Bachelor's degrees in health care management provide the education for a career directing, coordinating and supervising the delivery of health care. Opportunities range from rural areas to metropolitan settings, from entry-level positions in large medical organizations to leadership roles with smaller employers such as clinics and the offices of health care providers.
Business and management theory, concepts, principles and skills are included in bachelor's degrees in health care management, as well as specific health care topics such as epidemiology and medical terminology. Undergraduate general education courses can provide useful language and math skills.
Coursework may cover decision making and problem solving, economics, ethics, financial management, law, organizational behavior, quantitative methods, public safety, statistics and more. Studies in health care informatics can introduce future managers to software such as financial and medical office management applications. Information technology is growing in importance as health care managers handle security regulations governing patient data and the evolving guidelines for medical billing and coding.
Health care management career options, outlook and salary
Health care management degrees, or bachelor's degrees in business with a health care management concentration, can prepare you for work in a variety of health care settings, for example:
- Government agencies
- Health insurance organizations
- Home health agencies
- Medical or diagnostic labs
- Pharmaceutical and medical supply companies
- Physician groups
- Residential care facilities
Career options include specializing in financial management or a particular industry segment like ambulatory care. If you already work in health care -- in nursing, for example -- a degree in health care management could help you seek advancement in your specialty.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers earned median salaries of $84,270 in 2010, and they are expected to see excellent employment growth of 22.4 percent from 2010 through 2020.
Next educational steps in health care management
For those interested in senior health care managerial positions, various master's degree programs are available with differing specializations. Doctorates may target a specific area of health care management, such as research, university level teaching or high level leadership.
Obtaining your health care management education online is a convenient way to study, particularly if you continue to work while you pursue your education in this high-growth industry, which can provide the education for a career that is highly valued in the community.