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Bachelor of Arts (BA): Healthcare Management Degree Overview

A Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management degree program prepares students for careers in medical organizations through a curriculum that provides a background in both business and healthcare. Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce and for graduate degree programs in healthcare administration and management.

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Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management

Healthcare management bachelor's degree programs help students understand how healthcare systems and organizations function. Students build their knowledge of business management concepts and learn to work with patients and medical staff. Students typically gain skills in planning, organizing and monitoring healthcare organizations. By the end of a program, students understand typical financial management practices and industry regulations. These programs typically take four years to complete.

Education Prerequisites

The minimum requirement for admission to such a program is often a high school diploma or the equivalent. In some cases, programs may be structured to serve students who have already completed associate degree programs in a field related to healthcare.

Course Topics

The curriculum of a healthcare management bachelor's degree program typically focuses on teaching students skills in management, teamwork, leadership and communication. Students also gain knowledge about basic business topics. Common course topics include:

  • Healthcare finance
  • Healthcare law
  • Organizational behavior
  • Economics
  • Information management systems
  • Quality assurance
  • Marketing
  • Human resources for healthcare

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in healthcare management may qualify for entry-level management careers in a variety of healthcare organizations, though larger organizations may prefer a master's degree program for these positions. Students may find management positions in settings like:

  • Insurance companies
  • Healthcare departments
  • Physicians' offices
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2012, medical and health services managers earned a median salary of $88,580 per year, with most making between $53,940 and $150,560 annually. Most of these professionals were employed in hospitals, though the computer systems design services industry paid them the highest wages. The BLS predicts an employment growth rate of 22% for medical and health services managers from 2010 to 2020.

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

To increase their job opportunities, individuals may consider earning a master's degree in healthcare management. This could lead to better job prospects in a wider variety of healthcare settings. According to the BLS, healthcare managers working in nursing care facilities must be licensed by their state, and in some cases this also applies to assisted-living facility administrators (www.bls.gov).

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics