MBA, DBA Prepare Graduates for Challenges of Healthcare Administration
Few industries match the bright future of the health care industry. Across the country, the demand remains high for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to staff hospitals, clinics and long-term health care facilities.
Hand-in-hand with this high demand is the need for health care administrators.
Earning an MBA with a concentration in health care management can open the door to some of the top jobs in the profession. The same applies to those who earn a DBA in health care management.
Both provide graduates with expertise in both business fundamentals and specific issues involved with administration in health care. That combination makes graduates better suited to take on the challenges of making health care operations more effective and efficient.
High Demand for Health Care Administrators
As with many jobs in healthcare, demand for managers and administrators is high. With the challenges facing medical operations of all kinds, there is a growing need for those with business expertise at the helm.
Federal projections call for a 20% increase in the number of health care administrators by 2026. Illinois ranks among the states employing the most healthcare administrators, along with California, New York, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Salaries remain strong. Nationwide, the mean annual pay for health care administrators reached $98,350 in May 2017, according to the BLS. That number increases significantly in the larger metropolitan areas. For example, health care administrators in the Chicago area made $118,540.
What’s driving growth? Part of it is the aging of the U.S. population. Almost a quarter of the population will be over 65 by 2026, according to the Population Reference Bureau. That will more than double the number of senior citizens from 46 million to 98 million.
Many of these seniors are remaining active later in life than previous generations. Part of the reason is because they make use of preventative care and other health care services.
Potential Careers in Health Care Management
Those who earn an MBA that focuses on health care management can choose from among many options in terms of career path. Every type of medical-oriented operation needs administrators. This is especially true in a time where budgets are tighter. Health care also faces the challenge of moving to a patient-focused payment model that bases payments on patient outcomes, so quality of care is a bigger issue than ever.
Typical jobs for graduates include:
- Hospital administrator
- Clinical managers (they lead a specific department such as nursing or physical therapy)
- Nursing home administrator
- Community clinic manager
- Health information managers (they oversee the collection, storage and use of digital records, a rapidly growing area in healthcare)
- Health care consultant (they are often brought in to support a transition to more efficient and effective operations)
- Risk management
The job duties depend on the exact nature of the position. However, the business and financial skills learned in an MBA program are highly valued in healthcare. Graduates from an MBA or DBA program also learn specific financial, ethical and legal issues around the health care industries, and the best practices for managing them correctly.
Both graduate programs give students an edge in the job market. For those who want to lead a business and want to become part of the important and growing health care field, both programs are worthy of consideration.