Working in the healthcare industry can be both impactful and rewarding. For many individuals, the desire to pursue a career in healthcare stems from a drive to promote healthy living and to keep everyone safe and healthy.
However, for others seeking health professional careers that do not want to deal directly with patient needs, a health administration degree might be a good option.
In health administration, administrators manage the daily operations of healthcare facilities and handle employees.
They make sure that doctors, nurses and medical technologists have the right tools and resources to provide quality care to patients.
Health administration is a fairly new concept and might be foreign to you. Keep scrolling and find out why studying health administration might be the move you need to advance your career.
It can be rewarding and fulfilling
It may seem like a little thing, but the absence of rewarding work in daily job duties is one of the reasons that most US employees feel drained.
According to the American Psychology Association, finding meaning in something you do can increase job satisfaction and motivation.
Meaningful work is the essence of healthcare. Working as a health administrator can make you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself.
You can work behind the scenes to keep the healthcare facility running smoothly or be there for the families of patients as their loved ones recover through some of their most difficult times.
You could be part of the team that collects clinical records for research and analysis to detect holes and obstacles in quality care.
You could be responsible for handling health information and ensuring patients are moved through the care process efficiently.
Regardless of your role within the industry, working in healthcare lets you cultivate your desire to help others and make the world a better place.
Best of all, working in healthcare helps you grow personally. Unlike many other professions, the healthcare sector exposes you to a wide range of individuals with different personalities every day.
At first glance, this can be overwhelming, but it also presents a significant opportunity for you to learn from other people.
You will find out what makes people laugh, what makes them tick, or what makes them cry and how to deal with these different emotions.
This can be important in creating lifelong skills such as empathy, attention to detail, a positive attitude and stress management, all of which can help you professionally.
It generates more opportunities
The US healthcare job market is experiencing a massive uptick right now and this upward trend is here to stay.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare-related jobs are expected to increase by 13% between 2019 and 2029.
Put simply, you will find employment quickly and be exposed to more career opportunities than applicants in other job sectors.
Unlike many other industries, health administration careers are classified into a wide array of pathways and specializations.
With so many unique options to choose from, you can identify your passion and pursue a career most suitable to your strengths.
After earning a graduate degree in health administration, there are many different areas you could find yourself working in.
Workplaces range from private medical offices and hospitals to non-hospital settings with insurance or medical sales companies.
Although you can enter the job field right after graduation, a Master’s degree will make you more competitive for advanced positions.
Unlike undergraduate health administration degrees, a Master’s provides an advanced curriculum with in-depth concentration on individual subjects.
This gives you the needed advantage to climb the ladder within your chosen field of healthcare.
Like it or not, healthcare is a cutthroat environment. In order to advance, you will need any advantage you can get.
With a graduate degree, you can accumulate significant knowledge on a range of topics in the areas of managing healthcare systems and employees.
In contrast to the common belief, you do not need a strong background in healthcare to kickstart your career in health administration. It’s an extensive field with a wide range of positions you could choose to pursue.
Regardless of whether you want to become a medical researcher or an administrator managing the day-to-day tasks of a healthcare organization, you will land a job in this field with the right experience and qualifications.
Among the careers you can pursue after earning a degree in health administration are the following:
- Medical administrative assistant
- Medical assistant
- Medical biller and coder
- Health information technician
- Patient services representative
- Private practice office manager
- Healthcare consultant
- Medical reimbursement specialist
- Healthcare human resources manager
- Health services administrator
The job outlook for healthcare is also strong. In other words, you will never find yourself unemployed as there are positions available that fit multiple skill sets.
You may have strength in data analysis that would make you a better fit for a role in health informatics.
You may be a financial expert whose skills would be best used in overseeing healthcare provider payments and billing.
Perhaps you are a creative person with a strong background in healthcare marketing. The opportunities are endless, and they all begin with a foundation in health administration.
Moreover, the baby boomer generation is aging and living longer leaving healthcare to struggle to keep up.
Recent data reveals that approximately 76 million individuals were born between 1946 and 1964. Known as the baby boomer generation, this is the largest in history.
On average, the oldest members of this generation have reached retirement in 2012 while others are expected to do so by 2030.
Most people within this age range will likely rely on medical programs for post-retirement healthcare. This undoubtedly strains healthcare resources.
With the increasing average life expectancy of these boomers, most healthcare groups find themselves stretched to the limit. For them to meet patient needs, they will need enough manpower to ensure effective healthcare.
It has competitive salary potential and benefits
Salaries in the healthcare industry are almost always better than other industries because of the continuous demand.
While money is not everything, it can play a significant factor in decisions related to your career. A lucrative and steady salary can smooth over challenges associated with the work.
Health administration careers are among the best paying job options due to the increasing demand.
If you have the right skills and educational qualifications in your toolbelt, you can increase the likelihood of being able to ask for a higher salary.
However, it is worth noting that similar to other professionals, your years of experience, level of education and location will assume a critical role in your earning potential in the health industry.
How to get started in health administration?
By now, you may be convinced that a degree in health administration is the one for you. However, you may not know where to begin.
So, how can you earn a health administration degree? You have two choices. You can opt for the traditional educational experience or choose to pursue your degree through online education.
The most significant advantage of earning a health administration degree online is flexibility. For instance, if you currently work as a manager for an accounting organization but always wanted to work in the field of healthcare. You can simply enroll for a health administration program online and earn your degree in as little as two years, all without taking time off from work.
But hold on, are these online degrees legitimate? Are they even respected by hospitals and healthcare organizations?
In fact, they are. A CNN report reveals that 61% of employers say that online degrees are of equal or greater quality compared to on-campus degrees because they allow for more focused learning.
There is no getting around the fact that studying health administration is complex. It involves more medical concepts and terminologies that manystudents want to take.
Perhaps one thing that makes it more attractive is the science that underpins health administration.
Health administration is about solving real-world issues and ensuring healthcare systems work. For a health administrator to effectively do that, they need to have the comprehensive knowledge to make educated decisions regarding pertinent issues.
Online learning provides complete control over your learning which is the exact opposite of in an-person setting.
When you are in a classroom, you have little to no control over your learning. You take what you can get from your instructor even if it does not relate to your major.
Have you ever found yourself studying an unrelated subject and asking how it relates to your profession in the first place? Fortunately, this won’t happen when you study health administration online.
When you can pick what you want to learn, you can quickly move to other areas of the course and earn your degree.
It also makes it easier for you to focus and chime in with questions and ideas which can bolster your confidence to learn even more.
Plus, studying health administration allows for self-paced learning. This means you can revisit past course material or stop at a specific point of an online lecture to organize your notes and perform additional research to thoroughly understand the topic.
Like it or not, students learn at different paces. Not everyone has the skill to take in everything in one sitting.
By studying health administration online, you can concentrate on areas that you understand better or are of the most interest to you.
This way, you reduce the feelings of frustration, anxiety and boredom that you may encounter in a traditional setting.
Now that we’ve laid out all the options and provided you with an idea on why online learning is the superior option for busy professionals such as yourself, the next step is to pick the right university.
As mentioned above, online health administration degrees are respected by employers. However, far too often, top organizations will also want to know where you earned the degree.
The reality is that picking the right health administration program is as important as choosing the right academic institution.
Frequently, employers perform thorough research to determine whether the degree you’ve earned is accredited by established regulatory boards.
This is their way of making sure that you have the appropriate training and skills required to perform your duties and deliver work that positively impacts the organization.
So, you might ask, how would you find out if your chosen academic institution is the right one – or how do you define the right online university for health administration in the first place?
Ask other online students and each one will recommend their favorite online universities to you.
If you need a syringe, it’s quite easy to find one. However, picking the right university is more personal. What may work for your friends and colleagues may not provide similar results for you.
One rule of thumb is to check university rankings online. Some stick exclusively with giving you general rankings, while others may have separate tables for each degree program.
Either way, you need to evaluate the student-staff ratio of your chosen academic institution. Lower ratios might be better for you as it allows you to ask questions and understand the topics more quickly.
You may also want to consider checking the reviews of any online university you are considering. The reality is that most online universities have their specialties.
By gaining this insight, you can clearly determine if your desired university can contribute to your personal and professional goals.
Other than that, taking the time to check all the resources available at your online university can also help. Even if you are taking classes online, your selected academic institution has a wide range of learning and study resources to ensure your success.
From online guidance counselors and electronic books to other virtual learning resources, you should find and make use of all the help you can get to enhance your overall learning experience.
What does an online health administration degree look like?
The reputation and quality of an executive Master of Health Administration degree program will depend on its course curriculum.
Although it will differ from one academic institution to the next, the course curriculum will usually combine core management principles and advanced healthcare education. Among the courses you will most likely take while studying a Telfer Executive Master of Health Administration at the University of Ottawa online are the following:
Fundamentals of data analytics
This course will tackle the aspects of making data useful for healthcare managers. You will learn comprehensive analysis and data modeling skills in addition to developing the ability to interpret large amounts of data. You will also draw sound implications regarding existing healthcare issues and exhibit the usefulness of healthcare problem solving and decision making.
This course will cover financial concepts such as time-value of money analysis, financial planning, bond and equity pricing and the risk and rate of return. You will also be using financial decision making and risk assessment tools in administrative decisions within the different contexts of healthcare organizations.
Healthcare in Canada in a comparative context
This course will provide an extensive summary of the Canadian healthcare system, including its history and evolution. It will emphasize the relationship between the provincial and territorial systems and the federal government. You will also learn the current societal, economic and political forces that affect healthcare policy and how the Canadian system fares in comparison to other nation’s healthcare systems.
In this course, you will learn about developments, challenges and issues in the emerging field of health informatics. It will also tackle the role it assumes in healthcare transformation initiatives. Other subjects that will be studied are the management implications of health informatics, historical development and basic foundations, and theoretical, ethical and methodological underpinnings.
Now that you have a comprehensive overview of what an online health administration degree looks like, the next step is to identify the admission requirements for universities that you are considering.
Online applications differ in requirements, but you will usually be asked to provide a Bachelor’s degree from a Canadian school or equivalent.
You may also need to submit two professional letters of recommendation and your resume to prove you have a minimum of five years of management-related work experience.
Depending on your chosen online university, a minimum average of 75% may also be required.
As the demand for healthcare continues to grow, so will the need for effective managers and administrators who can lead organizations through the complexity and challenges of change. Work towards your health administration degree and start your journey to making the world a better place.