4 Courses Everyone Takes In Physical Therapy College

June 25th, 2012 by admin

TSImage-89709973As is the case with any other specialty in the medical field, educational programs for physical therapy schools are highly regulated and closely monitored. This is to ensure that all students who attend physical therapy schools receive an equivalent education, including classroom courses, labs, and hands-on training opportunities, like weekly practicums and extended internships.

The organization responsible for reviewing and approving physical therapy training programs is the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Because accreditation by CAPTE requires a specific curriculum is offered by each physical therapy school in the nation, there are certain courses everyone takes when attending physical therapy colleges. Here are four of the main disciplines covered by physical therapy programs.

Health and Physical Sciences

The majority of student’s coursework while attending physical therapy school is focused on learning about the human body, including the inner workings of body systems and how they interact with one another. Courses in the health sciences include general biology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology. Additionally, students must complete courses in physics in order to understand the manner in which the natural laws of science affect human and mechanical movement.

Every program specifies its own semester hour requirements for each of the previously mentioned subjects. The majority of physical therapy schools require students to complete 4 credits each in general biology, anatomy and physiology, and 8 credits each in physics and chemistry. Most of the health and physical science courses have accompanying labs required as well, though labs usually factor into the overall semester hours requirement and count as 1 credit hour of the total for each course.


Statistics is the primary course related to mathematics that’s required by most physical therapy schools, though mathematical and scientific calculations are a component of courses in the health and physical sciences as well, including chemistry and physics. The ability to understand statistical analysis and probability is crucial in any medical career, including physical therapy, which is the reason statistics is part of the core curriculum.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Physical therapy students are usually required to take 6 credits in social and behavioral sciences in both sociology and psychology. A minimum of 3 credit hours in psychology is typical in physical therapy programs, and another 3 semester hours in sociology is also a common requirement. Some programs however do allow students to choose from elective courses in either sociology or psychology for satisfying the 3 additional social and behavioral science credit hours.

Clinicals and Internships

Because physical therapy is a hands-on field in which practitioners work directly with patients, hands-on training opportunities are a central part of any physical therapy school’s curriculum. Most schools offer students some amount of clinical training either during or immediately after completion of the second semester of study.

Additionally, all physical therapy schools require multiple clinicals or internships of their students, usually including at least two shorter rotations of four to six weeks, and minimum one longer internship of at least eight to twelve weeks. Again, every program has its own standards for number, duration and type of internships required for graduation, but all physical therapy students must complete extensive hands-on training in the clinical environment.


Certified Medical Assistants vs Non Certified

June 21st, 2012 by admin

Medical assistants typically work in a clinic setting and perform a variety of administrative and patient care tasks. When the patient arrives at his or her appointment, it is the medical assistant who will greet the patient, take vital signs and gather information about the patient’s symptoms. This makes it possible for doctors to spend their time examining and diagnosing the patient. As a profession, medical assisting is expected to remain in high demand through at least the end of this decade.

How Does Someone Become a Medical Assistant?

Many community and career training colleges offer certificate programs in medical assisting that take approximately one year to complete. There are also two-year associate degree programs available at some colleges. Typical coursework completed during these training programs include medical office procedures, medical terminology, coding and insurance procedures, laboratory procedures, patient privacy laws, anatomy, physiology, scheduling and more. Most programs also offer an internship at the end of formal studies in order to give the student practical work experience.

Certification Through the American Association of Medical AssistantsTS - 86479693

In addition to obtaining a certificate or an associate’s degree, medical assistants have the option of becoming certified through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To become certified, the medical assistant must pass an exam at the end of his or her formal education from an accredited medical assistant school.  The student can have no felony convictions and must apply to take the certification exam 90 days in advance. The AAMA certification exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions across a wide range of subject areas. Medical assistants who wish to take the test will pay a fee of up to $250, depending on whether they are a member of AAMA or not. Medical assistants must pass the test every five years to remain certified. As a member of AAMA, medical assistants have access to continuing education, workshops and other educational opportunities.

Benefits of AAMA Certification

Once a person passes the AAMA certification exam, he or she is known as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Some employers will only hire a CMA, while others don’t place as much emphasis on certification. A CMA may be able to advance his or her career faster than someone who is not certified. Typical career advancement for a CMA includes office manager, scheduling supervisor or other administrative support positions. If the medical assistant chooses to go on to nursing or another position within the medical field, the credits earned at an accredited college are usually transferable to a degree program.

Typical Pay for Medical Assistants with AAMA Certification

In 2011, AAMA surveyed approximately 20,000 medical assistants across the country regarding typical salary and benefits. The survey included those who had earned certification through AAMA and medical assistants who were not certified. The survey indicated that full-time medical assistants with certification earned an annual salary of $29,460, or an average of $14.94 per hour. According to the 2011 survey, medical assistants who were not certified earned an average annual salary of $26,568, or an average of $13.43 per hour. This lends credibility to the fact that certification can result in higher pay and more career opportunities. Those surveyed ranged from people new to the field to those with more than 15 years of experience. Medical assistant salary by state will vary based on experience, location, licensing, and place of business.

The AAMA also asked medical assistants what type of training they had in addition to certification. 62 percent of respondents indicated that they had a certificate or degree in medical assisting. Only 16 percent had no specific training beyond high school.


**Salary information is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Different Types of Graphic Design Careers

June 20th, 2012 by admin

Graphic design is a creative field filled with a wide range of varying career opportunities. Today’s technological advancements in computers, mobile devices, and the Internet has created a wealth of options that extend way beyond the printing arena. Currently, graphic design programs emphasize instruction on the new realm of visual communications and the sky’s the limit for graphic designers who demonstrate extreme talent. However, when you overlook the apparent never-ending list of potential job opportunities such as layout artist, illustrator, art director, brand identity specialist, or creative director, it all boils down to about five extensive sectors of job options for graphic design professionals.   To start, most design professionals attend one of the Graphic Design Colleges near where they live.  The five categories include:

Design Firms

In general, these organizations focus solely on graphic design and visual brand tactics. Varying in size, but commonly small companies with less than 100 employees, they provide specialized creative solutions for individuals clients. Some focus mostly on print projects and others on both print and virtual tasks. Design firms may be a good fit for graphic designers who enjoy creating logos, brochures, and product packaging and while the specific work environment varies by employer, these graphic designers commonly work independently.

Advertising Agencies

These types of employers generally offer clients a wide range of services including design, production, inclusive brand strategy, and media buying for all kinds of media such as print, television, radio, and Internet. The specific services vary by the size of the agency and smaller companies may concentrate on one particular service such as online marketing. Many small agencies offer complete services, but have fewer clients. Graphic designers employed by this sector generally complete projects that reach the eyes of a wide variety of people. This category is great for graphic designers who want to work with well-known brands and complete a vast range of tasks for numerous clients. These jobs are rewarding, but can be demanding due to the high expectations of clients, strict deadlines, and long work hours.

Publishing and Entertainment Sectors

The publishing and entertainment category is where the most graphic design jobs are located. The publishing field is made up of companies that generate both print and electronic publications including books, newspapers, magazines, and business directories. Graphic designers working for publishing firms commonly complete layout, photography, and advertising tasks. For the entertainment area, many production organizations hire graphic designers to create on-screen graphic content like motion graphic for title sequences. The scope of projects and working conditions will differ by employer, but companies in this category often seek graphic designer with expertise in print design, experience creating Internet graphics, and some Flash animation ability.

Corporate Organizations

A lot of small and large corporations use graphic design in their own marketing communications departments. Graphic designers working for these organizations often assist in the production of a variety of projects such as promotional displays, catalogs, annual reports, and training materials. Individuals who are seeking to just work with one client will find this area rewarding.


Graphic designers who are self-employed have the ability to choose projects, land their own clients, and create their own schedule. This sector is often stressful because it results in longer work hours and sometimes inconsistent pay. Also, a limited amount of people see designs, which may prevent these types of graphic designers from getting noticed. Many graphic designers choose to work for employers full-time and then do freelance work on the side for extra income.

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Is Your Career One of the Best or the Worst of 2012?

May 16th, 2012 by admin

When you think of your ideal career, what does it look like? Are you lying on the beach typing emails on your BlackBerry, or are you building lean muscle by chopping down trees in the middle of nowhere? They say perspective is everything, but since we have to analyze and rank everything these days, Careercast.com recently came out with their list of best and worst jobs of 2012.

So, how did they decide what defines a good job vs. a bad one? By weighing several factors, such as physical, environmental, income (of course), stress, and hiring outlook. Now, just because a job is stressful doesn’t mean it’s one of the worst. In fact, last we checked, brain surgeons experience a lot of stress, but probably aren’t worrying about the rent. On the other hand, that butcher job might be low stress, but when you weigh the job outlook, you might want to consider medical school.

What are the top 5 “best” jobs according to Careercast?

  1. Software engineer
  2. Actuary
  3. Human resource manager
  4. Dental hygienist
  5. Financial planner

It’s not surprising that software engineer topped the list. After all, the robots are taking over, and they get paid pretty well.

And now, for the 5 “worst” jobs on their list:

  1. Lumberjack
  2. Dairy farmer
  3. Enlisted military soldier
  4. Oil rig worker
  5. Reporter

Why are these worst jobs? For starters, being a lumberjack is very dangerous work. And when you factor in that they only make about $32,000 a year, it is understandable why most people don’t dream about growing up to be the next Paul Bunyon anymore.

Do you love stress as much as most people? Yes? Great! You might enjoy one of these careers they ranked among the most stressful:

  1. Enlisted soldier
  2. Firefighter
  3. Airline pilot
  4. Military general
  5. Police officer

Is the career you want on this list? While we don’t recommend changing your mind about a career based on what other people are saying about it, it’s smart to do some research to find out median salaries, job outlook, and other factors that might affect your job search – and satisfaction in the future.

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The Numbers Are in – Check Out These Fast-Growing Careers!

May 9th, 2012 by admin

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its updated projections of the 20 occupations with the fastest-growing employment between 2010-20. When you look over the list, you’ll notice that many of the top professions are in the field of healthcare. How many times have you heard that if you want a “safe” career, enter healthcare? Well, it sounds like that refrain is going to continue into the next decade.

Obviously, you should follow the path that is going to make you happy, but if you are on the fence about what kind of education you should pursue, check out this list of the 20 fastest-growing professions:

  1. Personal care aides
  2. Home health aides
  3. Biomedical engineers
  4. Brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters
  5. Carpenters
  6. Veterinary technologists and technicians
  7. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers
  8. Physical therapist assistants
  9. Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
  10. Meeting, convention, and event planners
  11. Diagnostic medical sonographers
  12. Occupational therapy assistants
  13. Physical therapist aides
  14. Glaziers
  15. Interpreters and translators
  16. Medical secretaries
  17. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
  18. Marriage and family therapists
  19. Brickmasons and blockmasons
  20. Physical therapists

Is the career you want on this list? If so, then you might be headed in a great direction. If not, don’t worry, there are many other promising careers beyond the ones that made the cut. If you aren’t sure what to do next, search for a college near you that offers programs in your area of interest. They can help you plan a strategy for pursuing your next career.

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Top 10 Reasons Adults Should Go Back to School

April 18th, 2012 by admin

10-reasons-adults-should-go-back-to-schoolSchool isn’t just for teenagers anymore. There are plenty of good reasons why adults, both young and old, can return to school. Here’s ten of the best.

1. Personal investment. Time spent in school is knowledge and experience you deserve. School can help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

2. Make more money. While it’s not guaranteed, you’ll possibly see a hike in salary, having a higher education never hurts. A better degree can lead to any number of job openings all around the world.

3. Brand new experiences. School gets you away from the same old nine to five. If you’re unsatisfied with your career path, pursuing education can set you on a different one.

4. Following your dreams. It’s amazing how many simple life-improving dreams are possible with a little higher education. You may never land on another planet, but you can change your life. A college degree is an excellent place to start.

5. Overcoming fears. College may seem like a frightening place, but it’s full of normal people just like you. You can learn just as much outside of the classroom on a college campus as you can inside the walls, if you’re not afraid to mingle.

6. Create a business. With a little education you can take matters into your own hands and start your own business. You won’t have to work for a boss you hate – you can be your own boss. There are entire degree programs geared to doing exactly that.

7. Networking and connecting. Nothing is more important in today’s connected world than social ties. The people you meet in college today could be tomorrow’s CEOs and superstars. It certainly can’t hurt to be friends with them.

8. Raise self-esteem. College is full of young people and all the hopes and dreams they carry. It’s a place of optimism before the cold harsh world beats them down. Step into their shoes for a while and revitalize yourself with some classes and some social interaction.

9. Be a role model. Especially if you have children, higher education is important. Your kids can see you’re working to improve yourself and they can experience how important college is. That way they’ll be more inclined to go themselves.

10. Endless learning. The world is vast and full of knowledge and experience. It’s worth the investment to give higher education a try. Broaden your horizons.

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Looking for a quick career fix? Try healthcare or IT

April 5th, 2012 by admin

Okay, so that headline might sound a little misleading. After all, there are no so-called quick-fixes for any serious career-changer. The truth is, you have to dedicate yourself to learning the knowledge and skills to succeed in any career field. However, there are some areas you can choose, such as healthcare and information technology that can offer faster training and higher salaries than you might expect.

What’s so cool about healthcare and IT? Well, since you asked, both fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are projected to grow faster than the average rate for all occupations. Healthcare is projected to increase 22% from 2008 to 2018. Employment for computer network, systems, and database administrators is projected to increase by 30% from 2008 to 2018.

Of course, there are many types of work that each field has to offer, with many variables that can affect how much you can earn. But, with projected growth in both fields, now can be a great time to look into programs that can prepare you to enter either field.

While you can earn bachelor’s and graduate degrees in different areas of each field of study, there are many accelerated certification and associate’s programs that can prepare you to get your foot in the door and start working your way up the ladder.

Many people who work at the entry-level in healthcare and IT are managing their busy lives while pursuing higher levels of education. It’s not easy to juggle a job, family responsibilities, and find time to go back to school. But, many people make the time through online learning, flexible class schedules, and lots of caffeine.

If you have been thinking of ways that you can develop skills for real career opportunities, it’s time to see what your options are in the fields of healthcare and information technology.

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Do Not Believe in the “CSI Effect”

March 29th, 2012 by admin


Courtesy Hot Rod Homepage via Flickr

Criminal justice schools across the country have seen an increase in their student bodies due in large part to what’s referred to as the “CSI effect.” The CSI effect is credited to the surge of interest in the criminal investigation field that’s linked to the popularity of the numerous crime scene investigation shows that have rocked television for the past several years.

Referring to the first of the megahit series to really focus on forensic science, the CSI effect glamorizes a very difficult and taxing career. According to the South University’s Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Stuart Henry, the CSI effect communicates to students that careers in forensics and criminal investigation are abundant and plentiful. The truth of the matter is the field of crime scene investigation and other similar career paths are highly specialized and competitive with only the top percentile receiving lucrative job offers after graduating from a criminal justice college.

If you are interested in attending a criminal justice school, it is important to take a good honest look at your intended career path. A thorough college search can yield important information that debunks the CSI effect. The fact of the matter is a career in criminal investigation is not nearly as simple as it is on television. It takes hard work and an incredible amount of dedication, not to mention talent and a specialized education that is often not even touched upon in any of the television shows.

This is not to say that a career in crime scene investigation is impossible to achieve. While conducting a college search for criminal justice schools, ask the advisors, professors and students close to graduating what the reality of this career field is. Such information is invaluable and will help to dispel many of the myths perpetuated by the CSI effect. The advisors at a criminal justice school may even have direct experience with working in the crime scene investigation field, and their advice will help to further guide your decision.

While a career as a highly specialized crime scene investigator may seem impossible, there are plenty other careers in this field that are attainable. A criminal justice college will be able to offer potential students courses in law enforcement, as well as probation officer classes. While not as glamorized as crime scene investigators, police officers are dearly needed, and there are plenty of job openings. A college search will reveal which schools offer courses in law enforcement, which is oftentimes the first step toward a career in criminal investigation. A criminal justice college will be able to direct potential students toward the proper studies to achieve a degree in this field by starting at the bottom. There is no quick and easy way to become a well-respected crime scene investigator, so finding a good criminal justice school is crucial to help you attain your future career path.

The CSI effect takes a very difficult and time-consuming career and polishes it up to be more palatable for the television audience, so it is important to be realistic about your goals. There is an increased demand for graduates from criminal justice schools, whether it is in law enforcement, investigation or other similar branches. As long as students are realistic about the actuality of a profession versus what’s shown on TV, they should not be disappointed by the CSI effect.

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Could your Facebook score kill your job search?

March 15th, 2012 by admin

job-search-facebook-score-TS86482088“Whoa, wait – what the heck is my Facebook score?

Is that what you just said to yourself? If so, then you probably haven’t heard about the new tool employers could use to examine your use of social media.

It all started when a team of professors from multiple universities developed a personality score that factors the following five character traits among Facebook users:

  • Conscientiousness
  • Emotional stability
  • Agreeableness
  • Extraversion
  • Openness

Now, how in the heck can your posts, comments, and photos be formulated?

First, let’s look at the Conscientious category. This is where your “OMG! I love arriving to work early to organize my day!” status update would come in handy. Also, if you have pictures of yourself smiling while working on a spreadsheet, this would help, too. However, you might want to take down that pic that shows what a mess your apartment is.

Emotional Stability. Let’s go ahead and remove that post that reads: “I’M GOING CRAZY! AMERICAN IDOL HAS BEEN CANCELLED!!!!!” Why? Well, let’s start with the words “going crazy” in reference to a TV show that has been on the decline for years. Also, using ALL CAPS is a sign of someone who can’t control their emotions very well. This post might also tell your prospective employer that you have a habit of sweating the small stuff.

Agreeableness. Do you start fights on Facebook about politics, religion, or the flavor of cupcakes? This is where the Golden Rule applies. If you don’t have anything nice to post, don’t post anything at all. (Plus, your friends will be less likely to hide you from their newsfeed if you are nice.)

Extraversion. This is how well you interact with your online and real-life community. You can excel in this category by showing yourself at the latest community center groundbreaking or some other event where you are at least posing as a social person. Those pictures of your keg-stand at the last frat party might be a point-reducer in this category.

Openness. When is the last time you announced that you just finished reading The Works of Oscar Wilde or posted pictures of your attempt to free Tibet? Stop being so shy! Show your job prospects that you are a worldly person, and you aren’t afraid to show it.

So why is all this important to employers? Well, most probably know that you can’t judge a book by its cover – but you can tell a lot about a person’s judgment by what they post, and they can make a lot of guesses about you even if you don’t update your Facebook at all.

Is it scary to think that your future boss is going through your photo albums and comments looking for reasons not to hire you? Sure, it is. That’s why we recommend keeping your profile private and explaining that you like to keep Facebook for friends – and separate from your work life.

How can they argue with that? After all, Facebook’s tagline is “a place for friends,” not “a place for companies to weed through applications.”

Ready to begin your online college search? Get started with US College Search today, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Business Careers with Short Educational Requirements

March 1st, 2012 by rebeccac

For adults today, it’s really hard to find the time and money to devote to furthering their education. Many adults may already have jobs, and although they might be considering a business administration school to help promote them further in their career, they think they don’t have the resources to complete a four-year degree.

It isn’t hard to find a business administration college that offers a shorter program, such as an associate or even a certificate program in a business course that can make it possible to get the education to excel at a current or future career. Consider doing a college search online to see all the possibilities there are. Listed below are a few careers with training and experience requirements that many business administration schools would have available.

Administrative Office Assistant
An administrative office assistant will perform a wide variety of task in the office. Two important skills needed for this position are computer and technical skills. Interpersonal communication skills are also very important because the administrative office assistant will be in contact with many people throughout the office, as well as visitors. A degree is not required for this position. A certificate or diploma that includes training in spreadsheet applications or word processing will, however, provide a competitive edge.

Bookkeepers keep track of a company’s day-to-day finances, income and expenses. They are responsible for recording transactions in the appropriate account ledgers, keeping up with petty cash, and recording everything in a computerized database system. Businesses usually prefer a bookkeeper with an associate degree in business or accounting. Bookkeeping is a great place to start to go on to a career in accounting, which typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

Payroll/Timekeeping Clerk
The employee in charge of timekeeping and payroll will tabulate all employees’ hours and ensure employees are paid. This is, of course, a very important job in any business and requires great attention to detail and communication skills. Entry-level positions in payroll/timekeeping jobs do not require a degree or certification. However, an associate degree or certification from a business administration school will provide a better chance for advancement.

Loan Processor
Loan processors work with loan officers to help facilitate the loan process. They may help with gathering paperwork, informing customers of what legal documents they will need, running credit checks, and processing other paperwork. An actual degree isn’t needed for this position, but some form of business training is recommended. A college search could turn up a business administration college that could provide a certification program or diploma that could train you for this career path.

Hospitality Supervisor
A hospitality supervisor works for a hotel and covers areas such as the front desk, housekeeping, food preparation, convention planning, etc. They will be in contact with hotel guests to ensure they are happy and comfortable, as well as employees of the hotel to ensure everyone is working hard and everything is runny smoothly. Hospitality supervisor is a great entry-level position that requires either a certification or associate degree in hospitality management.

Employers are looking for potential employees with postsecondary education, and although it can be tough when facing a full- or part-time job, family or other commitment, it is possible. Try a college search just to see all the possibilities; there is bound to be something that interests everyone. Often, a business administration college will offer loans and help with job placement, which could help greatly in paying for school, and get you started on the right track to a better future.

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