Degree Spotlight: Master’s of Health Services Administration

July 29, 2013

| Strayer University

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With our rapidly aging population and the extension of life expectancy across the globe, healthcare is simultaneously one of the fastest growing and most complex sectors of the economy. The job prospects for anyone with valuable skills in this field are phenomenal, as are the salary prospects and opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

All sorts of health organizations are in need of savvy administrators who can navigate the changing landscape of healthcare. Whether managing a small clinic, administering an entire hospital or working in government healthcare organizations, the skills you learn earning a degree in health administration will prepare you for a challenging career in an ever-evolving industry.

Skills and Demand for this Degree

The skills most in demand for public health administrators are those technical skills that allow them to interface with health providers, physicians, IT service providers and patients. If you’re seeking a master’s degree, you likely already have a degree in the healthcare field. The graduate degree will help you gain a broader understanding of the industry at large and the administrative skills needed to work in a management position.

  • Healthcare Industry Knowledge: Understanding the economics and politics of modern healthcare is fundamental to working in this sector. You’ll build on this foundation throughout your career, learning the specific challenges that face health organizations, from government to private enterprise.
  • Financial Organization: Health administrators need to have knowledge of financial planning, budgetary management, and financial measurement of performance so they can administer organizations and departments effectively. With healthcare costs under so much scrutiny, being financially savvy and finding opportunities for savings will make you extremely valuable.
  • Business Administration: People with a master’s in health admin understand organizational structures and marketing trends within the healthcare space. They help align the structure of their organization to the specific needs of the patients which it serves.
  • Healthcare IT: Perhaps more than ever, the pace of technological change is bringing big changes to healthcare that will reverberate for decades to come. Grads need to be familiar with healthcare information systems and technologies, as well as understand how the data these systems collect can be used to improve patient outcomes and drive down costs.
  • Statistics and Analysis: Healthcare involves analyzing trends and patient records to inform administrative planning. Administrators need analytical skills and knowledge of economic models, with the statistical analysis skills that help them make data-driven decisions for that change cost structures, improve the health of patients and allow them to serve large numbers of people effectively.

Salary and Prospects for Health Administration Grads

As I mentioned, healthcare is a rapidly expanding part of our economy, and that means high demand for people with the skills above. That also means good things for your earnings potential if you’re already in the healthcare industry and add a master’s degree to your resume. These are the median wages for common positions, although a master’s degree may push you well above these levels.

  • Medical and Health Services Managers ($88,580)
  • Epidemiologist ($63,010)
  • Occupational Health & Safety Specialist ($64,660)
  • Health Administration Executives ($101,250)
  • Health Educator ($58,440)

The Future

New laws and regulations in the healthcare industry make it an industry in special need of technically skilled and knowledgeable workers who can navigate changes in technology, available data and the sea of regulations that their organizations face. Growth for just about every job in this sector is growing faster than average. And as long as our population continues to age and face the health challenges and trends currently at play, it’s likely that anyone with a health related degree is likely to see great job prospects.

Sources:
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm
http://www.payscale.com/


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