Health Care Administration
Do you like coordinating complex organizational systems, and working with people to better their lives? If so, you might consider the field of health care administration. Health care is of great importance in our economy, and increasingly so because people live longer than they ever did throughout history. Healthcare is not just about the medical providers – it’s about the organizers behind them. Healthcare services require administrators, from executive management down to entry level – in order to ensure efficiency. Healthcare administrators work in a variety of settings, for example: hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, group medical practices, assisted living facilities, and public health departments.
Read below to gain information about an Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or Master’s Degree in Health Administration.
Health Care Administration Degrees
Healthcare Administrators tend to work longer hours than average, but the salaries are usually commensurate, making this career track attractive because it is both meaningful and lucrative. Career training for health care administrators typically includes a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, and some programs even offer online degrees. If you decide to pursue the health care administration field, consider these college degrees:
- Public Health
- Health Sciences
- Health Services Administration
- Master in Business Administration (MBA)
Health Care Administration Degree Choices
Depending on your career goals, and the amount of time you wish to dedicate toward your studies, you will choose from either an Associate, Bachelor’s,Master’s, or Doctorate (PhD) degree in the health administration field. We recommend contacting a few colleges to arrange a time to meet with their admissions counselors, either by phone or in person. By speaking directly with an admissions counselor, you’ll be able to ascertain which health administration degree suits you best.
What subjects do you study for a health administration degree?
While specific coursework varies among colleges, generally speaking all health administration degree courses cover similar material. The following are subjects covered for any level of health administration degree:
- Healthcare Management
- Healthcare Finance
- Healthcare Law & Ethics
- US Health Insurance System
Associate Degree in Health Administration
An Associate Degree (AA or AS) in Health Administration is typically two years of full-time study. An Associate Degree in Health Administration might lead to better opportunities for entry-level positions. Most importantly, the Associate Degree in Health Administration also provides students with a strong introduction to the entire world of health care, possibly leading them to explore options they had not considered beforehand.
Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration
Generally speaking, a bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) will offer you more job opportunities than an associate degree. In fact, Rasmussen College conducted a study which showed that 20 times more job opportunities exist for bachelor’s degree graduates than for graduates with only an associate degree.
Graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration may qualify to work as health information managers, nursing home administrators, and assistant administrators in health industries.
Master’s Degree in Health Administration
A Master’s in Healthcare Administration is usually considered the gold standard for health administration professionals. With a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration (often called an MDH), you will more likely be considered for upper management positions than if you have only a Bachelor’s or Associate degree in health care administration. Even though a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration is rigorous academically, since it is the ticket to higher-level opportunities, students usually find that their dedication pays off after graduation.
Choosing A Healthcare Administration School: Online or Onsite?
In the past, getting a college degree, of any level, often meant putting your life on hold for years to attend onsite campus classes. While traditional health care degree programs are still offered by colleges and universities across the country, online degrees are no longer a fringe option. In fact, there are many online programs from which to choose, some of which are considered high-caliber in accordance with college ranking systems.
In addition, a plethora of lower-priced, yet high-quality options are available from a number of other online health care administration programs.
The advantages of an online health care administration degree are as follows:
- Online degrees are typically considered to be on par with on-campus degrees.
- A graduation certificate does not indicate the place of study, therefore, an online degree would be indistinguishable from an onsite degree from the same institution.
- Some online degrees can be obtained at a different pace than taking classes on campus – either quicker, or slower, depending on your needs. This level of flexibility can be particularly beneficial to those already employed, and/or balancing a family with their studies.
To be sure, not all online degree programs offer the same options. If you are considering a health care administration degree in the near future, be sure to be in touch with the admissions counselor at each school you are considering. Here are some guideline questions to discuss with an online health care administration degree program admissions counselor:
- Are the classes held at specific times online, or can they be viewed at later time via recording?
- Is part-time study available?
- Is the time frame set, or can I spread out the classes for a shorter or longer time period?
- What are the methods of communication between instructors and students, and between classmates?
- Are there online student networking opportunities provided by the school?
- Does this school assist in arranging paid, or course-credit, internships?
- Do online students benefit from alumni services like those for on-campus students?
Improving Job Prospects After Graduation
Healthcare administrators oversee policies, budgets, operations, staffing, technical system integration, and much more. Administrators with clinical experience can specialize in particular types of health care administration.
Many postgraduates with healthcare administration degrees go on to pursue certification in specialized areas of healthcare administration in order to further their credentials for job prospects. Additionally, healthcare administration degree graduates often join industry organizations, both local and national, in order to expand their networking opportunities. These postgraduate options are often offered online.