Changes in healthcare delivery under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may result in more consolidated services. With this increased consolidation, there may be a greater need for healthcare managers. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the healthcare industry will add more jobs than any other group of occupations.
But what does a healthcare management professional do?
Healthcare management professionals can perform a range of entry-level administrative functions, but generally are responsible for tasks that ensure healthcare facilities such as doctors’ offices and hospitals run smoothly and operate in compliance with federal laws and regulations. As you can imagine, this requires specialized knowledge. An online healthcare management education should include subject areas like:
- Software decision-making
- Planning and organizing
- Accounting from the viewpoint of management
- Financial principles
Learning these subjects and earning an associate’s degree in healthcare management is one route toward an entry-level administrative position in a medical setting.
Becoming a Healthcare Manager
Is this a job field you could see yourself entering? Fortunately for those with busy lives and the need for flexibility, there are programs available to earn an associate’s degree in healthcare management. Here are three ways to help make sure your online healthcare management program is a fit for you and your career goals:
1. Look for a School That Supports its Online Students as Well as its On-Campus Students
Online learning doesn’t require a commute or sitting in a classroom, but that doesn’t mean you should be isolated in your studies. Look for a school that builds a supportive community online for their students.
2. Ask the Correct Questions
Education is an investment in yourself. Make sure the program you choose meets your needs and expectations. Some questions to ask are:
- Is the program accredited?
- Does the program offer specialized training for your areas of interest?
- Do instructors have experience in the healthcare industry?
- Does the coursework prepare you with the skills you need for a career in healthcare management?
3. Get in Touch
Online research is a way to familiarize yourself with the options for earning a healthcare management degree online, but before making such an important life decision, go beyond the surface level and reach out to representatives of your prospective schools to discuss important issues like financial aid, career placement assistance and prerequisites.
Originally posted: December 14, 2016
Last updated: January 9, 2017