The healthcare industry is one that attracts many college students, mostly due to the fact that it provides individuals with a lucrative career path full of opportunity and partially because those who enter this field have a passion for helping others. Some may choose to pursue an active career that requires field experience with patients while others may choose managerial positions, which are just as important and can provide you with the security and pay you are looking for. If a career in healthcare administration has caught your attention, the following guide will walk through exactly what this major entails and where it can lead you.
What is healthcare administration?
Healthcare administration is a field that focuses on the management and business strategy side of medical institutions. From running an entire corporation to handling a certain department within a clinic or hospital, those who have chosen to focus on healthcare administration are expected to handle the business aspect of the healthcare industry and may have duties such as budgeting, marketing, staffing, and understanding business law, just to name a few. Depending upon the position you hold, you may be expected to handle multiple areas of responsibilities and continue to learn more about the field at the same time.
What career paths are offered with a healthcare administration degree?
If you have your bachelor’s degree, you can expect to deal with positions in low-level management where you may handle a portion of a medical institution rather than several areas or a whole institution. If, on the other hand, you have a master’s degree, you will often have access to higher-paying positions with more responsibilities. Regardless of which path you choose or where you currently are in your educational journey, some of the careers that you can expect to see when you choose to pursue healthcare administration include:
- Human resource management, which includes dealing with the staff in an institution and handling other important responsibilities such as handling payroll.
- Social and community management, which involves working with community managers in healthcare and in other important areas like social services to create programs that serve the community.
- Diagnostics and laboratory management, where you may manage equipment as well as personnel and ensure that things run safely and according to government regulations. You could also start a career like this in other areas such as the pharmaceutical industry.
- Marketing, which may involve data analysis, business strategy, ad campaigns, and reaching out to other businesses and programs to improve your institution’s outreach and operations.
- Care management, in which you will handle all of the aspects of providing care to patients and seeing them through their treatment.
Because this field has such a large scope in regards to management, the opportunity for growth and the limitless job opportunities make it a great field for those who may have varied interests within the healthcare industry and want to be able to go anywhere in their career. Additionally, these opportunities come with high salaries, some in the range of six figures.
How can I get started?
A career in healthcare administration will require a degree in the medical field and you will typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to land an entry-level job. That said, pursuing your master’s degree opens up many more doors and is the recommended course of action if you want to thrive in these positions and provide yourself with more opportunity. Once you have your bachelor’s degree, consider going through an online MHA program to obtain the degree you need to jumpstart your healthcare career. Boston College offers such degree programs using an accelerated eight-week model. These programs are available both online and on-campus, so whether you are a working adult in need of a program that follows your own schedule or prefer a classroom setting for studying, you can find what you need through Boston College’s programs.