Schools Training

Making the Switch to a Healthcare Career

26 DEC 2012
Career Path : Continuing Education

Maybe you’re attracted to a field where you know you’re making a positive difference, or maybe you just want the reliability of the work. Regardless, you’ve decided that healthcare is the right direction for you and you’re ready to make the career swap for your current situation to the new role. To do this you may need to enroll in a health science program or potentially you can even start applying for jobs right away.


The first step is taking a realistic look at your current skill set, and what sort of job you want to do. If you’re comfortable in a support role, your computer science or accounting diploma is just as useful in a medical setting as in the business world. Hospitals and clinics need IT technicians and bookkeepers too. This also works with the general advice that it is often easier to change industries and then positions, so even if you still want a job switch, it may be less effort to move into administration in healthcare and go from there.


If you want to retrain, you need to take a realistic look at your finances and availability. It’s rare for people to have lots of time and money simultaneously. If you did you’d probably be looking to retire, not for a new job! If you’ve recently been laid off, you’ve got lots of time, but money may be a problem. Thankfully there are back to work grants and you may qualify for student loans or scholarships. You can also save money by looking for past experience that could count towards credits in your health science program.


If you’re working full time and you need the income, studying can be harder, but you can always try alternative education methods like distance education. These days that means more than just sending your assignments by mail and teaching yourself from rigid pre-set course materials, but may mean a fully interactive series of lectures and regular phone calls with your teachers, as well as interactive, multi-media training simulators. You get all the distance education flexibility, with none of the draw backs.


Another thing you’ll want to decide is how fast you want to get into the workforce. A health science program like phlebotomist can take only a month, while becoming a registered nurse is a five year commitment. If you have a particular specialization in mind, of course the investment will be worth it, but if you just have a general desire to change over, shorter lets you try things out without the same commitment. You can easily go back to school later to round out your skills, and if you decide healthcare wasn’t the right choice you’re less likely to feel stuck.



Visit Mohawk College for more information various program options, including healthcare, distance education, and accounting diploma.