Career opportunities are created through education and experience.
Claudia Morales never set out to be a teacher.
She was working as a medical assistant for over 12 years, working in the hospital in pediatrics as well as an EKG tech, but she longed to gain some additional knowledge. She enrolled in Southern Careers Institute’s online medical billing & coding program and while doing so, discovered a new passion–educating fellow students.
“I enjoyed being a student and I LOVE teaching,” she gushes. We interviewed her in August 2017, a mere four months after graduating from SCI. Ms. Morales teaches several medical assistant courses now including EKG, Phlebotomy, and ANP, Anatomy & Physiology at the SCI Harlingen campus. However, she would never be able to be given this career opportunity, if it was not for the multiple certifications that she had earned and her experience in the medical field.
Stacked credentials means stacked career opportunities.
According to a 2014 survey from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), over 80% of respondents stated that employers are indicating stacked credentials, or multiple certifications, are desired or mandatory. The “trifecta” of certifications that seem to be the most desirable for career opportunities in the medical field, are CCMA (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant), CPT (Certified Phlebotomy Technician), & CET (Certified EKG Technician). In that same NHA study, professionals that were “trifecta” certified, were 52% more likely to receive a promotion and earned an average of $1650 more per year.
If you are considering or enrolled in a medical assistant program, even just adding one additional certification, boosts your career opportunities as well as your job placement rate. CMA’s that were also certified phlebotomists, were 37% more likely to be hired for entry-level allied health positions.
“The more knowledge of multiple positions, the better the chance of hiring.” said one educator who participated in the NHA survey.
Certifications dominate job descriptions.
Still not convinced that certifications will get you that steady career opportunity you’ve been looking for? Check for yourself. In recent search we did for “medical assistant” on Indeed.com, out of the first 10 job listings that came up, 8 of them required at least one certification or at least 1 year of medical assistant experience (which you would get in a medical assistant training program like the ones that SCI offers).
So, we had to ask Ms. Morales: as someone who has been both on the student side and an instructor at SCI. What advice would she give for someone considering taking classes at Southern Careers Institute? The upside, she says, is that “they can take the phlebotomy exam so they can be phlebotomist, they can take the EKG exam, so they can be EKG techs, and then of course, your CMA. So those are good perks going to SCI.”