Many industries are in constant flux. Demand goes up. Demand goes down. Localized industries like manufacturing become increasingly automated or move overseas. Other industries outsource labor to countries with cheaper labor costs. Mining resources like coal are depleted or outmoded by newer sustainable resources.
The healthcare industry, however, is relatively constant. People need healthcare services throughout their lives, and the industry reflects this constant demand. For instance, the total impact that the healthcare industry had on North Carolina's economy in 2016 was over 100 billion dollars. Healthcare industry employment in the state has grown dramatically, keeping pace with the growth of its population.
An essential and broad field of employment across North Carolina's healthcare industry is healthcare management. Healthcare professionals in North Carolina interested in pursuing advancement into management positions can work to achieve this goal through advanced education. The University of North Carolina Wilmington's (UNCW) online Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Healthcare Management is tailored to this specific purpose.
Healthcare Industry and Employment in North Carolina
The impact and quality of the healthcare industry on North Carolina can be measured in more than dollars and cents. Becker's Hospital Review named four North Carolina hospitals in their 2018 "100 great hospitals in America" list. NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) data shows that in 2016 over 850,000 jobs in the state could be attributed directly or indirectly to the healthcare industry, with employee compensation reaching nearly 45 billion dollars.
The healthcare industry in North Carolina employs people in a wide range of professions. Beyond the most obvious roles of nurses, doctors and other medical professionals, healthcare organizations employ a significant number of people in other positions. These include technical services, support staff, mental health professionals, IT specialists, laboratory assistants, management personnel and more. The NCDHHS reported that in 2016 about 23 percent of people directly employed by the industry were employed by hospitals. Physicians' offices and nursing and community care facilities were the next largest healthcare employers, each employing 16 percent of North Carolina's healthcare worker population.
Healthcare management personnel with advanced knowledge of healthcare information systems have become particularly important in North Carolina. Healthcare information systems are being widely and effectively implemented, as demonstrated by North Carolina's high ranking in electronic prescribing. Significantly more expertise is needed in the management of those systems, analysis and integration between healthcare services. Highly qualified healthcare management professionals are well suited to help affect improvement in this area.
How Does UNCW's MBA Prepare Students for Job Advancement in Healthcare Management?
Healthcare management requires advanced education in a wide array of topics in management, healthcare systems, healthcare policy and informatics. UNCW's online healthcare management MBA program covers the various aspects of these topics in depth, giving students the skills they need to integrate knowledge of what may seem two disparate fields: business and healthcare.
This broad and integrated study prepares students to be effective in various managerial positions. They may pursue traditional jobs in areas like human resources management and administration. Further, with the increasing use of digitized healthcare information systems in North Carolina and elsewhere, healthcare management professionals often occupy positions relating to the effective integration of information systems. In these positions, healthcare management can use various information technology to affect improvement in healthcare quality and increase profitability. They can also promote continuity among different parts of the healthcare system, including traditional business functions.
How Can an MBA in Healthcare Management Improve Career Flexibility?
Although healthcare industry employment in North Carolina and across the nation is rapidly growing, most healthcare jobs are very specific to educational background. Nurses, physicians, dentists, biostatisticians and even diagnostics technicians are educated for their specific role. This has certain benefits, but also means they are somewhat limited to their field and certain types of healthcare organizations.
Because effective leadership is needed across industry sectors, healthcare management professionals can pursue employment opportunities in a wide range of healthcare organizations. By earning an MBA in healthcare management, graduates enjoy a great deal of flexibility in employment, within a variety of healthcare firms.
In addition, the generalized business knowledge gained through an in-depth MBA program, such as UNCW's, prepares students for work in other fields. Business management methods are widely applicable to various industries. And holding an MBA degree from a well-respected, accredited business program like UNCW is valued, and often required, by pursing business administration jobs of many industries.
With the advanced study of business management, healthcare systems and data analytics, healthcare management professionals can play important roles in North Carolina's healthcare industry. Offering career flexibility in a stable and growing industry, healthcare management can be wise choice of MBA specialization for those looking to advance into management positions in the industry.
Sources:World Population Review: North Carolina Population 2019
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