Students interested in pursuing careers in the administrative side of the health care industry may want to consider a bachelors in healthcare management. This type of program will teach students the industry terminology, procedures, and technical skills they need to work in administration and office management positions with hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and other health care facilities. They will also take classes to learn about computer technology, business management, finance, economics, and leadership as they pertain to the industry. At the bachelor’s level, a general education curriculum will also be required.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
While there are certificate and associate degree programs that will prepare students with the job skills they need to enter the health care field, there may be little room for further advancement. A bachelor’s degree, however, can be a solid option for those interested in moving forward into management positions. This may require a master’s degree at some point in the future, but it really depends on the specific position and employer. Jobs can be found in both the public and private sectors. This may include positions as medical office managers, health educators, medical and health services managers, or social and community service managers, to name a few.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Understanding the admissions process is essential to submitting a strong application. Below are a few common requirements for a bachelors of science in healthcare management:
- High school transcript or GED test scores
- Previous college transcripts (if applicable)
- Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
- SAT or ACT test scores (if required)
- Application form and fee
- Application essay (if required)
- Letters of recommendation (if required)
Inside a Healthcare Management Bachelor’s Degree Program
With the growing popularity of online education, students have a number of options when it comes to a program in health care management. Most undergraduate programs take four years of full-time study to complete. However, this could vary based on how many courses you take each term, transfer credits, or any breaks taken. Students will complete a general education curriculum with courses in composition, natural science, social science, humanities, and mathematics. Major courses frequently cover health care delivery systems, medical terminology, health care economics, health care law and ethics, leadership in health care, health informatics, and business communication.
Most online programs allow students the flexibility to work on their classes at times that fit with their own personal and professional schedules. This means there are usually no scheduled course times. Rather, students have access to the virtual learning platform 24/7. Group discussion boards, electronic readings, instructor feedback, and chat are just a few common features. Web conferencing and streaming video may also be used to enrich the curriculum.
What’s Next for Healthcare Management Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Once you have completed a bachelor’s degree in health care management, career opportunities may be available with hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and other health care facilities. This may include positions as office managers, health educators, medical and health services managers, or social and community services managers. Strong job growth is predicted for all of these occupations. Specifically, the demand for social and community service managers is expected to increase by 27% from 2010 to 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much faster than the average growth of 14% projected for jobs overall.
The average annual wage for social and community service managers was $63,290 in 2011. This figure was $52,150 for health educators and $96,030 for medical and health services managers. However, please note these are only estimates. Other factors such as level of experience, education, the economic climate, geographical location, and the specific employer will all influence starting pay.