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Certificate programs attract a diverse group of students seeking a pathway into the healthcare industry.
Certificate Programs Open Doors to Healthcare Industry Employment
The healthcare certificate programs at Berkeley College attract a diverse group of students, including high school graduates, career-changers, moms returning to the workforce, and retirees looking for new careers. For graduates of these programs, certification provides a way into entry-level positions within the healthcare industry.
“I would say 10 to 15 years ago you could very easily enter the healthcare field without certification. Today, however, because of new laws, finding a job without certification is very difficult,” said Kelly Jean Berge, CBCS, CPC, Online Chair, Berkeley College School of Health Studies, who teaches courses in the Medical, Billing, and Coding certification program.
Following graduation and job placement, many graduates of the certification programs choose to return to college to continue their education. At Berkeley College, graduates of the Patient Care Technician, Medical Assistant, Surgical Processing Technician, and Medical, Billing, and Coding certification programs can transfer certificate credits towards the Health Sciences Associate’s degree program. Graduates of the Practical Nurse certificate program who receive licensed practical nurse (LPN) certification may enroll in a Registered Nurse degree program.
Earning degrees may offer an advantage when these students seek job promotions, Ms. Berge said. For instance, according to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare technicians, including those who specialize in medical billing and coding, may advance to other health information positions by receiving additional education and certifications. Technicians may advance to medical or health services managers after completing a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree program and taking the required certification courses. Requirements for management positions vary by facility.
“It’s beneficial for our students to earn certification quickly, get a job in healthcare, and then return to college to continue their education,” Ms. Berge said. “They gain experience in the workplace, and it’s not unusual for larger facilities or companies to offer tuition reimbursement allowing students to continue their education without having to take out college loans.”