What Is a Health Systems Management Degree?

Bachelor's and master's degree programs are available in health systems management. Read on to find out the specifics of each and what you can expect to encounter in the job market upon graduation. Schools offering Clinical Research Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Health Systems Management Degree and Career Overview

Receiving a degree in health systems management allows you to seek employment as a manager or administrator of a hospital department, long-term care facility or other health services center. Many positions require a master's degree, but some entry-level positions in smaller facilities only require a bachelor's degree. All states require that nursing home managers obtain a license, and you may have to be licensed as a manager of an assisted living facility. Optional professional certifications are available as well.

Important Facts About This Degree

Online Availability Offered for bachelor's and master's degrees
Degree Levels PhD programs in Health Care Management are available
Prerequisites Minimum GPA and SAT/ACT scores, math and science experience for undergraduate programs and a minimum GPA and GRE/GMAT scores, admissions essay, computer literacy for graduate programs
Programs Internships are available, typically at the graduate level

Bachelor's Degree in Health Systems Management

Typically consisting of 120-128 credit hours, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Systems Management degree program acquaints you with the business side of the healthcare industry. Some schools format their programs as a B.S. in Health Science with a concentration in health systems management. The undergraduate coursework combines a study of health-related topics, such as microbiology, epidemiology and bioethics, with business-related topics, such as microeconomics, statistics and finance. You will also work on developing your leadership skills. Earning a bachelor's degree in health systems management allows you to immediately enter the workforce or pursue graduate study.

Master's Degree in Health Systems Management

Master of Science in Health Systems Management degree programs provide you with an advanced study of the administrative techniques needed to aid in the process of providing patient care. Also available as a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in health systems management, these graduate degree programs typically consist of 36-58 semester hours. The curricula provide in-depth studies of managerial accounting, economics, marketing and operations administration viewed through the prism of the healthcare systems. Capstone projects offer opportunities to apply what you've learned to real-world situations and make managerial decisions based on advanced theories, knowledge and research.

Job Growth and Salary Projections

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor's degree holders might enter the field as an assistant department head or an administrative assistant and advance to managerial positions after receiving substantial job experience or additional education. The BLS reported that in May 2018, there were 372,600 people employed as medical and health services managers, earning a median annual wage of $99,730 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, employment of health services managers was expected to increase by 20% from 2016-2026. This faster-than-average growth among all professions can be attributed to an aging population that requires more health care, the BLS said.

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