Health care administration is a very popular academic field, opening the opportunity for a number of careers in teaching and advanced research. Ph.D. programs in health care administration equip graduates with the advanced research skills and field expertise needed to fill these types of positions. At this level, it is common for the curriculum to be tailored to suit each student’s specific interests. Specializations include areas like health policy, social and community services, or health economics. Programs usually include a range of advanced seminars and research courses.
Why a Ph.D.?
If your goal is to teach at the college level or pursue advanced leadership and research opportunities, an advanced degree will be required. While some community colleges may allow instructors with only a master’s, a Ph.D. is usually required. This is a research intensive curriculum that covers topics such as health technology and innovation, health policy, community and social services, and health care economics. Jobs for Ph.D. graduates can include positions with colleges and universities, government agencies, and private health systems.
Inside a Healthcare Administration Ph.D. Program
If you are interested in earning your Ph.D. in health care administration online, you can typically complete the program in four to six years. This will vary based on the number of courses taken each term, breaks from the program, and how long you take with your dissertation. Advanced coursework covered includes public policy, health care economics, social and community services, health delivery systems, and information systems. The flexibility of an online curriculum also provides students the option to continue working while earning their degree.
Typically, online courses operate on an asynchronous schedule. This means students are not required to login at specified times. Rather, they can turn in assignments, review materials, participate in discussion boards, and communicate with their professors at whatever times work with their personal and professional schedules. Streaming video, chat, and web conferencing technology will help students interact with their peers and faculty advisors throughout the program.
What’s Next for Healthcare Administration Ph.D. Degree Holders?
Ph.D. graduates commonly pursue careers in academia or advanced leadership and research. These positions may be with colleges, private health systems, or government agencies. It’s also possible they will find jobs working in health policy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a strong job outlook for medical and health service managers with 17% growth expected from 2014 to 2024. Estimated growth in the demand for postsecondary teachers is 13%.
In 2011, the reported mean annual wage for medical and health services managers was $103,680. For postsecondary teachers in health specialties, salaries averaged out to $112,950. Please note, these are only estimates and may not reflect actual openings or starting pay. This can all be influenced by your level of experience, education, location, and the specific position or employer.