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Is a Healthcare Management Degree Right For Me?
It’s a word that means possessing a certain specialty of knowledge.
Yet the word “expert” is so overused in our culture that, often, most of us don’t pay much attention to it anymore.
The truth is, pretty much anyone can claim to be an expert these days.
And that’s okay in some areas of our lives.
But it’s a downright frightening idea in the world of health information and health services---especially in light of the many changes to our system of care.
Lots of things are impacting American healthcare right now, including:
- Healthcare reform policies
- Moral and ethical considerations
- Efficiency mandates and pressures
- Continuum of care redefinition
- Aging population growth
All of this (and more) makes our healthcare system increasingly complex.
Which is why, if there’s ever been a real need for real experts in the medical profession, it’s right now, or so says Franklin University Healthcare Management Program Chair Dr. Leslie Mathew.
“From hospitals, to extended care facilities, to primary care practices, all of these places need expert managers. With nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers entering into the healthcare system per day, there are literally millions and millions of people demanding---and needing---healthcare,” he says. “As such, we desperately need people who can align quality patient care with institutional goals, reporting and planning. We need visionaries in healthcare administration and management.”
As a physician who spent 35 years in medicine before moving into management 15 years ago, Dr. Mathew believes strongly that well-prepared experts can help make patient care delivery better and more operationally efficient. Those experts? Healthcare management professionals: People qualified to to run the business behind the medical care, without compromising delivery or quality of care.
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So where does a visionary healthcare expert get a job if they’re not in the so-called blood-and-guts world of patient care?
Anywhere patient care is delivered---and not just in a hospital.
“Most of my students ask, ‘How do I get a job in a hospital?’” he says. “I tell them that the hospital is the end point, the largest institution. But the continuum of care is going away from hospitals and into home healthcare and other institutions, such as patient-centered medical homes.”
Dr. Mathew says that most people don’t think of home health as a career path---but it is.
“Don’t only look at hospitals,” he advises. “Our students are not restricted to just the hospital. The job market is literally unlimited.”
In fact, Dr. Mathew contends that the healthcare management field provides an ideal career path for anyone who wants to make a move into any type of healthcare organization, including these hospital alternatives:
- Acute care hospitals
- Long-term care facilities
- Physician practices
- Ambulatory centers
- Insurance companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Consulting firms
That’s why Dr. Mathew says that when he counsels potential undergraduate students on whether a healthcare management degree is right for them, the first and biggest question he asks is this: “What makes you come alive?”
“Asking people what they really want to do, what’s their passion, is really important,” says Dr. Mathew, “If the answer is ‘I love people,’ I take that as a very good sign.”
But even people who want non patient-facing careers have plenty of opportunities in health care---if they have a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, he says.
From healthcare leadership, to quality management, to healthcare informatics, to public and community health, when you earn your bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, statistically and anecdotally speaking, you’re entering one of the nation’s top 20 fastest-growing occupations.
In fact, the employment outlook is truly bright for those who possess the proper knowledge and skills along with a degree in health management. As an industry, healthcare is expected to generate more new jobs than any other.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a double-digit job increase of 20% from 2012-2022---that’s an estimated 354,274 jobs, up from 295,608 jobs just 10 years earlier.
Here are just some of the many business, professional, leadership, hospital and management career opportunities available for healthcare management program grads:
- Health and Social Service Manager
- Health and Social Service Manager
- Health Services Manager
- Healthcare Strategist
- Hospital Administrator
- Medical Insurance or Medical Device Manager
- Medical Office Manager
- Medical Office Manager
- Medical Practice Manager
- Medical Record Manager
- Operations Administrator
- Program Manager
- Strategic Healthcare Consultant
Career for Your Personality Type
In addition to a variety of job titles and increased earning potential, a healthcare management degree may be right for you if you want to:
- Keep up with healthcare trends
- Acquire skills that let you provide value in a variety of healthcare organizations and settings
- Have a 360-degree view of care management in order to bring patient care, quality, safety and other disciplines together
- Make yourself more hirable and in demand
- Use your passion for people to serve others
- Make an impact on a larger scale, beyond one-on-one, direct patient care
- Enjoy a personally and professionally rewarding career
So, is a healthcare management degree right for you?
Only you can decide. But the right undergraduate program or online degree program can help you prepare for a career in this fast-growing industry by giving you the skills employers are looking, including:
- Engage participants in community wellness programs
- Promote optimal mental and physical health
- Create educational programs, curriculum and materials
- Develop data collection, storage and protection methodologies
- Ensure adherence to standardized operational, policy and practice guidelines
- Provide evidence-based decision support
- Achieve financial goals
- Ensuring consistent delivery of quality care
- Support efficient, patient-driven enterprise
Healthcare Quality Management
- Benchmark success metrics
- Drive continuous improvement
- Track and analyze trends
- Influence organizational change
- Recommend strategic improvements
- Develop breakthrough solutions
Ready to move from where you are to where you want to be?