Sometimes making a change for the better involves taking a leap of faith in yourself and your abilities. This is especially true for those contemplating the pursuit of an associate degree in healthcare management in New York City.

Degreed professionals earn more money

Going back to school requires commitment, dedication and sometimes, even sacrifice. If you are a NYC parent who is already working full-time, returning to school for an associate degree in healthcare management can mean that you have less time to spend with your children and other family members. You might have to cut back on time spent seeing friends, pursuing a favorite hobby or doing leisure activity. You may be wondering if returning to school is really worth your time and effort.

It is, and here is a good reason why — research published by the United States Census Bureau indicates that over a worker’s lifetime, those with associate degrees versus those with only a high school diploma earn nearly $300,000 more, which is not an insignificant amount of money.

Career outlook for healthcare managers

There has never been a better time to get in on the ground floor of the health care management field. Health care managers are needed for the organization, management and integration of patient records across all sectors of the healthcare industry. Widespread employment growth in the field is projected at least through 2024 for the following reasons:

  • Implementation of the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” has withstood all legal challenges and become the law of the land and, as a result, millions more Americans are now insured. The passage and implementation of the ACA has increased the need for access to health care and created new jobs in the field of healthcare management.
  • Aging Baby Boomers – Those born in the quarter century following WWII are currently entering their golden years and are beginning to need more medical services as they age. Health care managers will be in great demand to coordinate and oversee the provision of medical services for this large population group.
  • Technological advances –  Advances in the healthcare field are allowing people to live longer lives than ever before in the history of medicine. As technology evolves and more cures for diseases are discovered, the population will continue to live longer. Consequently, additional health care workers will be needed to provide care.
  • Proliferation of electronic health records – The old-school way of handwriting patient chart notes is being phased out as physicians and other health care providers are instead turning to electronic management of patient data. Medical information is remotely accessible now to providers and insurance companies with a few mouse clicks. Patient records that once were stored in bulky containers in offsite storage facilities have now become obsolete.
  • Pending retirements of health care managers – Many health care managers are approaching retirement age. This will open up these positions to younger applicants with the right qualifications.

Jobs for those with an associate degree in healthcare management

Will an associate degree in healthcare management qualify an applicant to oversee a clinic, hospital or nursing home? Unfortunately no, as those positions typically require at minimum a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management or, even more likely, a master’s degree. However, an associate’s degree is a good way to get one’s foot in the door in the field of healthcare management.

Typical entry-level positions in the field include administrative assistants to health care managers. Someone with an associate degree in healthcare management could anticipate, with solid on-the-job performance, to one day be promoted to manager of a department in a large hospital or other health care facility. In a smaller clinic or physician’s office, promotion to a management position with the responsibilities of supervising other employees as well as overseeing the day-to-day management of the practice is a potential career trajectory.

The building blocks of your educational path

If you are a NYC resident who is a non-traditional student, chances are good that you already view your educational endeavors as more of a marathon than a sprint. Obtaining your associate degree in healthcare management now can later be augmented by additional courses taken toward a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s or doctorate. But it all begins here, with the pursuit of post-secondary education.

If you are ready to take the leap of faith in yourself and your abilities, you are already poised on the brink of employment opportunities waiting to unfold.

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