4 Healthcare Management Courses Targeting the Skills Employers Want to See

business woman in healthcare facility 

If you’ve spent any time in the healthcare industry, you know how important good management decisions are. When budgets are tight—and tension runs high—professionals who understand what’s going on are the ones expected to make wise choices that impact the whole organization.

So it should be no surprise that healthcare management jobs come with some required experience and education. And, yes, typically to become a healthcare manager you’ll need at least a few years of experience under your belt—but that’s not all that matters. In addition to gaining experience, healthcare management professionals usually need a Bachelor’s degree. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both medical and health services managers typically need at least a Bachelor’s degree.1)

While it’s great to know what employers prefer, there’s more to starting a career than just earning a degree—what you learn in that Bachelor’s degree program matters. In this article we’ll identify some of the top skills employers are seeking and explore four intriguing courses that can help you refine them.

The skills employers want in healthcare management candidates

We used job posting analysis software to examine over 300,000 medical and health services manager positions over the past year to find the skills employers are most commonly seeking. Here’s what we found:1

  1. Budgeting
  2. Patient care
  3. Scheduling
  4. Staff management
  5. Quality assurance and control
  6. Customer service
  7. Supervisory skills
  8. Quality management
  9. Project management
  10. Case management

As you can see, employers are looking to hire managers with a variety skills and competencies. You might already have some knowledge and ability in these areas, but as you look to move into management it’s important to deepen and learn how to apply your abilities.

This is where healthcare management courses come in. A typical business program will likely prepare you for skills like budgeting and people management—but, as you know, healthcare is really its own world. The specificity of tasks, problems and standards in healthcare make an education implicitly focused on healthcare management a more efficient choice for anyone headed into that industry.

4 Healthcare management courses to get excited about

Let’s take a closer look at a sampling of the healthcare management courses you’ll find at Rasmussen College.

1. Quality Improvement in Healthcare

As you can see from the list of skills employers want, quality assurance and control makes the top five. Quality standards and improvement in healthcare are a massive part of pretty much every healthcare professional’s job. When patient lives are on the line, everything from scheduling decisions to inventory management can have a profound impact.

This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge base of quality standards in healthcare to help you develop ideas around new initiatives and improvements you could launch or participate in as a healthcare manager.

2. Healthcare Planning and Policy

“This course teaches excellent analytical skills,” says Laura De La Cruz, Healthcare Management instructor at Rasmussen College. “Employers often ask for employees who can ‘see the big picture’ and analyze it.” In terms of vital skills, everything from budgeting to staff planning could come into play here.

De La Cruz says this course even helps students work through big-picture projects regarding how federal and state laws and policy decisions impact healthcare facilities. 

3. Advanced Healthcare Law and Ethics

As you can imagine, healthcare law is an extensive subject. Laws around medical malpractice alone can be traced back to Roman times—and they certainly haven’t become less complex since then.

Healthcare management professionals rely on their understanding of healthcare laws and ethical practices to make informed decisions and help ensure the compliance of their healthcare institution to those regulations. What may be a simple issue to resolve in another industry can become incredibly complex when you factor in patient safety regulations and the factors that influence Medicare reimbursement rates. This course will help you understand the legal and ethical considerations healthcare managers must deal with in their daily work.

4. Healthcare Marketing

“This course teaches—among other things—the importance of excellent communication,” De La Cruz says. Students in healthcare marketing learn about branding by developing a personal brand, writing a paper on customer service and discuss rebranding initiatives.

“Healthcare marketing is very different from general marketing,” De La Cruz emphasizes. “Understanding issues such as customer relations, social media posting, privacy and more will make students better healthcare employees.”

Just like any business, healthcare institutions need to help their clients find them, build community trust and get their messages out in a way people will understand. But the way healthcare organizations pursue their marketing goals is specific to the demands of the industry—and the scrutiny of the public.

Starting your healthcare management education

Healthcare management definitely isn’t for everyone. There’s a lot to learn and plenty of complicated choices to be made as a manager in the industry. But—with the right healthcare management education as your foundation—you will have much more preparation for this kind of role.

“The thing I am most proud of in the Rasmussen Healthcare Management curriculum is that the courses are carefully designed not only to prepare students for careers, but to prepare them for careers in healthcare,” De La Cruz says. “Given the peculiarities of healthcare, this focus helps students understand some of those finer points.”

If looking at these courses inspires you, you might be just the right candidate for a career in healthcare management! Check out the Rasmussen College Healthcare Management Degree page for more information on what it takes to get to the career you want.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [information accessed April, 2019] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and include workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 318,597 medical and health services management job postings March 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019).
This article was originally published in 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2019.

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Brianna Flavin

Brianna is a content writer for Collegis Education who writes student focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She earned her MFA in poetry and teaches as an adjunct English instructor. She loves to write, teach and talk about the power of effective communication.

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