How can I figure out which is the ideal Healthcare Management Degree for me? There are four academic levels in healthcare management: certification, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree. Education at a master’s level is the most common degree in the healthcare management job market and also the most common requirement for healthcare management positions. A degree at a doctoral level is rare and is generally earned in order to work as a professor of healthcare management.
Certification for Healthcare Management
Certification is typically achieved by those individuals who are already employed at a graduate level. These people are generally professionals who want to attain the skills and credentials to work in healthcare management. This certification can usually be achieved with 12-24 credit hours at an accredited facility. Courses will include finance, hospital and health facility policies, medical ethics, management skills within healthcare and accounting. Those already employed within the medical system, such a registered nurse or physical therapist, can advance to nurse manager or physical therapist manager with this certification. Although this program is offered both online and in a classroom setting, the online program allows for working professionals to earn the certification at their own pace.
Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management
A bachelor’s of healthcare management is generally earned in eight semesters, including approximately 126 credit hours. This degree program prepares the student for an entry-level position. The program covers the study of the healthcare delivery field with courses in business administration, accounting, economics and health services information systems. A bachelor’s degree is a necessary step for those individuals looking to enter a healthcare management master’s program. While the bachelors degree does not have to be in healthcare management, it is a wonderful undergraduate major for those people who plan to pursue a masters degree in the field.
Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management
A master’s degree is required for most positions in the healthcare management field and these programs usually last two years beyond the bachelor’s program. You must have a bachelor’s degree to be accepted into a master’s program. In addition to a healthcare management bachelor’s degree, these graduate programs will also accept bachelor’s degrees in nursing, liberal arts, science and business to qualify to enter a master’s program.
Often these programs include internships or residencies in the desired field. They also offer more in-depth courses, including understanding and implementing healthcare policy and law, business marketing as it applies to healthcare, leadership, human resource management and information system assessment. A master’s degree in healthcare management prepares the student to understand the management issues that will face them as senior managers in the healthcare system. The goal is to make confident, well-informed managers who are prepared to enter the marketplace.
Doctoral Degree in Healthcare Management
A doctorate is the highest academic degree at any level of study. The first part of a Ph.D. program consists of one to three years in the field of study followed by comprehensive examinations to determine each individual’s knowledge level. For the next two to three years the doctoral candidate will complete the process of their doctoral dissertation. This must be original material and is extended analysis of a topic within the students major. Many with a doctorate may work in research or within the education system.
There are many paths you can take to become a Healthcare Manager. It is important to investigate all the educational possibilities to find one that fits your academic and career goals. For each person hopeful to obtain a healthcare management degree, there is a path that will get you to your goals.