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Why You Should Consider Getting a Degree in Healthcare Management

5 minute read

By Alannah Koene

Healthcare facilities need more than doctors and nurses to operate smoothly. Healthcare management workers lead facility operations in hospitals, private practices and more, and job opportunities are projected to grow as technology improves and ageing populations place more demand on healthcare.

A degree in healthcare management can prepare you to enter a growing and rewarding career. Let’s look into other considerations for getting a degree in healthcare management.

What is Healthcare Management?

Healthcare facilities require doctors, nurses and other medical providers, but these facilities also require healthcare management professionals to support administrative and management needs. Healthcare management professionals oversee the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities and manage patient care, budgets, community needs, employees and other administrative responsibilities.

A degree in healthcare management provides programs and courses to individuals interested in advancing their career in the health sector. A bachelor’s degree program usually includes courses in healthcare regulations, medical ethics, information technology and operations management, and it can prepare you for entry-level jobs in the field. A master’s degree generally provides a more in-depth or advanced look into these topics and prepares students to enter top level management roles.

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Job Outlook and Stability

Medical needs such as ageing and active baby boomers and widespread diseases and conditions create demand on the healthcare system. Medical technology is also quickly advancing and requires healthcare management professionals to release and implement new technology and services such as electronic health records and informatics systems.

This means facilities will have greater needs for physicians, healthcare workers, medical procedures and facilities, which likewise implies a greater need for healthcare management. As such, job outlook projections suggest healthcare management jobs will continue to grow over the next decade.

Employment and Workplace Variety

Healthcare management employees are broadly responsible for day-to-day operations but can work in a variety of roles and perform a wide range of tasks. Some oversee entire facilities such as hospitals or surgery centres. Others manage specific hospital departments, such as nursing or human resources. Different jobs likewise have different education, experience and other requirements.

Some healthcare management job titles include:

Work Environment

In addition to different roles, healthcare management workers have access to a wide variety of work environments. They may work for a hospital or specific hospital departments as well as clinics, nursing homes, private practices, universities, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.

Regardless of where you work, most healthcare management jobs have regular office hours and require little physical labour. There are also opportunities for part-time and remote workers. Generally, workers only work longer hours when preparing for operational reviews by government agencies.

Competitive Salary and Benefits

Salaries for healthcare management roles are well above the average salary in Australia,1 averaging at $109,797 per year.2 Lower paying roles start around $28,400,3 but some jobs pay over $282,000. Salaries range according to job or management level but also depend on factors such as education and experience.

Most healthcare facilities offer excellent health, dental and eye insurance policies to employees. They may also provide competitive retirement and superannuation packages as well as perks including vacation, sick days and personal days.

Community Impact and Emotional Reward

Healthcare management roles can make a positive impact on the entire healthcare community, which includes patients, medical professionals and the medical facility. Many healthcare managers work with public health initiatives or collaborate on the development of a new hospital or clinic. They work directly with staff to improve work environments and support patients with health administrative needs such as billing and insurance.

Making a positive difference to the community and helping patients get great medical care is meaningful and emotionally rewarding work. Healthcare management workers who enjoy giving back to their community are likely to experience high levels of job satisfaction.

Networking

Many healthcare management degree programs provide networking opportunities that can help further your career and develop your skills. Students connect with each other throughout the program and can maintain professional relationships once they’ve graduated.

Alumni organisations offer a variety of networking and reference sources with recent graduates and established professionals. They also offer career services for both recent graduates and longtime alumni such as job boards, job interview tips, self-assessment tests and regional career programs.

Career Transition

Healthcare management workers come from a variety of backgrounds, making it a great option for individuals looking for a career transition. Additional experience may be necessary, but most jobs in healthcare management only require a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree can result in better job and salary opportunities.

Although some degree programs require several years to complete, other programs are delivered in more convenient methods to help students enter their new career quickly. Some programs are self-paced, delivered completely online and sometimes eligible for government funding.

Charles Sturt University – Master of Health Management and Leadership

Charles Sturt University offers choice and flexibility to students and provides a learning environment that supports strong community and innovative research. The Master of Health Management and Leadership degree is designed in collaboration with healthcare management professionals to give students a competitive edge in the workforce. Course offerings include leadership practice and influence, improving healthcare quality and financial management.

The course is delivered online over 1.5 years for full-time students. The full-time course fee is $21,600,4 but some students may be eligible for tuition assistance and tax deductions. Students receive a graduate certification upon completion of the program.

Open Universities Australia – Bachelor of Health Service Management

Open Universities Australia offers a Bachelor of Health Service Management as one of its undergraduate programs. This program helps students prepare for a career in healthcare management by providing students with broad knowledge about health policy and reform, human resource skills, leadership and ethical considerations, as well as how economic and cultural factors influence contemporary health problems.

Students complete 24 courses and 72 units, and study and assessments take place online. Tuition fees start at $48,000,5 but students may be eligible for fee help or loans.

Southern Cross University – Master of Healthcare Leadership

Southern Cross University’s Master of Healthcare Leadership program6 prepares students who are already working in a health science discipline to lead teams of healthcare professionals. The program includes course topics such as governance and accountability in healthcare, building a professional portfolio and contemporary health leadership.

The program is delivered online, and students complete assignments, quizzes and class discussions on a flexible basis. Students must complete 144 credit points to graduate. Tuition fees are $2,500 for 12 credit points or $30,000 total.7

La Trobe University – Master of Health Administration

La Trobe University is a top-ranked postsecondary institution. The Master of Health Administration program helps students develop the necessary skills and experience to manage medical facilities and lead projects in the public and private medical sectors. Some core subjects include health care quality, epidemiology and biostatistics, health systems and health law and ethics. Students can choose from specialisations including digital health, public health and applied research.

This program takes place online over 2 years of full-time study. Tuition fees are $27,6008 for 120 credit points, but some students may be eligible for fees, scholarships and other funding.