Transitioning from one profession to another mid-career can be tricky. Because they are already established in one industry, professionals may feel as if they are restarting their careers by moving into a different field.
However, this is not the case. Established professionals need to recognize that they have skills that are transferable. With the current state of change and growth in healthcare, many medical operations need leaders with those skills and expertise.
This is also true at the top. Healthcare administration goes beyond understanding medical operations and into areas such as finance, technology and process improvement. A Master of Healthcare Administration degree can provide the skills required to meet these operational challenges. This degree also can prepare working professionals from other industries for a smooth transition into healthcare administration.
Opportunities and Challenges
Is working in healthcare what you really want to do? Challenges certainly exist. The industry is vulnerable to swift shifts in government regulations and insurance policies. The challenge of efficiency is constant. Effective treatment and improved patient outcomes is a primary goal.
However, within the context of these challenges, exciting opportunities abound. Healthcare is a hotbed for applying innovative technology and new strategic management approaches.
Jobs in healthcare administration are increasing rapidly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20 percent increase in the number of healthcare administration jobs by 2026. That equates to more than 72,000 people joining the profession in the next decade.
Education for Healthcare Administration
The healthcare industry is growing faster than any other sector of the economy. At the same time, it faces challenges that require bright minds, fresh ideas and expertise.
Earning a Master of Healthcare Administration can prepare graduates to provide leadership within this industry. The Boston College MHA program equips professionals to drive change in the sector. The program is employer-aligned, with experts from the healthcare industry advising on the latest issues administrators will be required to handle.
The MHA program grants credit for experience, using a competency-based model. Its online format allows busy professionals to earn their degree while maintaining their current position.
In addition to a graduate degree, there are several other factors that can make a transition into healthcare possible for an experienced professional. Here are just a few more tips for professionals seeking to pivot into healthcare administration:
Transferable skills. Market how your current skill set is applicable in the healthcare setting. For example, someone adept at data analysis, who has experience applying a data-driven approach to solving business challenges can sell these skills to healthcare employers.
Network. Chances are, you are interested in getting into healthcare because you know someone in healthcare. Take advantage of that connection. Learn more about the industry from the inside by speaking with people who currently work in healthcare.
Stay flexible. Earning an MHA degree can help speed your transition into healthcare. While it helps to have a clear picture of your professional goals, the BC MHA faculty, Executive Coach, and student community can vastly enhance the clarity with which you understand opportunities in the field you likely have a clear picture in your mind of what that looks like, such as working in a hospital. However, an MHA prepares you to lead in a variety of settings, including:
- Physician’s clinics
- Residential care facilities
- Outpatient care centers
- Government healthcare agencies
Ultimately, making a transition into healthcare requires willpower and discipline. There are abundant opportunities to become a leader in healthcare; additional education and training can leverage your professional transition.
For those who want to work in a rapidly growing field where helping others is the bottom line, it is a transition worth considering.