Innovative Online Degree Programs Offer Non-Traditional Route to Advanced Degree

by Chad Agrawal

If you're interested in a career in the healing professions, but you don't want to become a doctor or nurse, you may wonder what positions are open to you.  A position in Medical Administration or Health Services Management may be just what the doctor ordered. For most careers, you need a Master of Business Administration degree - which is usually a two year degree. However, some programs allow you to earn an MBA within a single year.

However, if you don't have time to take classes on campus, you're not out of luck. Thanks to the Internet, several accredited and highly regarded MBA programs offer some or all of their coursework online. As an online student, you earn the same degrees as students who study on campus - with the added convenience of being able to complete classes at home, on your own time, and according to your own schedule.

Online Degree Programs

For example, the University of North Carolina offers an array of online programs, ranging from graduate certificate programs in Health Care Management to MBA degrees - earned entirely online. UNC's programs are accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business. American InterContinental University Online offers an online only MBA in Healthcare Administration. Programs at American InterContinental University Online are accredited by several regional and national bodies, including the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

Medical and Health Services Managers

Medical and Health Services Managers direct and coordinate medical operations, according g to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a Medical or Health Services Manger, you may be in charge of directing a single department or division, or specialize in a specific area of medicine. You may be in charge of the medical operations for an entire hospital or medical facility. You would be in charge of planning budgets and establishing rates charged to patients. You would also be in charge of directing and supervising the work of medical personnel and developing educational programs related to your division or medical facility.

Although you may be able to enter the field with a bachelor's degree, it's common for Medical and Health Services Managers to have master's degrees. Specialized MBAs or master's degrees in public health or public administration are common. Most programs require two or three years of study; some programs also include one year of supervised experience in administration.

Career prospects are excellent. As of 2010, the average salary for Medical and Health Services Mangers exceeded $80,000 annually. Job openings in the field are expected to grow faster than the national average, as more Baby Boomers age into senior status and place higher demands on medical services.

Medical Administrators

Maintaining accurate patient records is vital to every phase of medical care. Medical Administrators are charged with the task of ensuring that patient records are recorded accurately and maintained securely. Recording and maintaining Patient histories, treatment codes and insurance reimbursements are vital aspects of a medical administrator's job.

Many Medical Administrators begin their careers as Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. These entry level workers are in charge of putting together patient records, filing them and assigning codes.  Medical Records and Health Information Technicians may have bachelor's degrees, although it is also possible to enter the field with a postsecondary school certificate or an associate's degree. 

Both work experience and education are required to advance beyond entry level positions. Obtaining an MBA with a medical specialty is a logical way to match entry level experience with advanced education. Job growth in medical records administration is expected to be larger than the national average.

About The Author

Sarah Rawson is an avid blogger and independent researcher. She has been researching online MHA program objectives and contributing her findings to various career orientated blogs.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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