Healthcare administrators oversee medical facilities, which include being responsible for care coordination, the creation of schedules, management of finances and interacting with medical staff. These facilities include hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers, specialty clinics, and nursing homes. New regulations, technology advances, and an aging population have created a booming market for this profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is growing at a rate of 20%, which could result in the addition/turnover of 352,000 jobs in this sector over ten years. In addition, the median salary of $96,540 (BLS 2016) with a Bachelor’s degree with less than five years experience makes this an attractive occupation.
If you decide to embark on the journey towards this profession, it is best to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field. There are choices in on-campus and online learning formats. Whichever you select, a typical program includes courses in natural sciences (biology, chemistry, or anatomy), mathematics, business, and subjects pertaining to healthcare administration and management.
Some programs place a greater emphasis on the business courses, which means areas as accounting, finance, information technology, marketing, and organizational behavior. In addition, there may be program-specific courses in risk management, law, insurance, economics, finance, and human resource management. Students may also have the opportunity to select from a host of electives covering public health, ethics, family studies, allied health, gerontology, medical sociology, and more.
As an adjunct to your degree, there are optional internships that provide a taste of exposure to working in healthcare or related facility. These are usually held during the summer months and compensation is generally available while interning. Over the course of 10-12 weeks, students will gain exposure to the business and administrative components through project-based work with their respective departments/sections. Students work full-time with their assigned departments or project leads with the opportunity to attend senior leadership meetings, attend discussion forums with leadership, hear guest speakers, and may need to present projects to the leadership team. For opportunities in this area, many of the prominent job placement sites have postings for internships.
This degree offers a variety of potential work environments as mentioned in the first paragraph. This is a partial list as there are many others, such as corporate wellness programs, government agencies, consulting firms, mental health organizations, and the list continues. This means that you may want to have an idea which job sector you prefer when looking at colleges/universities. The reason is that health administration programs delve into different specialty courses. For example, you can look into schools offering courses in long-term care or ambulatory care if that is the niche you wish to work upon graduation.
To reiterate, this is a flourishing sector of healthcare due to the fact that seniors are living longer and their numbers are increasing. The Population Reference Bureau reports that the number of Americans ages 65 and older should double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent. This is music to the ears of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. This is one reason why DegreeQuery included this undergraduate program in our 25 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees for 2018.
The following DegreeQuery articles in the healthcare arena may also be of interest: