A Master’s degree is a requirement to be hired for certain jobs or for career progression in certain fields. If you are considering a career in healthcare, but do not want to spend the next four years in medical school, or if you already work in the healthcare field and wish to advance your career further, then a Master’s degree in healthcare could be the perfect solution. A graduate degree in healthcare can open doors that would not ordinarily open for an undergraduate degree and can lead to advanced careers in such areas as public health, research, marketing, administration, management and operations, just to name a few. Successful graduates will see an increase in opportunities as well as better benefits and a higher salary.
Alternatively, you could go with the Master of Public Health degree from an online university. This degree allows you to choose between two specializations in the field, depending on your personal preferences. You can specialize in community health education, which would give you the chance to implement and access programs and policies as they pertain to the public. You could also focus on health policy and administration, where you would organize public health programs in your area. Both of these specializations allow you to make a real difference by influencing the health of people within your community.
An advanced degree in healthcare primes students for leadership responsibilities in their profession. Whether that profession is social or public health, healthcare administration, behavioral or environmental science, epidemiology, research or finance, graduate studies can help develop the skills and knowledge for a successful career in any of these fields. Of course, it is important to understand that some areas of healthcare may require a specific undergraduate specialty.
Graduates with a Master’s in healthcare administration would be able to investigate a variety of administrative careers in the healthcare industry, including (but not limited to) healthcare finance, human resources, facilities management, regulatory compliance, risk management and community relations. Even though administrators do not have direct contact with patients, they are responsible for the daily management operations of the facility providing the patient care.
Another potential career for someone with a Master’s in healthcare is that of case manager. The purpose of the case manager is to direct patient care. Case managers review patient’s records and organize a plan that will improve the quality of the patient’s treatment in general. A specialization is necessary for advancement to case manager. Similarly, social workers work for the betterment for their patients. Social workers provide assistance in both hospitals and public health forms; they serve as support agents for the healthcare manager.
With a Master’s degree in healthcare, an individual could also move into the field of genetic counselor, although this generally requires a specialty in psychology or a closely related field. Generally speaking, a genetic counselor offers support and provides valuable information on genetic abnormalities to families who may be dealing with an issue of this type. A genetic counselor helps explain the available options for patients and their families.
A graduate degree in public health will prepare an individual for an administrative role in health support and disease prevention, which can impact policies at the community, national or even global levels. Public health graduates work in both the public and private sector, often for non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross or American Kidney Foundation that emphasize specific health issues, or for global organizations such as UNICEF or the World Health Organization. Private sector positions might lead graduates to work for various health insurance or pharmaceutical companies.
Healthcare graduates with a specialty in epidemiology research the effects that health has on larger populations. Epidemiologists study the spread of diseases, help determine the best ways to fight public health catastrophes and review and explain safe health policies to the public.
With constant change in the healthcare industry, this field is subject to tremendous growth. A Master’s in healthcare is a very general and broad subject, so it may be necessary to specialize in a particular area. However, students interested in a position in healthcare, whatever the type, will find that future opportunities can be plentiful and rewarding.
- Ohio University: Master of Health Administration
- Grantham University: Master’s in Healthcare: Is It Worth It?
- St. Joseph’s College: Master of Health Administration Degree
- Florida Tech University Online: Master of Business Administration with a Specialization in Healthcare Management
- Western Governors University: Advance Your Career with a Healthcare Degree Online