Education & Training for a Healthcare Career

Finding a pathway for growth

One of the reasons why so many people are starting a career in healthcare is because of the opportunities the field offers. But in order to create a true career pathway in healthcare, postsecondary education and job training are critical.

Living Wage CalculatorPostsecondary education is school or training beyond high school. Recent studies have shown that a high school diploma will no longer prepare an individual for a job that will pay a living wage. Postsecondary education is essential to economic success and to creating a sustainable career.

The chart below shows how education and training levels can affect career opportunity (click to download a printable PDF version):

Career Pathway chart

Building a healthcare career doesn’t just require more time in school. Keeping skills and industry knowledge up-to-date is also very important, especially since healthcare is changing so quickly. Learn more about planning a career.

How to select a healthcare education or training program

Before choosing a school or program, you need to make sure that you understand some basics:

Find out what kind of program you need for your career goals.

  • Educational programs offer academic preparation for a career, and can sometimes include internships, simulation training or other work-related experience. Most educational programs end with a degree or certificate.
  • Training programs are “vocational” – meaning that they relate directly to on-the-job skills, but might not help with other skills that employers require, such as math and science skills.


See some career options and their education and/or training requirements here.

Find the right career match for your needs. There are a number of self-assessment tools to help match job seekers to career pathways. Click here to see some of these tools. 

Make sure you are prepared.

  • Academic preparation help is available through career centers and community colleges. 
  • Financial aid is available, but you may need to spend a significant amount of time finding and applying for grants and loans. 


Ready to find a program?

Select from the options below to find a local program to get you to the next step in your career plan.

Advanced Degree  

Bachelor/Associate Degree


Basic Education

Jobs are going unfilled because people don't have the skills they need.
Question 1 Explanation: 
True. In 2007, only 32 percent of Massachusetts workers had the education and training required to fill "middle skill" positions. (Middle skills jobs are those that require more than a HS diploma, but not a four-year degree).