Leaders in the healthcare field — healthcare administrators and executives, as well as medical and health services managers — are in high demand nationwide. A growing number of universities now offer specialized MBA programs to meet the needs of the American healthcare system and the citizens who depend on it.
What Healthcare Leadership Entails
Healthcare administration career paths generally fall into one of these categories: administration and management, public health, and informatics. Professionals in these areas administer, plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services in a wide variety of settings. They may work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, long-term care facilities, urgent-care centers, and outpatient clinics, or they may work in supervisory roles for home healthcare providers. Many work in related positions for NGOs, government agencies, nonprofits, insurance companies and corporations.
Across all of these settings, many healthcare leaders administer preventive programs that teach healthy lifestyle choices and how to ward off illness and disease. Wellness and prevention initiatives are becoming an increasingly important component of the American healthcare system, as science gradually reveals the causes of illness and disease.
Healthcare administrators are as essential to the wellness of the community and the health of individuals as are the doctors who work directly with patients. Their responsibilities may include managing a medical practice of a group of doctors, a specific clinical area or department, or an entire healthcare or medical facility. The work is complex and constantly changing. Medical and health services managers, in particular, are responsible for keeping their employers up to date with changes in healthcare laws, regulations and technologies.
Job growth for healthcare leaders is expected to be 17 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demographically, demand is being driven by an aging Baby Boomer population, as well as an extended wave of Boomer retirements within the industry. It is also being driven by advancements in medical technology and by changing federal regulations affecting patients, providers and insurers. Workforce challenges, increasing demands for healthcare, fiscal challenges and quality of care issues are also key drivers for this rapidly expanding industry.
Though a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational standard in the field, many professionals have MBAs or other advanced degrees. Virtually everyone with significant levels of responsibility takes part in ongoing professional development. “Candidates with a master’s degree in health administration or a related field, as well as knowledge of healthcare IT systems, will likely have the best prospects,” according to the BLS Occupational Outlook.
An MBA Is a Path to Leadership
A specialized MBA is an ideal route to career advancement within the field. The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi MBA with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration prepares graduates to do the following:
- Work with all of the various components of the American healthcare delivery system.
- Apply principles of healthcare economics and understand their implications for public policy.
- Manage according to the basics of financial management and techniques used in healthcare.
- Apply relevant issues in law and ethics within the healthcare sector.
Most master’s programs in health administration take two academic years to complete, and some take up to four years. The TAMU-CC 10-course program is unique in that it is an accelerated, online MBA that can prepare students for leadership in as few as 12 months.
Students typically take two compressed seven-week courses at a time, and many are able to continue working while pursuing the degree. The complete degree program tuition is just $14,184 for in-state students and $28,764 for out-of-state students. Its affordability, online convenience and accelerated schedule make it a feasible option for many working professionals.
Just as important, its AACSB accreditation places it among the nation’s elite healthcare MBA programs. This accreditation is demanded by employers for its assurance of rigorous academic standards and the most up-to-date curriculum. In the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, only a cutting-edge education of this quality will do.
Learn more about the TAMU-CC online MBA with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration.
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