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Learn healthcare with online courses

The healthcare industry focuses on the treatment and prevention of illnesses. Healthcare professionals use their knowledge to improve their patients’ quality of life. Learn more about this industry by exploring online healthcare courses through edX.

What is healthcare?

Healthcare is designed to optimize the well-being of people through the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of illnesses. Healthcare is administered through a network of professionals that include doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, psychologists, dentists, optometrists, public health workers, nursing home staff, and more. 

There are many reasons to learn about healthcare. In a healthcare career, you can help patients overcome physical and mental ailments, while promoting practices that ensure people live long lives. Healthcare professionals can work directly with patients, or focus on areas of research, policy, and systems.  

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Courses in healthcare and healthcare administration

Healthcare courses are designed to help learners grasp the skills and knowledge needed for various professions within the field. A foundational course curriculum may cover basic healthcare concepts and topics, including health services, healthcare delivery, patient care, healthcare facilities, healthcare quality improvement, long-term care, home health, and more. 

edX offers a variety of courses for learners interested in a healthcare career. Depending on your desired subfield, a healthcare class may cover:

  • Data analysis and decision-making in healthcare, to build skills for a role in research and development.

  • Global health and health systems, which can serve as a stepping stone toward a career in public health or policy.

  • Healthcare administration and management, which can help aspiring practitioners gain the skills they need to optimize efficiency within healthcare organizations.

  • Best practices in patient care, which can teach about how to work with specific populations, like children. 

Explore healthcare jobs

Work settings for people with a background in healthcare can include hospitals, residential care facilities, outpatient care centers, urgent care centers, and private offices or homes. There are many different types of jobs in healthcare, some of which may require a formal degree or specialized training.Footnote 1

Examples of healthcare careers include: 

  • Physician: provides medical care to patients by diagnosing and treating illness and injuries, which can include prescribing medication and encouraging preventative care.Footnote 2

  • Registered nurse: coordinates and provides patient care, while also helping to educate patients and the general public about health issues.Footnote 3

  • Pharmacist: dispenses prescribed medications to patients and educates patients about medication use. 

  • Physical therapist: assesses and treats patients with physical disabilities and injuries through a number of different treatments including exercise and massage.Footnote 4

  • Dental hygienist: provides preventative care to patients in order to improve their oral health, while also promoting healthy oral hygiene practices. 

  • Social worker: advocates for patients and their families and helps them navigate the healthcare system. 

As healthcare continues to evolve with technological advancements and other innovations, it’s important that professionals in the field stay up to date with their skills. Explore how edX can help you along your learning journey.

How to begin a healthcare career

Once you’ve decided what type of healthcare career you want, you can determine the educational path you need to take to qualify for a position in that specific field. If you have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree, majoring in topics such as health sciences, nutrition, biology, clinical research, or another healthcare subject can be a first step.Footnote 5 If you’re planning to hold a more advanced position, a master’s degree or a doctoral degree may be necessary. It is especially important in the healthcare field to research the requirements to practice for any position. Many of these roles require licensing and certification. 

If you’re not sure that healthcare is for you, or if you already have a degree and wish to develop specialized skills, then consider taking an online healthcare course. These can introduce you to the industry and help you determine if you want to pursue additional educational opportunities.

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