A career in the healthcare industry doesn’t always involve clinical jobs. A healthcare administration degree prepares you to work in healthcare without being a physician, surgeon, or nurse.
Healthcare managers and administrators are the movers and shakers, working in the background to ensure healthy living for both employees and patients.
With the accelerated growth of the industry and the new challenges looming, the demand for apt healthcare administrators arises along.
Technology, law, and medical breakthroughs are transforming the field. Indeed, each generation wants something different from the healthcare system. All these factors make it an exceptional time to work as an health administrator. The job you’ll do when you graduate, perhaps, isn’t invented yet.
If you’re a natural leader with business skills and interest in health care, maybe you should read this article in its entirety.
By degrees, allow us to walk you through the healthcare administration degree.
What Part a Healthcare Administrator Play
A healthcare administrator, aka health services manager, wears many hats.
They’re at the heart of any health care providing establishment, from hospitals, private medical practices, to government agencies.
It’s a matter of credentials and experiences. You can find a healthcare administrator managing a large rehabilitation center, a governmental health department, or a small clinic.
The long list of a healthcare administrator’s responsibilities includes:
- Keeping records and creating reports so they can use the information to improve workflow.
- Dealing with inner work activities behind-the-scenes to make sure the hospital is a successful business, including the technical, clerical, and medical aspects.
- Acting as Human Resources to recruit, hire, and train personnel.
- Creating and enforcing organizational policies to comply with the latest standards and legislation.
- Taking care of financial matters like accounting, budgeting, and even determining the prices of services provided.
A healthcare administrator is a glue that brings all departments together to ensure the highest level of efficiency.
Leadership, critical thinking, and friendly nature are the traits that you must have to become a successful healthcare administrator, medical manager, or healthcare executive.
Some of the above skills you can learn by practicing, others you can’t learn without going to school, and attaining a healthcare administration degree.
The Right Healthcare Administration Degree for You
Choosing the right level of healthcare administration degree will have a dramatic effect on your career’s trajectory.
In small doses, let’s move up the healthcare administration degrees from certifications to doctoral programs.
Healthcare Administration Certification
If you have a high school diploma and some experience in administrative work, you should consider a healthcare administration certification.
Understandably, healthcare is a promising field. If you want to switch careers, a certification will help you make a quick transition as it takes less than a year to complete.
From there, you can pursue an in-depth degree.
It won’t be hard to find an online healthcare administration certification program that you can join.
Healthcare Administration Associate’s Degree
Fresh out of high school? An associate’s degree is the fastest, safest, and surest path to start your career in health care.
It’s a degree that takes two years to complete, and it’s the perfect preparation to break in the industry.
You’ll study the foundations like medical terminology, entrepreneurship, and management, all from a healthcare perspective.
After graduation, you can get an entry-level position like a medical assistant, health office manager, and assistant healthcare administrator.
Healthcare Administration Bachelor’s Degree
Most employers are looking for bachelor’s degree holders.
It prepares you for leadership positions and takes four years to complete.
A typical healthcare administration program teaches you the foundations of healthcare, in addition to public health, finances, and facility operations.
One of the biggest benefits of a bachelor’s degree is the working knowledge you gain through hands-on training.
After graduation, you can pursue a job as a healthcare administrator, healthcare consultant, or community service manager.
Healthcare Administration Master’s Degree
While most employers are looking for students with a bachelor’s degree, the master’s degree holders stand out.
It takes two years to complete and sets you apart from the rest. Master’s degrees are available in healthcare marketing, economics, policy, and more.
You should pursue a master’s degree in healthcare administration when you’re eyeing a specific position at the high executive level like a human resources manager, program manager at a rehabilitation center, or research assistant.
Master’s degrees focus on a specialized area, expect to present your master’s thesis on a specific research area in the healthcare field. Moreover, additional classes in other areas like sociology and business may be required.
Generally, you’ll know what you want after a few years of practice, so take your time.
Healthcare Administration Doctoral Degree
Doctoral programs in healthcare administration teach you the business intelligence you need to manage a healthcare facility.
There’re several paths to earn a doctoral degree in healthcare administration:
- A Doctor of Health Administration degree, DHA, prepares you for real-life management skills that qualify you to take on managerial positions in the industry.
- A Ph.D. degree is the route you need to take if your goal is to do healthcare research, especially if you want to drive your career to the academic arenas of healthcare.
- A Doctor of Business Administration degree is the specialization you need to combine healthcare administration and business.
Any healthcare administration degree of these three can take anywhere from three to seven years to complete.
The purpose of a doctoral program is preparing you for top managerial offices, in addition to high-powered policy-making positions in the healthcare system.
You typically learn about healthcare research methods, communication, and ethical issues in the industry.
After completion, you get more opportunities like becoming a political scientist (with a healthcare focus), researcher, or university professor.
You can find work immediately after graduation from your healthcare administration degree. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is enough to put you on track. But a higher degree is required if you want to reach the top.
All in all, the healthcare industry is expanding, if you start your career today, who knows what you can achieve with hard work and patience?
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