Just a few decades ago, the healthcare management profession was relatively small compared to other health careers and it was mostly associated with those candidates who had gone through a traditional business program either as an undergraduate or during graduate school. Today, with the profession expanding into more specialties and the demand for healthcare managers higher than ever before, specialized degrees are the norm for those seeking leadership and management roles in hospitals, clinics, and health-related corporations.
Business Focus: Prerequisites in Business, Administration, and Management
The core responsibility of the healthcare manager is to manage proficiently and without issue. That’s why so many programs load students up on courses ranging from strategic management to healthcare organization and more. Business courses that are considered a prerequisites by most programs today include all of the following:
– Accounting I and Accounting II
– Principles of Management
– Principles of Marketing
– Financial Management
– Business Writing
Beyond these business basics, students will be expected to take quite a few courses that combine both business and healthcare sensibilities. Typically, those courses are offered from the actual health professions college within the university.
Health-Related Prerequisites for the Healthcare Management Student
Though business-related courses serve as a strong foundation for management in healthcare organizations or virtually any other, there are some skills that must be mastered by candidates before they can be considered to manage and oversee today’s clinics and large hospitals. To that end, most universities require prerequisites like the following, though their exact name may vary:
– Seminar on Current Health Challenges
– Healthcare Organization
– American Healthcare
– Healthcare Administration and Management
– Healthcare Finance
– Laws and Ethics of Health Services
Because the number one thing that today’s employers value is work experience, most universities will require at least one internship in a related field prior to graduation. Some universities may mandate that this internship be pursued as a co-op, a job for which the student gets paid a part-time wage while attending a reduced number of classes. In either scenario, students will need to find a relevant job, land the job, and have that job approved by an advisor to satisfy this requirement.
Concentrations for Healthcare Management Students
Finally, most healthcare management programs will require students to pick a concentration that they can specialize in both during and after their course of study. These concentrations are as varied as the healthcare industry itself, and they typically vary in their availability between universities with a management program. Everything from long-term care to family health and public health can be pursued as a concentration. Students should pick an option that they feel comfortable working with after college, as a concentration is a big part of how many managers land their first position.
Rigorous Studies with a Great Outcome for Students
Though the program is demanding and requires an understanding of business, management, healthcare, and administration, successful graduates are rewarded with a strong demand for their skills and a growing healthcare industry at large. For this reason, the healthcare management major remains consistently popular wherever it’s offered.