Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to become a doctor or nurse to work in healthcare. In fact, there are an uncountable number of ways to contribute to healthcare, and the vast majority of them do not require you to meet directly with patients as a healthcare provider.
In America, healthcare is an enormous and diverse industry. While healthcare providers are always in demand, there are a number of other healthcare roles that are extremely valuable to patients and populations thanks to the health and safety they can provide. Even better, these roles tend not to require a decade of education; in fact, you can qualify for them with a certain master’s degree.
If you are eager to enter the healthcare sector, you might be interested to learn about the three best business master’s degrees that prepare you for a healthcare career.
Easily the most well-known business degree related to the healthcare industry, health administration focuses on training business professionals for leadership positions within healthcare organizations.
Generally, health administration master’s programs mirror MBA programs; they involve learning about budgeting and financial management, strategic leadership and planning, business communication and regulatory compliance. Additionally, health administration students must often take courses related to medical ethics and public health.
Often, graduates of health administration master programs move directly into management positions in healthcare institutions, such as hospitals, insurance firms or non-profit organizations. At the entry level, hospital administrators can earn salaries between around $56,000 to roughly $172,000, and depending on qualifications and location.
However, with a master’s degree, an administrator can easily rise through the ranks of healthcare management and obtain high-level roles, to include c-suite roles in major hospitals or lead administration positions at other healthcare facilities. These positions tend to command salaries in the mid–six figures.
Health administrators are valuable members of the healthcare system, as they provide necessary support to healthcare providers and patients. If you want to function as a business professional within the healthcare sphere, this master’s degree might be the best option for you.
Public health is a multidisciplinary field within healthcare that focuses on understanding health on a large scale. Public health professionals study behavioral science, biostatistics, environmental heath, epidemiology and even health management to improve health outcomes at the population level. In addition to a master’s degree, public health professionals must sit for the Certified Public Health Exam before they are qualified to work in the field.
Pay in public health is heavily dependent on the discipline of the professional. Many management-level public health positions earn salaries in the low six figures, especially in fields such as biostatistics and environmental health.
However, public health workers helping to craft policy are likely to earn slightly less, around $74,000, as are directors within disaster management, who work within state and local agencies to respond directly to health crises. During your public health master’s program, you can explore the career field to find the path that most suits your interests and skills.
Health informatics is a continuously evolving field that focuses on the interaction between technology and people. The origins of health informatics date to the 1960s, when the first healthcare providers began using electronic health records to store patient information.
Today, health informatics utilizes structured and unstructured data from various sources, such as EHRs, billing systems, insurance claims, wearable devices, clinical research and public health data, to improve the efficiency and outcomes of myriad healthcare services.
Students pursuing an online master’s in health informatics will enjoy courses focused on data science and computer science. It is imperative that health informatics professionals be adept in data collection and analytics, though courses in healthcare administration might also be valuable. Students should expect to produce a capstone research project, thesis or practicum experience as a showcase of their health informatics knowledge and skills.
Health informatics grads can work in a variety of healthcare settings, from hospitals and non-governmental agencies to biomedical companies and medical research laboratories. The average annual pay for an entry-level health informatics specialist is about $77,000, but health informatics professionals can advance into high-level administration positions, such as CIOs and CTOs at hospitals or other healthcare corporations.
If you believe in the promise of a better future through technology, you will likely find a passion for healthcare through a health informatics master’s program.