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Focus on healthcare administration with a master's in health science

Tuesday, September 08, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The benefits of a master's in health science

Increasingly, would-be healthcare administrators are looking to advanced degree programs for in-depth training related to both healthcare needs and administration and management. If you’re considering a career in healthcare accounting or management, you may find that a relevant master’s degree is what sets you apart from other candidates vying for the position. If you choose your degree program wisely, you can gain useful skills that directly transfer to real-world situations. Depending on the particular program you choose, you may receive considerable training in healthcare issues, which will prepare you to communicate with doctors and other caregivers meaningfully and attentively.

What to expect from your master’s degree

A Master's in Health Science in Healthcare Administration focuses on the medical aspects of more general business and administration themes. For example, you’ll learn the ins and outs of healthcare accounting. Not only will you graduate with a working knowledge of how to keep the books, but you’ll learn about more complex issues specific to the medical industry, such as coordinating billings with health insurance companies. You will learn budgeting skills for large-scale corporations, including the intricate needs of a working hospital. More globally, you will learn to manage resources and people, identifying how best to take advantage of limited resources, small staffs or tight budgets. While degrees can vary widely, most will involve a component of realistic exercises and case study-based training. Graduates will be able to apply technical and theoretical understanding to actual needs within a busy healthcare environment.

Comparing degree programs

While master’s degrees in healthcare management are increasingly common, they also vary widely from one school to the next. Instead of adhering to a single, fixed curriculum, different programs emphasize different aspects of the profession. Many respectable programs are offered online, making it possible to attend part time with total geographic freedom. To select the best program for your needs, you should weigh lifestyle factors related to your own situation as well as the particular profile of the program in question.
A master's in health science can offer an in-depth understanding of the managerial and administrative issues particular to the healthcare environment. While the skills you would develop in a more generalized program could easily translate to a hospital or clinic setting, a specialized degree program can better prepare you for the particular challenges of that environment. Graduates of hospital administration programs can gain a well-balanced understanding of administrative issues, enabling them to oversee budgeting, accounting and other areas that affect any large company. More specifically, graduates are also uniquely prepared to take charge of the day-to-day administrative functions of a large hospital.


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