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Online Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration is a field concerned with effective leadership and management of healthcare organizations and systems. A masters degree in healthcare administration is an excellent fit for individuals who want to transition out of patient care and into administration, or for current healthcare administrators who would like to advance in their careers. To better meet the needs of working adults, universities have begun offering accredited online masters degrees in healthcare administration, which offer more flexible scheduling without the commute to campus. An online masters degree in healthcare administration typically takes one and a half to two years of full-time study to complete, although accelerated programs may take less time. An online masters degree program in healthcare administration may take longer than two years if a student attends part time or must complete prerequisites before starting the program.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration

The courses a student takes in an online masters healthcare administration degree program are designed to equip healthcare leaders for all areas of healthcare management, from the financial management of healthcare organizations to strategic planning. Students learn to motivate and lead teams, effectively communicate organizational goals, and properly use the technology that is most commonly used in healthcare organizations. Courses also equip students with skills in research methods, so that they can appropriately analyze and synthesize healthcare research. While course work can vary significantly from program to program, some courses you may encounter include:

  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • Healthcare Economics and Policy Analysis
  • Leadership of Health Organizations
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare
  • Quantitative/Qualitative Methods in Healthcare

The types of projects a student completes in these masters degree programs vary significantly. Some conclude with a comprehensive exam and master’s thesis, while others conclude with a capstone project in which a student identifies a real-world problem in a healthcare organization (often at his or her own workplace) and comes up with a comprehensive plan to address that problem, drawing from what the student has learned throughout the master’s program. Some programs incorporate fieldwork that must be completed at a healthcare organization. Courses may involve the review and analysis of case studies.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration

Common careers for graduates of accredited online masters programs in healthcare administration are medical and health services managers. This covers a wide variety of roles, including clinical managers, health information managers, assistant administrators, nursing home administrators, and more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These roles require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, although master’s degrees are also common, the BLS notes, and have the potential to set you apart from competitors for the best jobs in healthcare administration. Job growth for medical and health services managers is projected at 22% between 2010 and 2020, with new jobs created as a result of the aging of the baby boom generation, who are projected to place a greater demand on healthcare services over the next decade.

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