A Master’s degree is the preferred level of education that employers look for when hiring for the majority of Healthcare Administration positions. Hiring managers feel candidates with a Master’s degree will have the skills needed to hit the ground running. As a result, the employer will not need to provide extensive on the job training. This article will take a look at the things that should be kept in mind while researching Health Administration programs for graduate studies.
The number one thing to keep in mind while researching schools for the Healthcare Administration field is school accreditation. Students should make sure the school they select is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME is the only accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education for health services administration programs, so this is extremely important. Being accredited by CAHME will ensure that the curriculum provides all of the tools and skills necessary to become educated to work in a career as a healthcare administrator. Most hiring managers will want their employees to come from schools with CAHME accreditation.
Most Master’s degree programs last between two and three years. However, depending upon your background, you will want to select a program that will cater to your specific situation and career goals. For instance, if a student that does not have healthcare experience when starting the educational program will want to make sure that the program selected has an internship or fellowship requirement that will provide the experience needed in order to land a job. If a prospective student already has a healthcare background, they will want to find an Executive Masters of Healthcare Administration program which will provide a condensed and accelerated program designed for individuals who are already working in Healthcare Administration.
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While looking into an educational program, it is important for a student to know what kind of education and experience they are looking to gain. There are generally three types of programs available. The first type is one that offers course work and practice. These programs are typically available at schools that specialize in health or medicine. These programs primarily focus on the student obtaining practical experience in the field, which is a huge plus when applying for positions in the real world. The second type of program is one in which the focus is placed more on the areas of business and public health.
In these programs the curriculum is primarily based on theory and analysis and these programs do not typically offer hands-on practice. If you chose to go this route and do not have previous healthcare experience, it will be very important to make sure you will participate in an internship or fellowship that will provide the hands on experience needed to find a position in the field. Lastly, the third type of program generally available is one that offers a blended curriculum that allows students to take part of their courses online. This type of program is perfect for those who will be working while they are pursuing their degree.
Another program option to consider when selecting a program is whether or not to specialize. Some schools offer the option of specializing in the management of a specific type of facility, such as nursing care, hospitals or mental health facilities. This is a great option for students who have a specific direction in mind. The majority of programs available offer students a broader view and provide education in the management of a wide range of facilities.
Lastly, another option to consider is the type of program that offers a combination of two degree programs merged into one. Some examples would be combining Health Services Administration and Business Administration, or combining Health Organization Management with the Health Services Administration. Depending upon the program, both degrees might be completed at the same time or one degree first and the other is completed shortly thereafter.
Entering a Master’s program is a big decision. A student should put some thought into what it is they are trying to accomplish and make sure the program that they select will provide the intended result.