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Choosing the Health Care Management Degree That is Best For You

With the constant growth of the health care industry, it is more and more important for hospitals, nursing homes and private practices to find capable leaders who can oversee and manage their facilities. If you have a strong desire to work in the medical industry, but prefer to work behind the scenes rather than directly with patients each day, then you might want to work in health care management.

This field requires individuals who pay close attention to detail and have natural leadership abilities. If you feel like you are the right candidate, then consider earning an associate, bachelor's, masters or even doctoral degree in health care management. Read on to learn more about each degree, its curriculum and its career potential.

Associate Degree in Health Care Management

This two-year program covers topics such as the ethics of practicing medicine, leading staff, managing staff, critical thinking methods, understanding the current health care system and changing existing management systems for the better. The course typically consists of 60 credits, and potential students need to have a high school diploma in order to be considered as applicants.

With this degree, students should be able to pursue entry level positions as well as management positions in small facilities as an office manager, a risk coordinator or a medical administrator. This degree can be earned online in as little as one year through an accredited online college, and it is the best choice for those who want to begin working in the field as soon as possible.

Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Management

The bachelor's degree in health care management is a four-year program that can be a continuation of the associate degree or can stand alone. Examples of course materials include financial management for medical facilities, medical terminology, human resources skills, health care statistics, policy management, health care ethics and skills for leadership and management.

In order to be a candidate for enrollment, students should have a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, have a high school diploma and have SAT or ACT results that fall within the particular school's accepted range. Upon graduation, students will be ready to tackle careers like health facility manager, clinical administrator or operations manager for a nursing home or private practice. This degree, like the others on the list, can be pursued online as well as through traditional college classes.

Master's Degree in Health Care Management

This two-year program is an advanced degree that follows the bachelor's degree. At this level, students will study such topics as health care policy, medical law, organizational behavior, human resources and health care financing. In order to qualify as a master's student, you will need to have a relevant bachelor's degree and have taken the GRE with suitable results. After graduation, students will be able to choose from the top health care management positions in the country in any number of hospitals or medical facilities.

Doctoral Degree in Health Care Management

A doctoral degree in health care management is the most advanced degree available within the field. It starts with two years of classes, either online or in a traditional setting, and then concludes with several years of individual research and the writing of a dissertation. Although this can be a challenging degree to earn, it sets students up to highly respected in their fields, earn impressive salaries and work in educational settings or as practicing health care managers at the highest level.

Whether you earn your online health care management degree at the associate level or the doctoral level, it can help you find a great career in the medical industry.

The aging of our population and the continuing advancements being made in healthcare technology are creating one of the fastest growing job markets in North America. The U.S. Department of Labor has predicted there will be over 2,800,000 new healthcare jobs by 2008.

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One thing is certain; there will always be a great need for health care workers. This is one industry that will always fulfill a vital need in our society. There is a broad range of opportunities in health care and many highly regarded colleges and universities are making it possible for those interested in a health care career to earn their degrees online.

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Online Health Care Management Degrees


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