How students can meet the challenge of the evolving health care industry
Doors are opening for college grads who studied health care policy.
Health care reform has expanded access to health care insurance coverage to more than 30 million new patients beginning in 2014, stretching the resources of health care facilities nationwide. Meanwhile, the introduction of new regulations and technological innovations, as well as the rapid adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), have added new layers to an already complex industry.
Health care administration professionals navigate this complicated system from the business side, ensuring that health care delivery processes run smoothly and patients continue to receive quality care. They balance the influx of new patients while maintaining resources.
With the health care industry showing no signs of slowing down, these professionals are in high demand. Health care is the fastest growing sector of the economy, with its professional positions predicted to account for 26 percent of all new jobs created in the United States between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Employment of health care administration professionals, specifically, is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations.
Graduates with education in health care policy, information systems, accounting, budgeting and analysis in diverse provider settings will be poised for greater probability of career success.
Some universities now offer degree programs specifically designed for this career track. For example, interested students can now enroll in a bachelor's degree program in Healthcare Administration at DeVry University. The program is broken down into two specializations: Healthcare Informatics and Healthcare Management. Health Informatics students will also experience lab courses that allow them to explore data requirements for gathering and testing, as well as data analysis for decision-making and business intelligence.
"Industry innovations or expansion often lead to job opportunities, and the health care industry is ripe with available positions for graduates with related education," says Joseph York, national dean for the College of Health Sciences, DeVry University. "Healthcare administration degree holders are particularly valuable. They are equipped with the fundamental business analysis and management skills necessary to adapt and succeed when faced with evolving health care challenges."
The variety of this line of work is appealing to many professionals. From the size of its work settings - from hospitals to health care services companies - to its unique specializations, healthcare administration presents attractive options for each unique professional.
Many industries continue to cut jobs or freeze hiring due to the poor economy, yet the health care industry has remained a beacon of opportunity. Health care administration is one of i