I am interested in…health care.

Nicole Manges
“I am interested in…” series. Exploring ways you can translate your interests into college majors.

In this “I am interested in…” series, we are exploring ways you can translate your interests into college majors. 

Someone who is interested in health care has an incredible variety of career paths open to them. Healthcare professionals are an essential part of our lives, coming alongside us when we are our most vulnerable and helping us feel better, move better, and stay better. And good health care is not just for humans — our animals also need care from veterinarians and veterinary nurses.  

If you are interested in a healthcare career, Huntington University has a major to help you get started on becoming the best care provider you can be.  

But with so many options available, which major should you pick?  

There are three factors to consider when narrowing down your healthcare degree options: the curriculum you are interested in studying, the type of care you hope to give, and the path you are willing to take to obtain the necessary certification.    

Curriculum: What aspect of healthcare intrigues you the most? The clinic? The lab? All healthcare majors incorporate practical experiences and academic study into their curriculum, but every profession calls for a different blend of the two. Nursing, kinesiology, and occupational therapy place strong emphasis on clinical experiences, including highly structured practicums that mirror professional practice. Other degrees that are intended to prepare you for grad school or med school (like pre-med biology or biochemistry) place strong emphasis on the academic prep and lab experience that you need to succeed in your advanced degree program.   

Type of Care: Where and how will you be most comfortable interacting with clients? A medical doctor and an occupational therapist will interact with their patients/clients differently. Nurses work very closely with patients, while doctors might take a more distanced approach. An athletic trainer works with clients in an exercise setting, while a nurse meets patients in a hospital or clinic. A veterinary nurse works with animals anywhere but can be in a clinic or out on a farm visit. Wherever you work, you should be comfortable in that setting so that you can offer the best care.   

Certification Path: What will it take for you to be qualified for your dream job? What amount of time are you planning to invest? Some healthcare-related bachelor’s degrees equip you to take a certification or licensure exam and pursue entry-level employment right away, while others require advanced education first. Occupational therapy assistant and nursing graduates, for example, typically take their board exams within a few months of earning their bachelor’s degree. Exercise and movement science grads who want to become athletic trainers, on the other hand, often need at least master’s degree. The “pre” degrees, like pre-athletic training, pre-med, pre-pharmacy, and pre-vet, are all intended to be pathways to advanced degrees.     

For those who are interested in health care, the right profession can be incredibly rewarding. By considering the curriculum you want to study, the type of care you want to offer, and the path you want to take to become a certified or licensed professional, you can narrow down your options to the major that will suit your interests, gifts, and goals the best.  

Written by
Nicole Manges