Five Reasons to Pursue a Career in Healthcare Leadership

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Healthcare is one of today’s best fields to consider if you’re trying to start or accelerate a career in management. The healthcare industry has excellent job prospects and is expected to enjoy tremendous growth and opportunities.

Two healthcare leaders consult

Five reasons why you should consider focusing your career in healthcare leadership:

1. It’s a rapidly growing field with many job opportunities.
With the baby-boomer generation aging, the need is increasing for medical services and care. This means a higher demand for doctors and healthcare professionals, including administrators and managers, to manage staff and operations at facilities, medical groups and nursing homes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a healthcare administrator plans, directs and coordinates healthcare services. Responsibilities can include recruiting and training staff, managing finances, improving efficiency and quality of care, and much more.

The BLS says that the employment growth rate for healthcare administrators from 2014 to 2024 is projected to increase by 17 percent. This is much faster than the average employment growth rate of 7 percent for most other occupations.

2. Healthcare is at the top of the list for 2017’s best jobs.
According to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Jobs 2017,” 52 of the 100 best jobs are in health-related fields. And, healthcare administrator is one of those top 100 best jobs. The article reported that healthcare administrators rank their job satisfaction as “above average” in upward mobility (opportunities for advancing and salary) and “flexibility” (schedule and work-life balance).

A study by career website Glassdoor reveals that about half of the best jobs for 2017 are likely in healthcare, finance and tech. The study notes that these highly skilled jobs usually require a college degree or specialized training. And, since these types of jobs are difficult to automate, they’ll probably remain in demand and command a high salary.

LinkedIn compiled a list called the “Most Promising Jobs for 2017” and found that most of them are also in healthcare, tech and finance. LinkedIn’s list of the “top 20 most promising jobs” include medical director, business analyst and program manager. The list highlights jobs with high salaries, good employment prospects and more chances for promotion.

3. There are opportunities to advance your career and grow professionally.
If you start out as a health information manager, you can eventually become responsible for a hospital’s information systems. The BLS also cites the example of healthcare managers who were able to move up to an executive position at their workplace.

The BLS states that those with a master’s degree in management and knowledge of healthcare information technology systems will have the best chances for advancing their career.

Healthcare administrators can get hired for jobs with a variety of job titles. Here are some examples of positions and responsibilities provided by the BLS:
• Nursing home administrator: Manages employees, budget and maintenance at a nursing home.
• Clinical manager: Oversees a department at a facility or hospital, such as physical therapy, surgery or nursing. They create and implement policies, procedures and goals.
• Health information manager: Ensures that patient records are kept secure, accurate and only accessible to authorized employees.
• Assistant administrator: Works closely with the administrator at a facility and often handles the day-to-day responsibilities to ensure that various departments such as surgery, nursing and IT have supplies, and their equipment is maintained.

4. Greater use of electronic health records means a higher demand for administrators and managers.
As more doctors, hospitals and facilities use electronic health records, the demand will increase for administrators and managers with a background in health information technology. They will need to manage, organize and integrate these records, as they are shared among healthcare professionals.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees growth in doctor and medical group offices as more services shift from hospitals to doctors because of improvements in medical technology. And, with more Americans getting older and having more medical care, administrators and managers will be needed to organize their health information and keep it current.

5. Healthcare organizations offer you a wide range of responsibilities and experience.
Healthcare is a fast-paced environment during which you’re exposed to many tasks and opportunities to grow professionally. You can learn a lot in a short amount of time and quickly gain experience in many areas.

For example, the BLS says a healthcare administrator learns important skills, such as:
• Leadership: Finding ways to solve staff or administrative issues. Hiring, training, motivating and leading staff are key responsibilities.
• Technical knowledge: Staying up to date with the latest developments in healthcare technology and data analysis. This could include medical coding software and electronic health record systems.
• Analytical skills: Understanding and following regulations and complying with new laws.
• Communication skills: Keeping staff informed about policies and procedures as well as discussing and resolving issues with employees.
• Detail-oriented: Paying attention to details, staying organized and scheduling staff.
• Interpersonal skills: Discussing staffing issues and sharing information with doctors and health insurers.

How to start your career in healthcare leadership

Perhaps you already work at a hospital, facility or medical group, and you want to move into a healthcare leadership position. In addition to experience, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that you would usually need at least a bachelor’s degree to get started. However, the BLS notes that some employers prefer a master’s degree for this type of job.

If you feel healthcare leadership is a good fit for you, now is the time to start taking steps to qualify for this exciting career. Learn more by visiting New England College online.