Fueled by the retirement of the Baby Boomers, along with technology that’s changing the way patients are able to access diagnoses and treatments, the health care industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. Those looking to break into the industry are finding opportunities beyond hospitals and HMOs.
For students enrolled in the University of Arizona Global Campus Master of Arts in Health Care Administration degree program, the key to a successful future is finishing school with advanced knowledge of medicine and the business acumen needed to break into a health care leadership role.
“Nowadays when you’re thinking about growing in the health care profession, keep in mind that many organizations and hiring managers are looking for individuals with a master’s degree,” explains Dr. Kecia Edwards, the program chair for Global Campus Bachelor and Master of Arts in Health Care Administration.
The program, which immerses students in everything from financial and managerial accounting, is designed to create a foundation of knowledge that can be applied to multiple layers of health care management.
“We’re not trying to help students know the answer,” Dr. Edwards explains. “We are equipping them to address any situation that occurs in health care because the industry is so unpredictable.”
What Are the Skills and Competencies Health Care Employers Value?
Dr. Edwards, who spent nearly 20 years in the health care industry at organizations such as the Medical University of South Carolina, Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville, and Solantic Urgent Care, says employers are looking for managers who not only bring leadership skills but who are also innovative and flexible. Adaptability is key, because change is constant.
Likewise, the nonprofit National Center for Healthcare Leadership composed its own competency model to identify the skills and traits that health professionals must possess in management roles. Among them: accountability, collaboration, information technology management, and organizational awareness.
With students able to master these and other skills in the Master of Arts in Health Care Administration, they are setting themselves up for sustainable careers in the industry.
What Can I Do with a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration?
With an estimated 1.9 million new health care jobs expected to be created through 2028, there is ample opportunity for professionals of any age and experience level to find work. Those with a master’s degree in health care administration, however, are perfectly positioned to enter the industry in a managerial role.
Careers to consider include:
1. Administrative service director: The duties of an administrative services director can vary depending on the size of the organization, but the role primarily involves planning, organizing, strategizing, and procurement. The role of administrative services director is not limited to health care, but the courses in UAGC Master of Arts in Health Care Administration give learners the skills to apply managerial responsibilities to health care settings.
2. Clinical Department Manager: The role of a clinical department manager will challenge your abilities to lead, multitask, and make the right decisions quickly. These positions exist in multiple areas throughout the health care industry, such as doctor’s offices, outpatient centers, and long-term care facilities.
3. Hospital Administrator: Hospital administrators have a lot on their plates, from day-to-day operations to long-term budgeting, hiring, and policy-making. Courses such as MHA 618 Health Economics help prepare UAGC students for a post-graduation career as hospital administrators.
Other positions you can pursue with a Master of Arts in Health Care Administration include:
- HMO Administrator
- Contract Negotiator
- Consultant Health Care Administrator
- Health Care Program Director
Where Can I Find Health Care Administration Jobs?
Starting your job search while still in school not only helps you get a head start but also allows you to take advantage of UAGC Career Services team. While you’re polishing your resume and practicing your interview skills, you can begin researching the names of employers in your area to see how your education and experience line up with job postings. Some places you’ll want to keep an eye on include:
- Assisted living facilities
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Doctor’s offices
- Psychiatric offices
- Chiropractic offices
- Health care associations and consortiums
- Health and human services organizations
Additionally, searching for a job while in school allows you to network with fellow classmates, many of whom may be finishing their master’s degrees while also working in the health care industry.
You can also consider joining a professional organization, such as the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. The group offers a certification program focused on patient financial services and the revenue cycle. As a member, you also gain access to networking events and educational seminars that can enhance your knowledge of the industry and its many changes.
Your Master of Arts in Health Care Administration will give you the fundamental leadership skills and advanced knowledge of the industry to compete for many of the positions available now and becoming available in the next decade. To begin your education and prepare for a role in health care administration, contact an advisor today.