Two Successful Med Lab Science Grads Share Their UC Experience and Career Advancement Stories

Medical laboratory scientists are in demand, and the career category is projected to grow.

While an associate degree in laboratory science is a great way to get started, a bachelor’s degree is a logical next step for anyone interested in advancing their laboratory science career.

If you’re considering leveraging your own lab education and experience, keep reading to find the benefits of studying for your bachelor’s degree online, like two recent University of Cincinnati (UC) graduates.

It’s Convenient to Earn an MLS Degree Online

For a clinical laboratory technologist (CLT) or medical laboratory technologist (MLT) with an associate degree, UC’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science (BS MLS) is an ideal way to complete a program without having to travel to and from a university campus.

UC’s program includes a clinical rotation requirement, but everything else is 100% online — making it possible to further your education and advance your career while balancing work and life responsibilities. If you’re unable to do the rotation at your job, UC’s program managers and clinical managers can help you find a clinical site.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Expert Faculty: In-depth courses like chemistry, microbiology, and hematology are taught by world-class faculty with hands-on experience in medical laboratory science.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: The program teaches the academic and technical skills vital for today’s medical laboratory scientists. The course curriculum aligns with the standards and competencies outlined by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.
  • Multiple Start Times: Students can start the program in the spring, summer, or fall.
  • Full Accreditation: The program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) and the Higher Learning Commission accredits UC’s programs.
  •  Impressive Outcomes: UC’s online BS MLS program boasts high graduation and placement rates, with graduates consistently outperforming the national average on the American Society for Clinical Pathology MLS board certification exam.
Employee Benefit Can Help With Degree Fees

The value and quality of this program is recognized by numerous potential employers in and near Cincinnati. In fact, UC partners with businesses that provide tuition scholarships to their employees to offset some of the fees.

Leading-area hospitals that encourage employees to participate in this program include:

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Ohio Health
  • UC Health
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Mercy Health/ Bon Secour
Meet Two BS MLS Program Grads

Michaela E. of Cincinnati, Ohio, worked third shift as a phlebotomist before enrolling in the online BS MLS program. She credits her questioning mindset with opening the door to more education and career advancement.

Michaela recalls asking a lot of questions to a co-worker who had been through another MLS program, “One day, she told me that, since I had all these questions, I should go to school and become one,” she says.

As a UC student, Michaela especially enjoyed the hematology course, saying the professor made the medical terminology relatable to real-world experiences and other course topics. Michaela believes the program broadened her horizons about what is possible for career advancement, noting, “The clinical rotation for this program helped me gain experience in departments I had not experienced previously.”

Most importantly, the MLS program launched the next phase of Michaela’s career; she says:

I went from working third shift in a laboratory to working from home in an IT role.

Employers look for a bachelor’s degree, and having a UC degree on an application helps because it goes to show how committed you are to your career. And the difference in salary from associate to bachelor was worth it.

Sonny C. of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, enrolled in UC’s online BS MLS program to advance his career and set the stage for becoming a full-time medical science instructor.

Sonny was working in a part-time teaching position for MLT students when he enrolled in our program. Right away, he found he could benefit from everything he was learning — and so did his students. “I was better suited to help them learn more thoroughly with the knowledge I gained,” Sonny says.

Sonny cites one of the first classes in the program, Special Topics in Medical Laboratory Science, as a favorite. “It was like a mixture of medical science history, scientific research, and creative writing all rolled into one,” he says.

Earning his bachelor’s degree from UC quickly brought career advancement Sonny’s way; he says:

As soon as I graduated, I received a raise for becoming an MLS. And shortly after, I was able to apply for a senior technologist position.

Sonny quickly leveraged the senior technologist position into a supervisory role at Vitalant, where he holds the Medical Laboratory Scientist III title. He sees a clear path toward his ultimate goal of teaching laboratory science full-time. Earning a master’s degree will be Sonny’s next step.

Good Advice from Michaela and Sonny

Many students who enroll in our online programs work full-time, so time management is a top priority. Tried-and-true strategies for balancing work and school from those who have graduated successfully are invaluable. Here’s what Michaela and Sonny want you to know about their experience in the BS MLS program.

  • Plan ahead. Michaela says, “I knew I had to be very efficient with my time and have the mentality that if I don’t make the time to get it done, then it won’t happen. I put my academic schedule into my work schedule to make sure I could balance both.”
  • Use paid time off (PTO) strategically. Balancing full-time work and a full life is never easy, but it’s possible with the right strategy. “There were many varied factors,” Sonny says, “I was working full-time, teaching MLT students one day a week, and going through this program all at the same time. I managed things as well as I could and utilized my time wisely. Also, I used PTO as needed.”
  • Build a routine. Sonny thrived on learning at his own pace. He could meet deadlines while completing assignments and studying on his own schedule. His secret? Building a routine. He says, “Every class was structured the same, so it was easy to create a study pattern that worked best for me.”
  • Stick with it. Michaela says the online program instills discipline to hold yourself accountable for completing your coursework. She says, “The first 15 weeks may be a challenge. But after that, you are ready to complete the rest of the degree — and the professors are very helpful and supportive.”
  • Get the right tools. Sonny says having the right tools makes it easy to succeed from day one. UC’s MLS program recommends having the following:
  1. Computer with an Intel i5 processor
  2. At least 8 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  3. Video card
  4. Broadband access (DSL/Cable/Fioptics)
  5. Sound card with internal or external speakers
  6. Web camera with integrated microphone
  7. Printer or access to a printer
  •  Start now! Sonny believes this degree has helped him tremendously — and that there’s no time like the present to get started. “If you have any thoughts of joining this program, do it as soon as you can,” he says.
Advance Your Lab Science Career

Michaela’s and Sonny’s stories underscore the transformative potential of UC’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science online program for someone working in the field of lab science.

If you have a laboratory science associate degree and are interested in learning more about this bachelor’s program, take the next step and contact an Enrollment Services Advisor. They can answer your questions about admission requirements, upcoming start dates, and more. To speak with someone immediately, call (833) 556-8611 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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