Is a Healthcare Management Degree Right for You?
Healthcare management is a great course of study for students interested in a growing health care field that combines both business and health care knowledge. This degree path looks at the medical industry from a business perspective as well as a healthcare perspective. And as the baby boomer population ages, the health care industry overall is expected to see an increase in the demand for medical services, including managers to organize medical information and staff in hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing homes, and other health care facilities.
Competent healthcare management professionals will be in high demand, particularly in the offices of health practitioners as well as in medical group practice management. If you can see yourself working behind the scene in the medical industry, a degree in healthcare management could be for you.
Advice for Earning Your Healthcare Management Degree Online
The courses in a healthcare management bachelor’s degree program are easily adapted to online format. As a result, there are plenty of healthcare management programs available online and you may have to weed through some weak programs to find the quality options. Before enrolling, make sure the program is accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, as well as a specialized accredited agency, in particular the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education. Also, review the program curriculum to ensure it includes business classes that address issues and problems associated with the healthcare industry.
Online Healthcare Management degree programs a combination of business and management courses. Some will also include classes in healthcare policy, politics, and ethics. Required courses in a healthcare management degree program may include:
- Health Law
- Health Planning and Regulation
- Healthcare Operations Management
- Managing Health Services Organizations
- Public Health
Common Career Paths
Some potential careers for those with a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management include:
Nursing Home Administrator
- Expected Growth: 22%
- Average Annual Salary: $98,080
With a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, you might find work as a nursing home administrator. This position is tasked with managing the staff, admissions, and finances of a nursing home facility. Thanks to the aging baby boomer population, it’s also a position that is likely to be in demand.
A bachelor’s degree alone isn’t enough to start your career in the field. Nursing home administrators must be licensed to practice. Licensing requirements vary by state. They also typically enter the field with a master’s degree, which reports that the advanced degree is becoming increasingly common in the field. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the BLS, and represent median incomes.
Medical Insurance Specialist
- Expected Growth: 21%
- Average Annual Salary: $37,335
Budget analysts keep a sharp eye on an organization’s spending and help organizations get their finances in shape. These professionals often work on financial teams and are in charge of reviewing each department’s budget proposals to determine if the requests are appropriate and justifiable. They may also perform cost-benefit analyses to explore the potential benefits or repercussions of allocating finances in various ways. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Assistant Hospital Administrator
- Expected Growth: 22%
- Average Annual Salary: $90,080
Assistant administrators generally support day-to-day operations of a health care facility. They may help in planning, coordinating and supervising the proper delivery of health care. Assistant administrators can be found in all areas of healthcare specialties, from nursing and surgery to therapy, medical records, or health information. Salary as an assistant administrator will vary depending on such factors as the size and type of practice and level of responsibility. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Social and Community Service Managers
- Expected Growth: 27%
- Average Annual Salary: $65,625
Social and community services managers manage the operations of social and human services programs and organizations. Their tasks include hiring, managing, and training staff, as well as allocating resources and refining operations systems. In the case of a healthcare oriented service organization, a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management will be very useful to a professional in this position. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 21%
- Average Annual Salary: $91,345
Management analysts advise businesses on how to run a more efficient and profitable operation. In the healthcare industry, management analysts address the business side of hospital operations and may work closely with in-house managers to design more efficient systems and procedures. Management analysts, need a at least bachelor’s degree in management or a related field like healthcare management in addition to years of experience in the industry. Figures above were provided by the BLS.