Online Degrees in Health Care Administration
Degrees in Health Care Administration: In today's health care system, administrative jobs make up a large portion of the professionals employed in the field. The area of health care administration encompasses everyone who works on managing the non-medical side of the medical world. That may make no sense, but there are many people working in medicine who are not medical experts. They are administrative experts.
Some of the more common titles you can find in the medical administration side include medical transcriptionists, coding professionals, health care information systems administrators, and medical office managers. The non-medical part of the health care industry are those who spend their time keeping patient records, managing information, dealing with billing, and managing the business side of the world. These are only a few titles available to those who want to be health care administrators.
You will find many online programs that offer degrees in various health aspects of this field. You will find degree programs at different levels available online and in a traditional setting.
Health Care Administration Degree Levels Available Online
Undergraduate/Graduate Certificate: 1 year to complete
Associate Degree: 2 years to complete
Bachelor's Degree: 4 years to complete
Master's Degree: 1-3 years to complete
Doctorate Degree: 4-6 years to complete
The range of degrees available in health care administration is quite wide and varied, online and on campus. The online education opportunities offers certificates as well as associate, bachelor's, masters and doctorate level degrees. Many people start at the certificate level and end up working on higher degrees as they can. It can be the beginning of a real career path.
At the certificate level, the fields of medical transcription as well as medical billing and coding are available. These certificate programs teach the basics of the field and provide a step into the world of health care administration. These fields are also available at the associate level. Almost all degrees offer some entry at the associate degree level. This includes health care information technology and public health.
The bachelor's level is the main level of entry into health care administration jobs. These positions require professionals to have an education that balances the healthcare side with the business side of the equation. The skills of business require a balance with the medicine side to maintain patient health while ensure the foundation of the business. The degree programs at the bachelor level provide this training.
At the master's level, students can gain the specialized knowledge to work within the modern medical world as an administrator. The main programs at this level prepare a student for working in medical or public health administration. The programs emphasize managerial skills with the need for understanding the medical environment as well as the people who work in it or use it as patients. Most people who work in hospital administration need a master's degree.
AT the doctorate level, students gain information for working in the research world. Some are preparing for a teaching position in health care administration. Others may be preparing to work at the highest level of health care policy making. The doctorate level is one that requires dedication and focus for success.
Most health care administration degree programs at the associate and bachelor level require students meeting basic college entry requirements. The students need a high school diploma or a GED as well as taking the ACT or SAT and passing with good scores. The applicant may need to provide references and complete a personal essay or a statement of intent.
At the graduate level, students need to have a bachelor's degree to enter a master's program. The student may also need to take the GRE or the GMAT. They will have to provide transcripts of past education as well as personal recommendations. At the PhD level, the student will need to have a master's degree and professional recommendations.
Online Health Care Administration vs. Traditional College Programs
The online health care administration and traditional college programs offer the same classes. The biggest difference noted by students is that the traditional program offers instant interaction between instructors and students. The students can work with other students face to face. Online classes are not completely isolated, but are not as interactive as the classroom.
Some health care administration degree programs may require some internship work done in a medical facility. The online student may have to go to the campus or to a medical office to complete that requirement. This depends upon the program and major the student is working on.
Tuition and Accreditation
The tuition costs for health care administration degrees vary by degree level, college, and location. Costs between online and traditional degrees can differ as well. The associate degree can be $5,000 to $10,000. The bachelor's degree will run $10,000 to $20000. At the graduate level, the cost can be $10,000 a year or more.
Choosing the Best Health Care Administration Degree Programs
Knowing what the options are in health care administration degree programs is the first step in choosing a new path for your future. With so many options, taking the time to find the right path will pay off in the end with a rewarding career and future. You can go towards transcription or coding and billing. You might want to work in administration and start off with an associate degree in that area. If you want to work in public health, a bachelor's in that field may be the way to go.
Once you know your area of study and what level of degree you want to start with, you can survey the available schools in this area. You will find programs both online and on campus. Get information on these programs and see how they will work with your current life. If you are working full-time and have a family, taking traditional classes can be a big challenge. Online classes though may not be a comfortable fit with your learning style.
By taking the time to do your homework, you can find the right degree in the health care administration field. It will prove to be time well worth taking when you have your future wide open ahead.