The men and women who have these high-paying and service-oriented healthcare positions did not get them because they are lucky – they got them because they had the vision to see the road towards their career destination and the work ethic to walk it.

More often than not, the straightest road to that destination is through education. As the healthcare industry becomes more technologically and procedurally sophisticated, formal post-secondary training is increasingly the norm. Whether you're interested in becoming a pharmacist or a health service manager, continued formal education will qualify you for the career you want, prepare you for a competitive labor market, and significantly increase your paycheck.

Education IS the Difference

Education Pays

It's easy to see that the more educated you are, the more secure your job will be, and the more money you'll make. But education has never made more of a difference than it does today: according to the National Center for Education Statistics,, in 1980 a male worker with a high school diploma or GED made a median of $41,400; his female counterpart made $26,900. A man in 1980 who worked for a bachelor's (or higher) degree, bumped his earnings up to $48,900, an increase of "only" $7,500. By 2006, a male worker with a high school education was making only $30,000, while his more-educated neighbor was making $50,000 a year, a whopping 60% or $20,000 more. The trends are similar for female workers.

Earnings by Educational Achievement

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The point is, there is a gap: in earnings, in opportunities, in job security. There's a gap, and it's growing. The more educated you are, the better positioned you will be for higher pay, a better job, and a more rewarding life.

Satisfied or not with your current employment, the possibility of career advancement or a significant raise is unlikely without a college degree. In whatever you do, raw talent will only take you so far. No matter how gentle your bedside manner or your natural technical savvy, the vast majority of healthcare positions require a level of formal postsecondary education.

The desirability of a degree is a no-brainer, but the problem for many people is a perceived inability to fit more schooling into the framework of an already busy and demanding work and personal life, and to make it financially possible. The finances are often easy – elsewhere on this Web site we'll show you how to qualify for federal aid and school loans. Finding the time to complete a degree may seem even more daunting. If you have a fast-paced life which demands flexibility and the drive to pursue a degree that will launch you in a new career – or advance your current career – online education may be the answer.