Understand The Difference
Medical field is a dynamic one and provides a stable career growth option. Among many streams, Medical Assistant is one avenue that is growing consistently. The field is suited for those with excellent communication skills and zeal for working in the medical field. However, you need a certification from an authorized body to start your career in the field. The certification is provided bases on clearing an examination. The minimum eligibility criteria are a Certificate or Diploma in Medical Assistant. However, there are other advanced courses like Associate. The course duration in each of them is different, but the basic material remains the same.
The Time Factor
As far as the duration is considered, Certificate degree is a yearlong course. Associates degree takes a little bit more time considering it is a two-year curriculum. Both of them have a combination of classroom curriculum and internships. As it is a professional course, the importance of practicum or training is important. Accreditation bodies like CAAHP and ABHES recognize these institutes. Irrespective of Associate or Certificate degrees accreditation assures that you get the quality education and training that prepares for future career. Both the courses teach you with the basic skills that are required while you are in the job.
Difference in learning
When you enroll for a certification program, the course material involves management of patient records, dealing with insurance and coding. You understand the procedure to schedule appointment and preparing room for initial screening and tests. You learn basics about human physiology and medical terminology. Associate degree provides you with the basic knowledge and, in addition, provides you training to draw blood, authorize refills of prescription, removal of stitches. You learn to prescribe and apply medication under physician supervision. With advanced specialization, medical assistants with an associate degree can apply injections and can operate x-ray machines. Associate degree keeps the base same and goes towards advanced learning.
The Time factor
A two-year Associate Degree takes up more time than a Certificate that spans for nine to twelve months. Before you embark on any one of them, assess the time in your hand. In case you are already in a job then committing two years may take a toll on your professional commitments. Associates degree is for people who are looking for a specialized field just after their graduation. Calculate the months in hand and go for the relevant program.
Understanding the market
The choice between the two degrees depends on many factors, and one of them is job demand in your area. Search the job market and look for employer preference. Study the placement trends for the past few years to get a clear picture. There are times when employers prefer a certain degree over another. At times, a particular qualification can reach saturation point and the job scope for the other degree is on the rise. Understanding the job trends helps in many ways. Consider your plans and in case you are planning to return to education in a span of five or fewer years. In that case, you can go for an Associate Degree.
The advantage of certificate
In case you are in a hurry to move in the job field one-year certification can be a great platform to begin with. It prepares you for certification in less time, and you can pursue the course straight after graduation. The course provides you with internship that can be added as experience in your resume. Certificate courses cost less than Associates Degree. You can apply for financial aid for the same. In case you are running on a stringent budget them these courses can provide you with learning in low cost. You can find accredited colleges that provide Certificate Degrees that can enable you to go for registration. With the experience, you can go for advanced learning while in the profession.
Associate Degree Utility
Associate in Applied Science, on the other hand, can provide you with high starting salary. Adding the qualification to your resume helps you to land in better-paying job as an employer values your in-depth analysis of the subject, in general. It may take more time and money to complete Associate Degree than Certificate Degree, but the investment is worth it. In case you are going for a Bachelor’s Degree then some of your credits in subjects like liberal arts can get transferred. It provides you with headway when you are pursuing higher training. You can join specialty divisions as these job roles require high expertise that you can get with an Associate Degree. Moving forward it helps you in continuing advanced education as it is accepted by many colleges in term of credits.
For moving further
One issue with Certificate course is that colleges of higher education do not recognize the credits in this course. You may have to take the help of continuing education or wait for a span of years to achieve eligibility. However, with an Associate Degree you can directly go for a higher study. In case you are looking for going for advanced training within a span of five years then go for Associate Degree. Many of Medical Assistantsmove to go for nursing and Associates Degree helps in achieving the goal. You can use your credits while in nursing program and head away with nursing. It provides you with the desired academic competence required for an advanced program.
Experience and training
When it comes to pay package Medical Assistants with Associate Degree, earn a little more than Certificate Degree holder. The pay scale depends on experience and training. You have to improve your skills as the time moves on. The opening salary of Medical Assistants is around 28,000 US Dollars. The career growth depends on experience and specialty you work for. While Associate Degree opens way for future education, Certificate courses cut down on additional subjects that you may not require due to lack of time. Time, budget, and plans of education in near future are some of the crucial factors that come into play when you select one. Overall the field is a growing one, and these degrees are the first stepping stone towards the process.