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Career Training vs. Apprenticeship. Which One Is Right For You?

Is a Medical Assisting Apprenticeship with pay better than a Medical Assisting academic program at IBMC College?

My name is Brissa Childers. I tend to be curious and critical of things that sound promising. The devil is in the details, right?

When I started hearing more about apprenticeships with pay, I began to wonder what the buzz was all about? I am an IBMC College Medical Assistant graduate, class of 2013. I would have liked to have been paid while earning a healthcare certification as a former student and single parent. With coffee in one hand and a curious nature in the other, I began surfing the internet for more information on medical assistant apprenticeships.

I learned that some community colleges were partnering with hospitals and clinics, so people could earn a paycheck as they learn. I was convinced that the latest support for healthcare apprenticeships was indeed brilliant!

I must mention that I am naturally biased toward IBMC College. After all, I did graduate from there and it changed my life.

Hear me out…

IBMC College is more than an academic institution. It is a place where one undergoes a transformation and pivots toward a new direction in life. The knowledge and skill obtained from IBMC College enhances confidence and improves overall performance as a fortified professional. If anyone is ready to make a real transformation of themselves and their life, IBMC College is the place to start.

Let me list a few distinguishing factors that show why IBMC College is more ideal than an apprenticeship with compensation:

  • Instructors are caring mentors that want you to succeed in life.
  • Smaller sized classes allow for individualized attention, any time you need it.
  • Students are submerged in environments that promote social and career development.
  • NICHE reports 4 out of 5-star reviews.

Well, we both know I would choose IBMC College, but what about you? Is IBMC College right for you or is an apprenticeship right for you? Which one would you like better? What is the difference? Why the sudden support for healthcare training from the state of Colorado?

To best answer these types of questions, I allowed my critical thinking nature to take over. After two weeks of research and visiting a local community college to find out more details, significant points began to emerge.

The more I researched, I realized that people need this information, so that they can make the best choice in determining how they want to obtain a medical assisting certification for themselves.

How do I make a comparison?

Applying for an apprenticeship through a hospital or clinic means you may need to go through an interview process. I found that the minimum qualifications a candidate must possess are skills such as:

      • Teamwork
      • Communication
      • Organization

Others were more focused on:

      • Literacy
      • Keyboarding
      • Basic Life Support Certification

But what if a person has not honed or even possessed some of those skills yet? Where could they get the opportunity to learn such skills to be a qualified job applicant?

The answer: They would not make the cut.

Pay close attention to the qualifications under the job descriptions for hospitals and clinics because they do vary.

The medical assisting program duration at IBMC College is longer compared to an apprenticeship, but it is designed that way with good reason. When it comes to learning professional skills, IBMC College is vested in creating quality, well-equipped professional graduates that will remain in the healthcare field.

That is why there are additional classes such as:

      • Communication
      • Computer Literacy
      • General Math

Courses such as these provide students with a strong, well-rounded foundation by caring instructor mentors that offer personalized hands-on attention. One-on-one support helps students build the foundation and confidence needed for success.

IBMC College prides itself on their instructor mentors. This is exemplified in the small instructor-to-student ratio classes. These small classes foster student comradery. Students find that the family-like atmosphere they experience fosters the dedication needed to succeed as a student and graduate.

Why the sudden for apprenticeships in Colorado?

The sudden support for healthcare training in Colorado is due to the substantial number of retirements and people leaving the healthcare workforce.

Colorado is currently providing its’ residents with short-term, zero-cost medical assisting apprenticeship training, funded by 1Care Forward Colorado. Governor Jared Polis signed an 2Executive Order to expand apprenticeship opportunities for all in-demand occupations in healthcare. People can earn a paycheck as they learn frontline healthcare skills with on-the-job training and education.

Ask yourself, is there anything I should know?

The devil is in the details, right?

When searching for an apprenticeship opportunity online, search keyword: Medical Assistant Apprenticeship near me.

You will find job opportunities, but I caution you to look closely at each job description. Consider the apprenticeship pay rate and employment commitment contracts. Not all job descriptions are the same, so be sure to look closely and choose wisely.

The pay rate varied, anywhere between $14-20/hour, depending on location within the state of Colorado. Be certain that the compensation during the apprenticeship is enough to support your current living expenses while in training. Make an honest personal inventory of your current financial needs. This will aid you in your decision between an apprenticeship or an academic institute like IBMC College.

Perhaps an apprenticeship is not necessarily beneficial to you and IBMC College may be a better option. IBMC College is well connected with businesses in their communities. IBMC College provides opportunities for students to connect with employers that have historically worked with school schedules and provided decent pay rates.

More importantly, IBMC Colleges have Student Success Coaches who provide resources and assistance toward any outside factors that could hinder their students from achieving academic success.

For example, when IBMC College students are facing personal, health-related, family, childcare, or housing issues the Student Success Coach will help identify ways to address these issues.

IBMC also has dedicated Career Services teams which can help find graduates careers after they finish their training.

What are Commitment Contracts?

A commitment contract is an official document that binds both you and the company in an agreement for employment time period in return for providing you with training and professional certification(s). This time period usually begins after you receive the professional certification. Be sure to understand the full details.

For example, one of the several Colorado healthcare organizations I researched stated they would:

“Pay $2,500 of the tuition which will require a commitment agreement signed by the student to work with (said organization) for 13 months upon hire as a Medical Assistant after completing the program.”

Again, understand the details of any contract you are a party to.

For over 30-years, IBMC College has been committed to providing professional career training to individuals. They are an academic institute which means they do not use commitment contracts. You can choose from a 10-month medical assisting diploma or a 19-month medical assisting degree program. After graduation, IBMC College utilizes a large network of connected employers with job opportunities for all alumni.

So, what did I just learn?

Let’s get back to the main question: Is a medical assisting apprenticeship better than the medical assisting academic program at IBMC College?

Holistically, one training path is not necessarily better than the other. They are different avenues to reach the same destination, it all depends on the individual’s need that determines which path is a better fit.

Your final choice in selecting a training path can be based on two main thoughts.

  1. Make an honest personal inventory of your financial needs.
  2. Make an honest self-evaluation of your current professional knowledge and skill level.

Understand that I am naturally biased towards IBMC College. However, I did find that the healthcare apprenticeships funded by Care Forward Colorado do certainly provide benefits to people.

Remember the additional professional skill-building classes at IBMC College do lengthen the overall training. The fundamental courses were added for students to hone the professional skills that are highly sought after by hiring professionals.

Again, IBMC College offers career services to graduate alumni for life. That means resume help, one-on-one advising and refresher courses if needed.

Additionally, IBMC students are provided with support and resources for student-life obstacles.

Now, hopefully, you have the information needed to make a self-assured decision and choose confidently between an apprenticeship or IBMC College. I urge you to be diligent and focused on your journey toward becoming a certified medical assistant.

Ultimately, the choice to pursue a career in healthcare can lead you on a path toward many rewarding options and growth. The choice is yours. Take action to do what is right for you.



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