There are more than a few frustrated Healthcare Administration graduates, particularly at the Master’s degree level, who are in search for a job. Yet once that initial goal is achieved, opportunities for future success abound. So the problem is not only how to get in on the ground floor, but where to go for the best opportunities. Here are a few pointers to get you started in the right direction.
Lower Your Expectations
Don’t translate this to mean settling for less than what you are worth, but be realistic. The responsibilities of a healthcare administrator are significant and except on rare occasions, require working experience in the field. There are internship opportunities or lower level medical and hospital administrative positions that will provide relevant experience for your resume. There is a bridge that has to be built between your academic education and the real world problem solving experience necessary to fully use your acquired skill sets. Also be sure to remember the importance of dual degrees. If you can find a graduate program that combines somethign like a MHA and MBA, your skills will be much more in demand. Check out http://www.thebestcolleges.org for more info on degrees like this one.
According to an article published at Monster.com there are four major areas for the Healthcare Administration graduate to explore.
- Healthcare providers
- Healthcare suppliers
- Healthcare insurance organizations
- Healthcare policy organizations
Each of these areas comes with its own package of requirements necessary before being allowed admission, so plan accordingly and construct your resume to present your strongest qualifications that are relevant to the specific area.
This isn’t popular for many reasons – the first is that many people hesitate to move away from family and friends to land in a place where everything is unfamiliar. But one of the reasons the healthcare industry as a whole is expanding is because of the growing number of baby boomers who will need medical services over the next 10 – 30 years. Therefore, it makes sense to go where your skills are needed the most. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a web page with projected demand of health service opportunities categorized by state. (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119111.htm)
The author of the Monster.com article cited above recommends gaining healthcare experience as a clinical technician, CNA, or phlebotomist to build a foundation for your long-term goals. She makes this statement based on her own experience as an RN and earning a doctorate. (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/susan-odegaard-turner-rn-phd/12/738/1b8)
It’s clear that this is one path to maximizing your academic efforts, but there are others worth considering. Some graduates can’t afford to relocate or need immediate employment to pay for basic living expenses. Take a survey of your strengths, both personal and academic, and assess where those strengths can be used in conjunction with your Healthcare Administration degree now. Entry-level opportunities are available in a wide variety of apparently unrelated fields that can land you an immediate job and lay another brick on the foundation of your career goal of becoming a healthcare administrator.
Never lose sight of what your career goals are. A degree in Healthcare Administration will always be valuable as long as hospitals and healthcare agencies are in demand. Keep in mind that your choice of academic major is a journey, and it will take time for you to reach the end of that journey. The experience you acquire and the practical application of your education will combine to maximize both your potential and income opportunities.
Becka Gonzalez writes all about education and employment. Her recent work is on the job market for law students.
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Good luck in your search.