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Choosing a College Program That Can Land You a Job Fast

Posted by Marc Costanzo, revised by Sara Giboney Friday, Feb. 9, 2024

Choosing a College Program That Can Land You a Job Fast (1)When you want to start a career fast, finding a program that will give you the skills you need in a short amount of time is imperative.

A four-year bachelor’s degree program or a two-year associate degree program might not be the best fit. Luckily, there are healthcare certificate programs that allow you to start a career quickly.

Healthcare Careers: Fast Training, Rewarding Outcomes

Fast-track healthcare programs allow you to complete your training, get certified and start working in four to nine weeks. 

You’ll feel confident starting your career with the skills you learn through classroom learning, hands-on labs and clinical experiences.

You may want to consider career-ready college programs in healthcare, such as:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Certified Medication Aide
  • Phlebotomy
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Sterile Processing Technician

Accelerated Healthcare Education: From Classroom to Career

These quick healthcare certifications will lead to high-demand healthcare careers.

Employment in healthcare is projected to grow faster than all other occupations through 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Below, you’ll find information on some of the most accelerated career paths in healthcare.

Phlebotomist: A Rapid Path to Healthcare Employment

2022 Median Wage: $38,530

2022-2032 Projected Growth: 8%, much faster than the average across all occupations

A phlebotomist is responsible for the collection and processing of blood and other specimens for testing. 

Phlebotomists work directly with patients as well as other healthcare providers and lab technicians.

At NMC, students can complete the phlebotomy certification course in five to nine weeks, depending on the course they choose. 

The nine-week hybrid course with a three week clinical experience includes online learning, on-campus training in laboratories and clinical externships at local hospitals or clinical laboratories.

The five-week accelerated class meets twice a week for training in the lab and includes three weeks of clinical rotation.

Certified Nursing Assistant: The Fast-Track to Nursing

2022 Median Wage: $35,740

2022-2032 Projected Growth: 4%

A certified nursing assistant is a crucial component to any healthcare team. CNAs assist nurses with patient care. Sometimes, this requires you to check vital signs, and at others, you could be making up beds or just talking to a patient to make them feel at ease.

NMC’s CNA program takes four to six weeks to complete. 

The four-week program is on-campus with intimate classes taught by seasoned instructors.

The six-week hybrid CNA course features online learning along with weekly on-campus instructional learning.

Working as a CNA is a great opportunity to determine whether a career as a nurse is right for you before committing to nursing school.

Medication Aide: An Expanding Role in Healthcare

2022 Median Wage: $30,180

2022-2032 Projected Growth: 22%, much faster than the average across all occupations

Medication aides play a crucial role in healthcare settings administering medications to patients safely.

While medication aides, often referred to as med aides, work closely with patients, they are an important member of a healthcare team working closely with nurses and doctors.

Med aides have opportunities to work in diverse healthcare settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, medical offices and in home healthcare.

Pharmacy Technician: A Quick Entry in Pharmacy

2022 Median Wage: $37,790

2022-2032 Projected Growth: 6%, faster than the average across all occupations

As a pharmacy technician, you’ll assist pharmacists with critical functions that aid patient care, such as filling prescriptions, managing drug supplies, handling insurance queries and addressing other needs of patients.

At NMC, a 10-week hybrid course combines online modules and in-person skills laboratory work along with experiential training at local pharmacies. 

Students who complete all course requirements and have a cumulative grade of 80% or higher receive the Nebraska Pharmacy Technician Certification. After completion of the course, students take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

Sterile Processing Technician: Become a Part of a Surgical Team

2022 Median Wage: $41,480

Sterile processing technicians are responsible for cleaning and sterilizing surgical equipment before and after procedures. Sterile processing is a great entry point for individuals who want to pursue a career in the operating room.

NMC’s six-week online course with hands-on clinicals at Methodist Hospital prepares students to become sterile processing technicians. 

Students who complete the course receive a certificate and can take the Sterile Processing Technician exam through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc.

College Programs That Can Land You a Job FastCareer Progression after Fast Healthcare Certification

Whichever certificate course you choose, you will be prepared to be a competent healthcare professional. 

You may decide that you feel fulfilled and satisfied once you’ve worked as a phlebotomist, CNA, medication aide, sterile processing technician or pharmacy technician.

But these careers can also serve as stepping stones to other jobs within the healthcare industry.

You might consider getting your associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing or an allied health profession.

Consider these pathways to other healthcare careers:

  • As a CNA you can work part-time while getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to become a registered nurse.
  • After working as a sterile processing technician, you may realize you want to be closer to the action in a hospital or surgery center. You may want to consider getting your Associate of Science in Surgical Technology.
  • As you gain experience as a phlebotomist, you might want to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and illnesses. Getting an Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology, a dual degree in respiratory therapy or a Bachelor of Science in Sonography might be options you want to explore.

Regardless of the path you choose, remember that hospitals and health systems may have opportunities for employees to receive tuition discounts or tuition assistance.

Qualifying employees of Methodist Health System (MHS) may be eligible for a 20% tuition discount for certain academic degree and certificate programs at NMC. 

MHS also offers the Tuition Assistance Program to eligible employees who attend NMC. You can receive up to $3,500 a year in tuition assistance if you’ve worked for MHS for at least six months at a minimum of 16 hours per week before the beginning of the semester.

Finding Your Place in Healthcare: Which Path Suits You?

With a healthcare certificate, you could be part of a team of experts making a difference in people’s lives. 

Ready to kickstart your career in healthcare quickly? Explore our range of fast-track healthcare programs and take the first step towards a rewarding and rapidly attainable profession. 

Enroll now and join the healthcare workforce sooner than you thought possible!

Topics: healthcare education, Professional Development, health professions, allied health, healthcare career, certificate, pharmacy technician, CNA