostic medical sonographers.

Other careers are radiologic technicians, social service assistants, occupational and physical therapy assistants.

By obtaining education in these fields, you will have the foundation to pursue other careers in healthcare that may require additional education. Careers such as healthcare technology support, healthcare management, physicians, registered nurses, supervisory and executive leadership positions.

You will also find variety when it comes to choosing which side of the medical field you want to work the  clinical or administrative.


You Can Work on the Clinical or Administrative Side

Unlike many other careers, in the medical field you can choose to work directly with patients or to not work with them at all. The medical field has opportunities for administrative positions in which staff focus on duties that help the business of a facility run successfully.

Processing insurance claims, billing, coding, and maintaining patient databases are a few examples. Common careers include health information clerk, coder, medical records clerk and front-office staff.

Other healthcare administrative careers can include management in the areas of billing, records and overall office functions. It would be your job to make sure the clinic, hospital or other agency is operating at full potential.

On the clinical side of the medical field, you may choose to work in a laboratory setting, as a caregiver, or as an assistant to a physician or other medical provider. You will work directly with the patients and provide clinical services to patients.

Clinical staff provide a wide range of services, including taking blood from patients, administering medication, taking vital signs, and any other procedure ordered by the doctor.

The amount of time you want to spend with a patient directly can you decide whether you want to work on the clinical or administrative side of the medical field.

On either side, there are opportunities to begin working in the medical field within a short period.


Quick Entry into Your Career

The certification, fast-track, and degree programs provided at the local college level can have you working within the medical field in less than two years. And in many cases, less than one year.

Fast-track training is typically provided for medical assistants, office administration, and even vocational nursing. This means whether you want to work in clinical or administrative jobs, you can.

Associate degree programs allow you to begin working in the medical field in under two years.

If at a later point you want to seek a higher position in the medical field, having obtained a certificate or associate degree will prepare you for what will be expected in a bachelor program. Local colleges often provide the pre-requisites needed to obtain further education.

And because local colleges provide online courses, you can continue to work in the medical field while obtaining your education.


Job Security

The medical industry is growing and is expected to continue to grow at high rates through 2024. Currently, there is a shortage of staff in most areas of the medical industry. This means you will likely have more job security when pursuing a career in healthcare.

Of course, this does not guarantee security. But it does mean that if you are providing great services and fulfilling your job duties, the likelihood of keeping your job is high.

You can also expect a salary and benefits that are very desirable.


Attractive Salaries

Salaries at all levels of in the medical field are considered attractive and are expected to grow as the industry grows.

Many salaries are accompanied by a benefits package and perks that only add to the advantages of working in the medical field.

Examples of salaries in the medical field, as reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, include the following: medical billers and coders make an average of $34,000 a year or $16 a year; Phlebotomists average $33,000 annually; pharmacy technicians average $15 an hour or $31,000 a year; medical records technicians make higher salaries, averaging close to $40,000 annually; and medical assistants average around $31,000.

Other positions in the medical field include laboratory technicians who can make over $50,000 a year, like occupational therapy assistants, as well as sonographers who can earn closer to $55,000. Radiologic technicians average near $70,000 a year, which compares closely to nurses.

In conclusion, the medical field can offer you all these things and more. It can even offer you the one thing most people desire but are not able to obtain, the ability to make a difference.

Nursing vs. Medical Assisting

Nursing vs. Medical Assisting

You want to go into the medical field. It has been a dream of yours to work with patients and doctors. You have made the decision to pursue your dream. However, you are not sure if you should pursue nursing or medical assisting.

Each has a long list of advantages, and both are great careers. So, how do you decide on which path to choose?

You can start by learning some of the differences between the two, which are listed below.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Areas of Focus

Medical assistants are assets on the administrative side of healthcare. This means they will focus on learning the software used to enter patient data, as well as knowing how to communicate with insurance agencies and submit patient claims.

Medical assistants will complete billing procedures, accounting, scheduling and maintain compliance. They must have good interpersonal skills, pay close attention to details and be able to learn the medical vocabulary used in daily practices.

Medical assistants are cross trained on the clinical side of healthcare, as well as the administrative side. When obtaining education for this career, students attending a local college will learn all the valuable clinical skills to help them assist doctors before, during and after patient visits.

Clinical skills include drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures, preparing and administering medications, and collecting and preparing specimens. Furthermore, they will learn to take medical histories, prepare patients for their exam, and complete laboratory testing as assigned by the doctor.

Nurses work directly with patients and provide services to the patients. Therefore, they will need to know the human body, physiology, anatomy, human development and diseases or disorders. They need to know symptoms common to illnesses.

By attending a local college, nurses will take courses that teach them all necessary information vital to their job.

Nurses also need to know how to report information to practitioners. They need to know how to provide accurate assessments and take quality patient notes. Furthermore, nurses need to know pharmacology and stay up to date with community health issues that can affect the patients they see.

Both nursing and medical assisting require education that can be easily obtained at your local college.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Education Needed

Both medical assistants and nurses must obtain their education through an accredited college program.

Medical assistants can achieve the required education much quicker than nurses. Local colleges often offer fast-track training for medical assisting that can be completed in 12 months or less.

And many programs prepare you for taking medical assisting exams for certification that can help you when seeking employment.

Nursing certificate programs, either as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), can be completed in 14 months or less at your local college.

Both medical assistant and nurses can specialize in their field. Medical assistants have the choice of specializing in clinical or administrative duties.

Nurses have many more options when it comes to specialization. Some of the areas available include: Endocrinology, Orthopedics, Cardiac Nursing, Critical Care, Drug and Alcohol, Psychiatric, Emergency, Trauma, Genetics, and Forensics.

Some companies require their medical assistants and nurses to be licensed, which can mean passing licensure exams. This extra work pays off, however, when it comes to salaries.


Nursing Vs. Medical Assisting: Salaries

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics report there is a sixteen percent increase in the need for nurses in the next few years. Registered nurses earn close to $70,000 depending on geographic location, type of company and amount of education and experience.

Medical assistants also have a very positive job growth outlook and are expected to continue to grow through 2024. Annual salaries for medical assistants are lower than that of nurses, with the average around $30,000.


Nursing Vs. Medical Assisting: Places of Employment

The agencies in which nurses and medical assistants are very similar. Both can find employment working for a private practice physician, urgent care centers, hospitals and laboratories. Other employment opportunities can be found working for specialists, surgeons, nursing homes and physical therapy centers.

Nurses can also seek employment with schools, from elementary and high school to colleges. Medical assistants can also seek employment with public health agencies in their administrative departments.

While the job locations are similar, the duties of a nurse and a medical assistant are different.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Job Duties

When you enter a medical facility, the person you are likely to see is a medical assistant. Medical assistants check patients in and prepare them for their visit, whether at a hospital or a family practice. They collect insurance information, check identification, process fees and any other important administrative duties that help the visit be successful.

Nurses work directly with the patients. They check the blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. They also administer medications; take blood work and many other duties that require specific nursing training.

Nurses do have some administrative duties, like writing patient notes, documenting progress and vital information and any other records to help in the treatment of the patient.

Nurses are assistants to the doctors and in many cases perform duties on behalf of the doctor.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Certification and Licensure

Nurses can get certified through many agencies. The employer they wish to work for may have a preference so checking with them is a good first start.

Some of the agencies that provide certification exams include the National Council State Boards Nursing- PN or NCLEX-PN.

Each state will have different processes for licensing LVNs and LPNs.

Medical assistants focusing on the clinical side of the industry can get licensed too. Each state varies on their requirements. However, it is likely the certification will be a pre-requisite to taking a licensing exam.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting:  Where to Start

The good news is that both nursing and medical assisting programs begin at your local college. Whether you have questions about the differences in the two program or you are ready to enroll, contact your local college for help.

The Administration Side of Healthcare

Medical Administration

When most people think of healthcare, the first people who come to mind are the doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurses, radiologists, and other medical staff. This is normal since the people you interact with the most when you visit a healthcare facility are the service providers.

These are also the employees you and your insurance companies pay for you to see and be treated.

However, some of the most important staff in the healthcare industry are the administrators. Without healthcare administration, medical staff would not be able to complete their jobs effectively. They are the staff behind the scenes that make the healthcare facility run efficiently.

Currently, there are over 300,000 healthcare administration positions being run from middle management to top level executives. Many more are working in lower level administration positions in areas such as admissions, discharge, billing and front-office.

Lower level jobs do not mean lower importance. Just the opposite is true. Without these staff members, functionality of each office would decline.

Below are specific details about the administration side of healthcare.


What Is Healthcare Administration?

Almost every successful business has a team of professionals making the business work. While some agencies are independently owned and run, the majority have help. They need help because it can be difficult to provide good services and schedule appointments and market the business and collect payments and document notes and keep up with supply inventories and on and on.

Services providers in the healthcare industry need help with the business side of things so they can stay focused on being a great provider. This is true in many industries. Musicians, pro athletes and actors have agents and representatives and financial managers.

They have social media marketers, schedulers and even people who do their shopping. These are people we don’t see in the spotlight. They are working behind the scenes to continue the success of the star and give the public what they want. This is like those working in healthcare administration.

The administrators in healthcare are less seen by patients. They are not recognized as much but should be due to their importance in helping systems, policies, human resources, budgets, customer satisfaction and much more run smoothly.


Academic Requirements

The level of job you wish to have within the healthcare industry will determine how much education is required. The higher you want to rise, the more education you will need. There are great jobs at every level, however.

With a bachelor’s degree, you can obtain entry-level management positions, giving you the basics of accounting, human resources, computer applications, and leadership. A degree will also prepare you for what will be expected by different companies.

This can include coding and billing, electronic databases, drug classifications, marketing, budgeting, and creating and implementing policies.

If you plan to seek jobs higher in the industry, you may be required to obtain master level degrees that can further train you on management and supervision of staff, development and how to seek funding opportunities, and expansion.


Where You Can Work

A degree in healthcare administration allows you to apply for jobs in many industry agencies. Just think about the many places you visit in which you receive some type of healthcare service. This may be your local urgent care. It could be your family physician’s office. It could even be the hospital in your area.

Other areas you can work include nursing homes, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, inpatient and outpatient centers, mental health facilities, and specialty clinics. Specialty clinics can range from dental, orthopedic, and even optometry.

Additional healthcare environments include universities and research institutions, research laboratories, government departments that focus on healthcare, major health associations or clubs, pharmaceutical companies, medical supplies and equipment companies, and even writing or consulting as an independent contractor.

With this many work settings, you can imagine just how many jobs may be available.


Jobs You Can Seek

Having a degree in healthcare administration sets you up for a wide range of job opportunities. You can investigate the different areas and seek employment in a job that best meets your needs and desires.

Many healthcare administrators become managers in fields ranging from billing and medical records. Others become the manager of staff within a facility, and some run the entire agency on their own.

Other jobs deal with promotion of healthcare services in the marketing department, overseeing the hiring and firing of staff, implementing office policies, or collecting and analyzing data for your organization.

Some healthcare jobs combine multiple duties into one job description. Meaning, you may be asked to run the human resources department, do cost accounting, serve as a patient advocate and serve as a liaison between your organization and the community.

With a business degree like the one you can obtain at your local college; you can be prepared for all these duties.


Positive Job Outlook

Because the healthcare industry is growing, administration jobs are also growing. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, healthcare administration positions are expected to grow at least 17% in the next five years.

They further state there is an increase in salaries in healthcare administration too. It is reported the annual average salary of medical administrators and managers is close to $100,000. Of course, this will vary based on geographic location and the type of facility in which you work.


Where to Start

If you are seeking employment as a healthcare administrator, the first place to start is at your local college. You do not need to attend a large four-year university to get a degree in healthcare administration.

You would spend more money and more time only to compete with students chose to attend their local college.

Choosing a local college allows you to complete online courses, work at the same time you attend school, meet industry professionals, and for typically less money.

You can even begin your journey today by reaching out to your local college that offers a degree program in healthcare administration.




Tips for Planning a Career Path

Planning A Career Path

Times have changed. When staying with one company, one career, and retiring with a nice pension were the way to live a few decades ago, that is not the case today. One reason is that pensions and retirement plans are not what they used to be.

Another reason is that more people like change and want to pursue careers that are more fitting to their lifestyle. People realize that today, you can truly become anything you want to become. You can open your own business, have multiple part-time jobs instead of one full-time job, and you can easily and quickly get any type of education you want.

Some reports suggest people will change careers 12 or more times in their lifetime today. This may give anxiety to those who were raised to stick with one employer. But it gives excitement and hope to those who are constantly seeking something better.

The ability to change careers means you will need to create a plan for your career path. You may even plan multiple career paths, depending on how many times you seek change.

Below are some tips to get you started. Whether you are seeking promotion within a company, entrepreneurship, or a radical employment switch, these tips can help.


Assess Why You Want a Career Path

Before you can do something, you must know why it is you want to do it. You want to make sure you are not making decisions based on passing whims and that there are legitimate reasons for seeking a career.

Questions to help you determine why include:  Am I in a career now? If not, do I need a career and why? If so, is my current career satisfying? What are the pros and cons of leaving my current job? How will another career affect my family and lifestyle?

Expand on your answers and develop new questions to help you figure out why you are seeking a career.


Assess Yourself

The more you discover about yourself, the more you can determine which career path is right. If you enjoy working in a hospital, it would not be ideal for you to apply for a job in the air-conditioning and heating business.

What are your likes and dislikes? What hobbies and interests do you have? What do you do in your spare time? What transferable skills do you have? What skills do people compliment you on the most? What types of awards or recognition have you received in the past?

These are questions to get you started in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. You can apply this information when deciding which career field to enter.

Make sure you assess your needs versus your wants. You may want to work as a clerk at the local bookstore, but your expenses, debts and lifestyle may need you to be a director of a library.


Research Careers

It would not be wise to assume you will like working in a career field based on an observation you made. You may have only gotten a brief snapshot of that career, on a good day, a Friday when everyone may have just been excited about the weekend.

It’s important you research, in detail, the careers in which you are interested. Do not go by information you learn online only. Information such as salaries and job duties can vary depending on employer, geographic location, education and experience. It can also vary based on how well you can negotiate.

Instead, take what you have learned online and verify it with people already working in the industry. If you want to be a nurse, set up a meeting with a local nurse and ask a lot of questions. If you want to be an accountant, job shadow an accountant during tax season.

Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics site to gain information about trending and popular career fields. Here you can find accurate information on which careers are paying the most, which careers will be around for a while, and which ones are in high demand for workers.

Get the most information you can before making your decision. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be.


Assess What it Will Take to Get a Career

You have already assessed yourself, your skills, likes and dislikes and more. Now it is time to determine what you need to reach the goal of a career.

Do you need a college degree? If so, what level do you need? Do you have a college degree but need more education? If so, how much? Do you need certificate training or an associate degree? Do you need higher than an associate degree?

You will also need to assess where you can obtain further education if needed.

A great step would be to visit your local college. They have advisors who can help you plan the educational journey of getting the career you desire. They can also help you enroll, either online or on-campus or both, to complete the education you need.

Local college advisors can help you obtain the education needed, in the quickest time possible, and in a format that fits your lifestyle. They can even help you discover funding resources to help you pay for your education.


Set Short and Long-Term Goals

Without goals, you have no direction. And while goals can be easily changed, it is still good to have both short and long-term when beginning your career plan. Short-term goals focus on what you want to happen in the next year or less. Long-term goals focus on what you want to happen after a year, even five or ten years into the future.

Each goal should have a sub-goal, or smaller steps mapped out to help you reach the larger goal. With each sub-goal accomplished, mark it off and feel rewarded for getting closer to the finish line.

In conclusion, if you want a career that is different from what you are doing now, you can have it. All you need is a good plan to help you get started.

How Can Education Further Your Career?

How Education Further's your Career

You may be asking yourself questions regarding your career, like “Am I satisfied?” or “Are my goals still the same?” You may be trying to figure out if you are still energized in your job, if your leader is good a leader, or if you want to change career paths altogether.

The answers to these questions may lead you to the desire for a change, which does not always mean you need to quit your job and move across the country. Change can simply mean improving your current situation by obtaining more education.

Researchers have found that obtaining more education, even with a certification or associate degree program, can further your career in many ways. Keep reading to discover some of the benefits education can provide to your professional life.


You Know More

This advantage may seem obvious, but its importance should be emphasized. The more knowledge you have, the powerful you are. Education is something no one can take away from you. It can set you apart from competitors and it can be rewarding both internally and externally.

The more knowledge you gain, the more you may be an expert in leader in that category. More knowledge can bring positive attention to your work from the higher ups. When they start to notice you, your opportunities for promotion and growth within a company may increase.

Making efforts to further your education can show others your strong work ethic.


Work Ethic

Work ethic is a set of values that show you have discipline to get jobs done. It also means you feel rewarded and accomplished when you complete projects successfully. It means you can focus and stay on track until you produce high quality results.

Employers want to hire staff with a strong work ethic.

Furthering your education shows leaders of a company that you have a good work ethic. You dedicate yourself to the job of getting a certificate or degree, and you do so in a limited amount of time and resources.

It can also show them you are committed to what you do.


Shows Commitment

Loyalty and commitment are characteristics employers are seeking when hiring and promoting. You set a goal and stuck with it to the end. This shows employers you can do that with other projects too. They want someone who does not give up when a project seems difficult or causes distress.

Instead, they want a person who can navigate through obstacles that may arise and still find success. One reason you can show this type of commitment is because you have strengthened your skill set.


Strengthened Skill Set

Furthering your education means you have opportunities to improve both your soft and hard skills. Soft skills include your communication skills, time management abilities, problem-solving skills, and ability to accept criticism. You also gain the ability to work well under pressure.

In getting an education, you will communicate with teachers and other students. You will have group projects that teach teamwork, get feedback from your professor and peers about your work, and will be forced to adapt time management skills to complete assignments and study for exams.

Hard skills are both teachable and measurable. These are the skills you learn and that can be easily proven. For example, how fast you type, how well you can read or program a computer. Math, writing and web design are another example.

The more you improve both hard and soft skills, the more your confidence may be boosted.


Boosted Confidence

Confidence levels, low and high, can make a difference on the job. The more education you have has been linked to higher confidence, with good reason. You should be proud of yourself after getting a certificate or a degree.

You worked hard to reach educational success and your knowledge allows you to complete your work, knowing you can do a good job. In turn, your employer’s confidence in you will increase, giving you more on-the-job challenges and opportunities.


Grow Your Network

One way to further your career is to meet new people who can connect you with new organizations, community agencies, new job openings, and even leaders with influence.

Getting into a local college to get more education offers you networking potential. Through classes, practicums, group projects, study teams, professors and campus activities, you will have ample opportunities to increase your network.


Adapt to Changing Market

All markets seem to be constantly changing and adapting to newer and better systems and processes. Whether you are in healthcare, technology, business, or even in a trade, the ability to adapt is crucial for success.

Getting more education in your field means you are better capable of adapting to change. And you will have the confidence in yourself to adapt successfully, rather than fear change like so many do.

Many studies show that the higher your education, the more earnings potential you have. This does not mean everyone with a Ph.D. makes more money than someone with an associate degree. You must consider the field of study when analyzing salaries.

There are many associate degree level trades, like HVAC and Information Technology that can allow you to make more annually than some with higher educations.


Reignite Your Passion

Sometimes you may feel bored and tired of doing the same old thing day after day. You want a change without changing your career entirely. You want to find the passion you once had for your job.

Getting an education can reignite this passion, giving you a refreshing look at the industry and teaching you updated skills that can change the way you do your work. Education can be just the boost you need to help you find joy in your work once again.

In conclusion, whether you are trying to change careers, get a promotion, or just trying to love the job you have, getting an education can help.

And, you can start today by connecting with a local college, where you can get a certificate or degree without changing your lifestyle.


How to Get into Medical Assisting?

Medical Assisting Job

If you have a goal of working in a doctor’s office, hospital or other clinical setting, medical assisting may be the perfect job for you.

According to statistics, the medical assisting profession is growing by 29 percent, much higher than average. And with minimal education, you can earn over $30,000 a year. This means with a fast-track training certificate or an associate degree, you could be working in the medical assisting field within two years.

Further, this means you can begin implementing your skills of medical billing and coding, administering drugs to patients, completing electronic health records and assisting the physicians in any way they need you.

They may need assistance with lab work, patient services or office administration. Each day on the job could be filled with different tasks. This means your days will not be boring or routine. You will have variety in your duties, which can be appealing to many.

If this sounds like the career you want, following specific steps may help you get there quicker. These steps are listed below.


Choose a Training Program

Several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a training program. The first is to decide what level of education you want to get you started working as a medical assistant. While you can obtain a four-year degree or higher, it is not necessary.

Medical assistants with an associate level degree or even a training certificate are being sought after for employment. Obtaining one of these could allow you to seek employment in two years or less. Once you are working in the field, then you could decide if you want to gain further education.

And the good news is that the courses you obtain in a two-year or fast-track program can transfer to higher degree programs.

The second factor to consider in a training program is how will you attend classes. Do you have time and flexibility in your lifestyle to attend all classes in-person and on campus? Or, would taking online courses be a better fit?

Other questions you want to answer while choosing a training program include: Is the college accredited so that it ensures you meet national requirements for the job and allow you to sit for certification exams? Is an externship included in the program that allows you to acquire on-the-job training? Will you have access to professors? What is the cost of the program?


Decide How You Will Fund Your Training

Funding your education to become a medical assistant is one of the most important questions you will need to answer before enrolling. There are many options such as grants, loans, scholarships, and paying as you go.

Some who are already working in the medical industry can participate in tuition reimbursement programs if that option is available through their employer.

Take time to analyze all your options before making a final decision. Seek help from the college training program you choose. Most colleges have financial aid departments with staff who can advise you and help you apply for funding.


Prepare for Lifestyle Changes

Obtaining a certificate or degree to get into the medical assisting field will require lifestyle changes. However, there are programs that require less change than others.

Attending a local college may be the best option for your lifestyle. They offer online classes so you can complete assignments at a time that is best for you. They allow you to continue to work and take care of family responsibilities while finishing coursework at your pace.

You can work on classes during your lunch break at your full-time job. You can contact professors between errands. You can submit final assignments in the middle of the night from your sofa.

Local colleges make it easy for you to fit education into your lifestyle, not the other way around.


Choose the Right Certifications

Medical assistant programs offered at local colleges typically prepare students to take the Medical Assistant Certification exam. This exam may be established by national agencies such as the American Association of Medical Assistants or American Medical Technologists.

Not every job requires you to pass a certification exam. But if you choose to do so, you may have an edge over those competing for the same job. It shows you took an extra step to show your qualifications. It may even be used to bargain for a higher starting salary or raise.

Many local college programs prepare you for additional certification exams that can enhance your resume. These can include: The Certified Medical Assistant; The Registered Medical Assistant; and the National Certified Medical Assistant.

In addition to these, you may even want to obtain certifications in areas such as immunizations, phlebotomy technology, EKG technology, HIPAA, and clinical laboratories.


Find the Right Job

Likely, there will be opportunities through your local college for you to participate in externships. Meaning, you can acquire on-the-job training by working alongside others in the medical assisting field. These are valuable experiences.

You will also have opportunities to network with professionals in the healthcare industry. When networking, don’t just focus on those who work in a family practice or a hospital. You are now eligible to work in almost every type of medical office.

So, when networking, connect with industry professionals in all areas, from chiropractors to orthopedics to optometrists. Think of urgent care providers or imaging laboratories. You can even pick a specialty area that piques your interest.

For instance, you may want to work with children, so your goal would be to work as a medical assistant at a pediatric office. Or, you may only want to work with the elderly, so nursing homes would be a desirable employer.

In conclusion, getting into the medical assisting field is a lot easier than you may think. Contact your local college to help you answer questions about funding, course formats and program details. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be working in in the field, which just so happens to be booming right now.

Start your journey today.

The Convenience of a Local College for People Returning to School

Returning to School

The National Center for Education Statistics reports college attendance is on the rise by students of all ages, many of them are returning students. They claim over 7.6 million students attending college last year were over the age of 25 years.

The reasons for returning to school can vary just as much as the type of student. Some return to finish a degree they started earlier in life, while others return to benefit their career. Some want to advance their position within a company. Some want to feel more secure in the job they currently have.

Other reasons include gaining a sense of accomplishment and confidence that comes with obtaining a college diploma or additional certificates. Adults returning to school can sometimes be looking for something completely new and seek a change of direction that accompanies a diploma.

Returning to school can mean answering questions about where you will attend, how to finance your education, and if your lifestyle will be affected.

The American Association of Community Colleges reports that in the last year, nearly 550,000 local college students earned a certificate. In addition, almost 840,000 students received an associate degree and over 20,000 earned a bachelor’s degree from a local college.

Why are so many students, including returning students, returning to school at a local college? Convenience. Keep reading to learn more about the conveniences provided by a local college.



Not many returning students can drop everything to focus fully on getting an education. That’s because they may have children to care for. They may also be working full-time, as well as keeping up with daily responsibilities of paying bills, running errands, cooking, cleaning and the many other tasks that need to be done.

Going to a local college means you can complete courses on your terms. You can take classes online or on-campus, whichever best meets the needs of your lifestyle.

As a returning student, you need flexibility. Local colleges offer this through the fast-track trainings and degree programs.

The flexibility offered by local colleges allows you to continue working and juggling all other responsibilities, at a pace best fit for your family. It can also benefit you financially.


Saves You Money

Attending a larger, four-year institution can mean more expenses. Living on campus can cost an average of around $10,000 a year, in addition to tuition costs. Even if you choose not to live on campus, you will need to pay for gas to and from school each day.

Local colleges may help you avoid some of these expenses. They offer online courses that you can complete at home, saving you both time and money. They also offer students lower tuition costs.

You can even apply for scholarships, grants and other funding to help with tuition costs, just as you can in four-year universities.

Local colleges allow you to take the same type of courses as four-year institutions, but in more affordable ways. While the prices may be lower, the quality of education you receive can be just as high, and sometimes higher, than that of some larger universities.


Individualized Support

Because local colleges are smaller than four-year institutions, you can receive more individualized support. There are fewer students in each class, allowing professors to offer more of their time to each one.

In larger universities, there can sometimes be 100 or more students in some courses. This makes it very difficult for professors to spread their time among everyone. With class size averaging 25 students or less in a local college, professors have ample time to meet with you outside of class.

In addition, local colleges have programs to support students with disabilities or who need extra academic support, like four-year colleges. There are opportunities for tutoring and studying with peer groups.

The computer labs and libraries are smaller too, allowing the staff to better aid students who request assistance.


Professor Advantages

Professors are more accessible at a local college. This may be because professors at a local college are not required to conduct research, attend conferences, or participate on committees. They can focus on their lesson plans and classroom instruction.

This doesn’t mean professors are less qualified, however. In fact, some professors at local colleges are much more qualified to teach than those at a four-year institution. Because larger universities have so many students, they often hire graduate teaching assistants to teach general education courses.

Graduate teaching assistants rarely have professional expertise acquired by working in the industry. Typically, they agree to teach classes to reduce the amount of student loan debt by exchanging teaching for tuition.

Professors at local colleges are often working in the industry while they teach. They often have many years of real-world experience and are considered experts.

This means local college students will be getting valuable advice directly related to what they will face when graduating. This also leads to great opportunities to network and build relationships with community leaders.


Latest Technologies

Local colleges may be smaller, but they can still compete with the larger universities in the technologies available online and on campus. Local colleges are connected to their community and often receive support from local businesses.

This support provides updated technologies that allow students to learn using the latest systems and upgrades. In doing so, students who graduate from local colleges may be considered serious competitors when interviewing for jobs.

In conclusion, local colleges offer conveniences like the ones listed above. Other conveniences can include receiving professional certificates proving you are up-to-date with the skills needed for jobs in industries such as information technology, business, and even healthcare.

Local colleges offer a variety of degrees and programs too. You can choose from fast-track training, associate degree, bachelor’s degree and in some fields, like business, you can even receive a Master of Business Administration.

You may be able to do this at your own pace, with more support and flexibility, and in less time.

Why Get into Computer Tech and Support as a Career?

Computer & Tech Support Career

It is hard to find any organization in the United States that does not use some time of computer technology. Even in talking to your friends and family members, they likely all have electronic technology.

According to a recent census report, nearly 90 percent of households have a personal computer in their homes. This means nearly 90 percent of these households have connectivity, routing, software and hardware issues to deal with each day involving their computer or laptop.

Organizations, whether corporate or individual, also use computer technology daily. Most of all offices, whether selling a service or a product, utilizes a computer system to help them complete sales, marketing, invoicing, planning and implementation, and more.

With so many computers in use today, and because computers and users falter, there is a great need for computer tech and support personnel.

Choosing a career in this field can has many advantages and below are just a few of the reasons you should get into the computer tech and support industry.


Opportunities for High Paying Jobs

According to reports, people working in the computer technology and support fields make an average of $25 an hour. This can mean some are making around $53,000 annually. Depending on the job, some will make more than that and some will make less.

This salary is excellent since you can possibly reach this level with an Associate Degree or less.

U.S. News Money reports this type of job is ranked #9 among all tech jobs. Their reports also show salaries are increasing and the median they offer is closer to $60,000.


More Options for Career Specialization

Computer tech and support is a broad field, allowing you to pick and choose specific areas in which you want to specialize. Some people choose to work with organizations and provide in-house services to employees.

Others choose to provide support to individuals, through consulting. Or, they choose to provide technical assistance to a company’s customers. Creating software programs, coding and building networks are other areas your skills can be used.

Career names in the tech field can vary so it is important to pay attention to the job description and not just the title. Look for titles such as Help Desk Technician, IT specialist, Network Technician, Network Specialist, Tech Support Specialist, and IT Consultant.


Continued Learning on the Job

The more you learn, the more valuable you are to an organization and to customers. Computer software and hardware is constantly upgrading to meet the demands of the industry. Whether you work for yourself or for an organization, it is key that you continue to gain education and stay updated on new programs.

Obtaining certifications is the best way you can prove you are qualified to handle modern technology.

If you choose a local college to receive your fast-track training or your degree, you will be able to receive certifications in areas such as Microsoft, CompTIA, and Cisco Certified Entry Technician. These will show employers you know hardware and software configuration, installation, maintenance, servers, and routers and other solutions.


Begin Working in the Field in Two Years or Less

Local colleges offer programs that can help you reach your goals of working in the computer tech and support industry much faster than if you were to attend a four-year college. They do this with Associate degree programs and fast-track training programs.

With an associate degree, you can seek employment with large corporations, such as government agencies or hospitals. You can also work for smaller organizations, become an entrepreneur, or work for any educational institution from elementary, secondary or higher education.

If you want to start working in the field quicker than two years, you may want to consider a fast-track training program at a local college, which you can complete in less than a year. This type of training involves online and lab work to give you the most knowledge in a short period.


Industry is Booming

The computer tech and support industry is expected to grow substantially in the next decade. Developments in the computer industry are advancing rapidly and there is always a need for someone who can adapt to these changes.

CNBC reports technology is the number one industry where jobs are thriving. They report the technology field is expected to grow by 120 percent by the year 2026. This would mean the technology field would grow faster and larger than any other industry.

This makes sense when it seems like almost daily there are reports of a new hardware or software program that is better than anything on the market. From apps to software to troubleshooting programs, developers are introducing major upgrades.

These upgrades and advancements mean employers are needed to implement them for companies large and small.


Job Security and Advancement

The computer technology and support industry are known for the benefit of giving employees a higher amount of job security. It is also known as a field with great opportunities for advancement.

As a computer technician, your services will be needed on a regular basis. Job security doesn’t mean you can do a poor job and maintain your job. It means that if you are doing your best work and providing a company with excellent support tech services, you are more likely to be retained by that employer.

By keeping up with your certifications and the upgrades that happen within the field, you are more likely to qualify for an advanced position within an organization. The more knowledge and experience you can show, the more you will stand out when interviewing for a higher-level position.

In conclusion, there are far more advantages to getting into a career in computer tech and support than disadvantages. If you have a desire to learn more about this industry and the many benefits it can offer, look at your local college.

You may be able to start your training right away, putting you one step closer to your dream of working in one of the fastest growing industries.

The Benefits to a Diverse Skillset

Benefits of a Diverse Skillset

A skillset is your ability to complete a task in a given amount of time. It involves the knowledge you have already gained and can apply to a project.

Employers today are moving away from hiring one person for every specialized position. Instead, they are looking for staff who have a broad skillset and can perform multiple duties within the organization. This saves the company money and time.

And if you aren’t hired with a diverse skillset, you may be asked to obtain additional skills once employed. In fact, many companies are asking their current employees to expand their knowledge and skills based on the needs of the company, rather than hiring someone new.

Employers are looking for people with both soft and hard skillsets.


Soft Vs. Hard Skillsets

Skillsets can include both soft and hard skills. Soft skills refer to interpersonal skills and they often determine how well you can relate to others. Examples include communication, flexibility, time management and problem solving.

Soft skills can be learned but mostly tend to come naturally. They can be compared to personality traits or innate talents. While you can put soft skillsets on your resume, they are more difficult to show to an employer who is interviewing you for a job.

It’s important you be able to share examples from times that you have used soft skills. And you will need to continue to show these abilities while on the job.

Hard skills are those you have been taught and you have proof that you learned them. Proof can come in the form of a diploma, class completion certificate, or achievement letter. Examples include the results of a typing exam, computer programming certificates, licenses, or speaking a second language.

Having a diverse hard skillset has many benefits, especially when working within one industry.


Diverse Skillsets Add Value

Every employee wants to feel valued on the job. Having a diverse skillset gives you this value. The more duties you can perform, the more needed you will be to an organization. For example, if a person has the hard skills of a marketing degree, combined with the soft skills of leadership and teamwork, you will be able to perform many tasks.

You can supervise and lead others, as well as implement marketing plans, analyze data, and help promote and sell products or services.

Having a specialized skill is still important but having a diverse set of specialty skills makes you more valuable.


Diverse Skillsets Motivate and Engage

When you are equipped with multiple skillsets, you can avoid getting bored on the job. Those with one specialized skillset may be excellent workers but get burned out on repetitive tasks. Yet, they do not have any other tasks they are able to complete.

Diverse skillsets allow you the variety within a job that can keep you engaged and excited to complete tasks. This variety keeps you motivated because each day on the job may be different, bringing new challenges.


Diverse Skillsets Make You Adaptable

Being an employee who can adapt to many work situations is desired in today’s market. Executives and leaders are looking for staff who can be assigned to a variety of work projects without the need to provide training or hire additional help.

Having diverse skillsets means you can adapt to the needs of the company. For example, if you have a business degree, you can perform tasks in areas such as marketing, management, accounting, finance, sales and more.

Your employer will feel comfortable moving you among departments because you have the skills to meet the needs of each.


Diverse Skillsets May Lead to More Pay

Having diverse skillsets does not mean you will automatically get more money for a job than your competitor. However, it does give you more ammunition when you go to request more pay for the duties you perform.

Once you have built a strong resume and have proven yourself within the company, you will have numerous examples of how having your diverse skillset has benefited the organization. This is what you can use to ask for an increase in pay.

If your company does not see your value, then you can use this same information to apply for a higher paying job with another organization.

You may also want to start a side job with your diverse skillset. You could provide consultation services to non-competitors within the industry. Or, you could have a home-based business after hours and on the weekends.

There are many entrepreneurial opportunities available when you have a diverse skillset.


Diverse Skillsets Help You Leave a Job

Everyone would like to find their perfect job at the beginning of their career, work there until retirement, and leave with a great pension that will support them until they die. This happens less and less with each year.

People are switching jobs, seeking better opportunities much more frequently. Some reports show the rate of people changing jobs is higher than ever, with some claiming to change jobs every two or three years.

If this is true, having a diverse skillset is only going to help you when changing jobs. It could possibly give you that edge over other candidates fighting for the same job.

When you are interviewing for a new job, make sure you emphasize your diverse skillset and provide examples of how your skillset can benefit their company specifically.

In conclusion, having a diverse skillset has many benefits professionally. It also can benefit you personally. Learning useful skills and knowledge can give you personal confidence that is needed on the job. Knowledge truly can be empowering.

There are many ways to acquire a diverse skillset. Professional training opportunities within your company, attending conferences, and specialized continuing education.

One of the best ways is to attend your local college who offers certification and fast-track training programs in your specialty area, keeping you up-to-date on the latest improvements that can benefit your company and keep you valuable to the organization.

Maintaining a Balance Between School and Work

Balance between school and work

If you are attending school and working at the same time, then you know how stressful this can be at times. You may have found your work responsibilities interfering with your school duties, or vice versa.

This can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, disorganized and frustrated if not managed correctly. It can even make you feel like giving up.

But do not give up. There are many steps you can take to maintain a better balance between your work and school. Below are just a few examples you can implement today.


Schedule Help

No one has super powers. No one can do everything in a day or even a week without help of some kind. It is more than okay to ask for help from others. Or, pay someone for help. For example, if you have children and need a few hours of quiet time to complete homework, hire a family member or friend for those hours.

Allow them to watch your children while you work. If you can’t afford to pay, try bartering. If cleaning the house or grocery shopping is taking up too much time, hire someone else to do it.

Figure out which parts of your life can be entrusted to someone else, and then ask for help.


Enjoy Work and Studies

Many claim that if you choose to work or study in a field that you find fun and enjoyable, the work you must do will not feel like work at all.

Choose a program to study based on what you can envision yourself doing for many years to come. Choose something that makes you feel rewarded and valuable. Choose a program that offers you joy.

Do not choose to work in an industry just for the money or because someone else thinks you will be good at it. Make your choice based on what will make you feel fulfilled and happy.


Implement Time Management Strategies

Time management means you know where your time is spent throughout each day. You know this because you have planned and prioritized your time.

Making a to-do list, getting organized, and you have left a buffer time in between appointments to give you a little extra time when needed. Other great time management strategies include saying “No”. You must avoid saying yes to every request made of you.

If you continue to do this, you will not be able to maintain a balance between work and school.

Use calendars, alarms and during times where you find yourself waiting, make that time count by answering emails or calls.


Make Your Health a Priority

If you are not healthy both mentally and physically, you will struggle to do well in both work and your studies. You must agree to treating yourself well by eating healthy foods, getting proper sleep and finding some time for exercise.

When you are unhealthy, you may find it difficult to concentrate and stay focused. You may become more irritable and frustrated easily, making it hard to complete your work.

Poor health will eventually lead to missed days at work and school, putting you behind deadlines in both areas.

Make the efforts to treat yourself well. Participate in simple activities that are known to improve mental and physical abilities. Take long baths, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink herbal teas, meditate and practice yoga. These are a few examples of how pampering yourself will lead to better results at work and school.


Setting Goals

Short-term and long-term goals are important at work and school. They show you whether you are making progress and if not, they show you why not. Short-term goals should be geared towards what needs to be done in the next few weeks or months.

Long-term goals center around what you want to accomplish in the next year or more. Goals can even have sub-goals that can help you reach your major goals. For example, if you have a long-term goal of finishing college, your sub-goals can focus on taking certain classes, practicum, job shadowing and more.

Goals should be organized and have a time and date attached to them and when you accomplish a goal, reward yourself.


Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself each time you reach a goal or milestone is a great way to maintain balance between school and work. Rewards show you have made progress and for that progress, you deserve something special.

Rewards can give you something to look forward to as well. And they don’t have to be huge, over the top events. You don’t want to give yourself a cruise to the islands when completing one course or one project at work.

Instead, find smaller rewards, like a new pair of shoes or a movie and dinner night. You have earned these rewards. Enjoy them.


Communicate Your Needs

No one can read your mind, not at work and not at school. If you are struggling, tell someone. Speak to someone about what you need.

Communication can happen in many different forms. You can call someone, meet with them in person, email, or even text someone.

If you do not tell your boss you are feeling overwhelmed, he or she may continue to give you more work. If you don’t talk to your professors and explain why you need extra time on a project, they will not be able to help you.

Don’t be afraid to open up and express your concerns with others who can help.


Believe in Yourself

You can succeed at balancing school and work. Look at all the great things you have done to get you to this point.

Remind yourself that going to school and working at the same time is a temporary situation. You will be graduating from college one day and the stressors of balancing school and work will no longer exist.

Find ways to affirm yourself and keep your confidence high. Never stop believing you can accomplish the goal of going to school and working. You can do it.