What’s in a Healthcare Management degree program?

In the ever-expanding world of healthcare, graduate students with degrees in Healthcare Management will continue to be in high demand for years to come. The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics currently reports that medical and health services managers will experience a job growth of 20% over the next decade, which is must faster than the national average. With salaries commanding almost $100,000 annually, these professionals will continue to enjoy job placement and security that will only be reinforced by pursuing a top Master's degree in Healthcare Management. Some of the best graduate programs in healthcare can be found online which allow the working professional the opportunity to complete coursework in the evenings and on weekends while remaining in the workforce.

These degrees are a great investment of time because their curriculum covers critical topics that are important for healthcare leaders today. It has been documented that professionals in healthcare management need to develop analytical skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, technical skills, and have the ability to be detain oriented. Most graduate degrees in healthcare management are designed to develop and sharpen these qualities through the curriculums they offer. Many prerequisite courses within these programs are designed to build a solid foundation in the areas of accounting, business, economics, and management. Much of the core curriculum within these programs will then go to the next level and deal with concepts of business operations, management, organizational behavior, and strategic management. The concentration courses are then put in place to deal with many of the specific needs of the manager in the healthcare industry.

While many students are attracted to programs that offer an accelerated pace for completion and a 100% online experience, some of the best programs combine an online curriculum with learning opportunities in short residencies and internships. The Master's of Business Administration with a specialization in Healthcare Administration at Arkansas State University's College of Business is designed to "allow students to complement their studies in business administration with in-depth coverage of the core components of the healthcare administration arena and the unique issues and challenges facing healthcare organizations in the dynamic healthcare industry. Students will complete the 24 hours of the MBA core and 15 hours of graduate level courses in Healthcare Administration." Concentration courses within this degree include Healthcare Policies and Ethics, Current Issues in healthcare Administration, Services Marketing Strategy Development, Strategic Management for Healthcare Organizations, and a Healthcare Internship. The Healthcare Internship course included in this degree will give students the opportunity to learn more about the field of healthcare management in a real-world setting and reinforce many of the concepts learned and discussed in the classroom. The College of Business at Arkansas State receives its excellent business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Another well-accredited Master's of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Management is offered at Brenau University. This 45-credit, 15-course program "provides graduates with comprehensive knowledge of leadership and management principles in an increasingly competitive health care environment." This degree features prerequisite courses, core courses, a Global Sequence elective and Health Care Management courses including Ethics and Leadership in Healthcare, Law and Policy Development in Healthcare, Organizational Systems in Healthcare, Financial Management in Healthcare, and Advance Topics in Healthcare. Students within this program not only receive the degree, but also a Health Care Management Certificate upon graduation.

Each professional must assess their future career goals and find the best path to reach those goals. To become a leader in a critical field like healthcare, leaders must possess the knowledge and experience to lead teams and projects to meet organizational goals. An advanced degree in the healthcare management field is not the sole credential a leader must hold, but the leadership and healthcare-specific curriculum can help professionals expedite their path into a future career of healthcare management.