Healthcare management is one of the fastest growing occupations, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating there will be over 300,000 new jobs in the next 10 years. An accelerated healthcare administration degree program can set you up for a high demand career.
But you get to skip the night shifts, blood, guts and bodily fluids that a doctor, nurse or health aide deals with. You still are helping people. You could be spending your days coordinating health services in nursing homes, hospitals or clinics.
As a healthcare administrator you would be the one who keeps everybody else on track. You focus on the budget, scheduling, public education and ways to improve patient care.
There are more than 10,000 people over the age of 65 entering the healthcare system every day. Millions of people who are needing healthcare. This field is not one that is slowing down but is growing in huge leaps and bounds.
As a result, there are not only thousands of jobs available but a hefty paycheck too. The average salary for a health service manager is $96,540. Makes helping people sound even more appealing, right?
Great job, helping people, high demand and a good paycheck. Why wouldn’t you want to work in health care administration?
Could it be because a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for these jobs? You know that means you would have to put life on hold and invest 4 years of your life to attend long, grueling classes. You are tempted by that (almost) six figure income but don’t think you can swing the $200,000 bill to pay for your degree first.
Getting a bachelor’s degree is not the same process it was 20 years ago! There are tricks and tips that can streamline your education. Get you into the work force in half the time while saving you potentially $213,000.
What would you say to having a degree in health care administration in 18 months and paying only $31,000?
Accelerated Health Care Administration Degree Programs Overview
A health care administration degree can not only prepare you with classes but will also include an internship. This double whammy preparation makes sure that you graduate with both a degree and experience in the field.
Your class list could look like this:
- Health care management terminology
- Health care financial management
- Community Health
- Health care outcomes and quality management
- Legal Aspects of health care management
- Health care laws and ethics
- Health informatics
- Contemporary issues in health care management
- Emergency management and homeland security
- Disaster planning and response
- Critical incident management
You can see that this degree is not just giving you book knowledge. You are also diving into the skills and knowledge you will need to handle many situations that come up in health care.
Careers with an Accelerated Health Care Administration Degree
The first question to ask yourself as you look at all the exciting careers in health care administration is: what sparks your interest? There will be one or two careers that jump out at you. Look at those first.
There are careers in areas as diverse as business to hospital. Where would you like to be?
- Health and Social Service Manager
- Health Services Manager
- Healthcare Strategist
- Hospital Administrator
- Medical Insurance or Medical Device Manager
- Medical Office Manager
- Medical Practice Manager
- Medical Record Manager
- Operations Administrator
- Program Manager
- Strategic Healthcare Consultant
These healthcare careers come with not only a rewarding role but a satisfying salary.
|Government Health Care Manager||$104,110|
|Physician Office Manager||$87,540|
|Nursing Home Manager||$80,340|
|Emergency Management Director||$70,500|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||$96,540|
|Outpatient Care Center Manager||$89,480|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Any one of these professions will require you to use your skills in organization and communication to manage the business side of healthcare. This is such a necessary role that there is a 20% growth rate expected for health care administration. As more people age there is an increased need for healthcare services.
Types of Accelerated Health Care Administration Degree Programs
A health care administration degree can set you on a path for a career in allied health, medicine, public health, public administration or business administration. Although these degrees will all be similar by looking more closely at the classes offered for each you can decide which one is the best fit for your planned career.
If the list of classes makes you excited to start, then you know you have picked the right degree!
Accelerated Health Care Administration Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
Health care has no off days. All throughout the year there is a need for health care professionals. It makes sense then that you can start your degree at any time of year as well.
Many post secondary institutions will offer you start dates each month. There is no need to rush to be ready (or wait) for a September start date. You can start when it works for you.
Accelerated Health Care Administration Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
Your start date will obviously impact how quickly you can finish your degree. But the other major factor that can either speed or slow your degree is HOW you complete your classes.
If you decide to go a traditional route and attend your classes in person, you are looking at completing about 15 credits (5 classes) every 16 weeks. That might sound fast but consider this. You also need to add in your commute time, assigned readings and assignments.
Instead of spending hours on 15 measly credits you can almost double the credits you earn per hour by taking online classes.
The best 2 options are accelerated online classes (yes, fast!) or self-paced classes.
Option 1: Accelerated Online Health Care Administration Classes
Accelerated online classes can be completed in half the time that a traditional class is completed. So instead of 16 weeks for one class, you can complete each class in 6-8 weeks. You cover all the same material as you would in a classroom, but you save yourself travel time and can work the class into your own schedule. You still have a class start date, end date and access to a professor.
Of course, you aren’t going to slack off after completing one class. You register for the next class and in 16 weeks you finish 2 classes. Twice as fast but the same material.
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Health Care Administration Classes
Some people do better when there is less structure. Are you one of those people? Self paced online classes take away the deadlines, restrictions and class start dates and leaves you with a semester that you are in control of.
At Capella you can register for Flex Choice courses. While you are completing your other classes you can also be registered in a 12-week Flex choice term.
You are given the materials you need to be able to complete the defined competencies for each class and you also earn a grade. You are not skipping out of a class but are finishing it at a speed that works for you. The faster you complete each course, the more credits you can earn in a semester.
Self paced classes are also offered online, so you can finish them in your comfy clothes on your own couch.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Health Care Administration Degree Even More
Nobody has time to dilly-dally through a degree. Life, bills and responsibilities are all waiting for you to be done. You can make this happen. And it can happen faster than you think.
These 3 tips are not brain surgery. They are quite simple. But many people don’t think to look into these options and end up wasting years and $1000s. Don’t be that person. Use these tips and then tell a friend how you can complete your bachelor’s degree in half the time for half the money.
#1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
Attending classes is not the only way to earn credit. In fact, it is a rather old-fashioned process. Universities are now recognizing that you may have already learned much of the information you need for your introductory classes.
Don’t waste your time and money on intro classes! Instead of attending a class for 16 weeks and paying $2000 you can register with the College Level Examination Program to just take the exam.
These exams are 90 multiple choice questions and you have 90 minutes to complete the exam. If you get at least 50% right than you earn the full 3 credits. You only pay $87 for that credit AND if you don’t know the material already you can pick up a study guide and cram.
You can register to take up to 30 credits through Credit by Exam. That means you can cover your whole first year of classes without attending classes and only paying $870. You can even do multiple exams in a day. If you did 2 exams each day for a week, your brain would be fried BUT you would also be done your first-year credit in a week.
#2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
Not only do universities offer you credit for exams. You can also get credit for your previous life and work experience. A golden opportunity if you have been working in health care or administration.
You will typically have to submit a portfolio documenting your previous learning and how you have already completed the goals for the classes you want credit for.
You could use:
- Documentation from a course you took at work
- Training that you did on the job
- Volunteer work
If you already have done the work and have the skills, why not get the credit? You could be eligible for 15 credits, a full semester of classes, by submitting your portfolio.
#3. Stay continuously enrolled with max course load
This is the biggest and best tip. Also, the hardest. If you want to be done your degree as fast as possible, you need to work as hard as possible!
The average student signs up for 15 credits for the fall and winter semesters. It takes them 12 months to earn 30 credits and 4 years to earn 120 credits. That is too slow.
Most universities let you take more than the average number of credits. You can register for 18 credits each semester AND take a full course load through the summer. In 12 months you can earn 54 credits.
If you earn 30 credits by Credit by Exam, 15 credits through Credit for Prior Learning and then work your tail off earning 18 credits each semester you will have 120 credits in 18 months! That’s your full bachelor’s degree. Done.
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
The other trick to speed your degree is to use any available credit you have. Did you take a college course or 2 already? Start a previous degree but never finish it?
Unlike milk and your Netflix account, college credit does not expire. You can use the credit now.
But the only college credit you can use is:
- From an accredited college
- Credit from a class where you received a mark of at least a C
- A class that meets the requirements of your health care degree
Even if you can’t match the class to your health care degree, you can always use your pre-existing credit as an elective. Still saves you taking an extra class!
Lower Tuition Costs
As a healthcare administrator you will oversee the budget. Your biggest goal is to maintain efficient and quality service while cutting unnecessary expenses.
Although credit is necessary for your degree, you can cut the unnecessary expense of tuition. Try to take the smallest number of classes possible. This will save you the most money in tuition.
You need 120 credits for your health care administration degree. There is no fudging that number. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay the full $46,000-$179,000.
Credit by exam and credit for prior learning can cut your tuition bill by at least $15,000.
Yes. Get your credit. But don’t pay full price when you can get the credit for a significant time and money discount!
Health Care Administration Degree Accreditation
Policy and procedures are a big part of health care administration. Here is the first policy you must follow: only get a degree from an accredited school. Anything else will be a waste of your time and money.
Accreditation can be either regional or national, that doesn’t matter. Accreditation is the stamp of approval from your school that proves to future employers, graduate schools and certifying programs that your degree is legitimate.
Do not skip this step.
Some of the big names in health care accreditation are:
- Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education(CAHME)
- American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA)
- American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE)
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
- National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards and Catholic Health Association
- The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
A properly accredited degree can set you on the path for an amazing career in health care.
Isn’t the thought of a career that is anticipating a 20% growth rate tempting? The field of health care management is growing faster than the average of all other occupations. As more and more people are aging the demand for these jobs is growing just as fast.
Where do you want to be on this tidal wave of change? You could be at the front as a health care administrator. Managing and coordinating care in a variety of settings. You could be earning $96,540 a year in a job that is exploding with possibilities.
All it could take is an 18-month investment of hard work. Capitalize on these strategies for saving money and time. Earn your health care administration degree for $18,000 and then launch your high earning career.
What’s holding you back?