Best Online Health Services Programs
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An aging population and a growing need for more varied medical services have created a great demand for healthcare professionals. A bachelor's in health services program can help prepare students for many of these roles. These four-year programs help familiarize students with the healthcare system. They also can learn to manage the operations of healthcare facilities.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, four-year institutions charged an average of around $28,120 in 2018-2019. This cost included tuition, fees, room, and board. With postgraduate employment necessary to pay for these training costs, health services degrees have plenty of appeal.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of 2.6 million healthcare jobs between 2020 and 2030, the most of any workforce in the country.
Many top online schools offer health services degrees, giving aspiring healthcare professionals a choice of schools and programs.
To help you make that decision, we take a closer look at the discipline, highlighting the best online bachelor's in health services programs. Find out about some of the most popular career pathways.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Health Services Program?
Many students pursuing an online bachelor's degree already possess communication, analytical, and leadership skills. Health services training helps learners hone these skills while also developing medical expertise and technical abilities. Typically four years in length and featuring 120 credits, a health services bachelor's degree focuses on administrative duties and business strategies within various healthcare settings.
Outside of traditional classroom instruction and group work, health services programs often feature practical assignments and learning experiences.
Both on-campus and online students complete internships that allow them to apply their training within practice-based scenarios. Online learners can usually complete these requirements virtually or at a location near their homes.
Most schools typically award a bachelor of science in health services. Some programs award bachelor of arts degrees, which may provide a heavier humanities-based focus.
To give learners a more defined focus, some programs also offer concentrations in healthcare technology, administration, or health policy. Degree-seekers may also find specializations that lead to careers in specific areas, such as gerontology or education.
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Popular Online Bachelor's in Health Services Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Health Services Program?
This course teaches students how healthcare facilities operate. The training looks at the major service processes in different settings and the methods for analyzing and improving them.
In this course, students learn about major healthcare policies and laws. They also examine the processes and institutions involved in policy development and implementation.
Healthcare Financial Management
Students in this course learn how to manage various financial duties within a healthcare setting. These include operating budgets, financial reporting, and evaluation. The training also explores how healthcare managers acquire and distribute funds and how to use finance as a decision-making tool.
Healthcare Information Systems
This course familiarizes students with the most commonly used technologies and their applications. Degree-seekers may also learn how to assess and identify a healthcare facility's technological needs.
Healthcare Quality Improvement
In this course, learners look at ways of evaluating the effectiveness and quality of care within a healthcare facility. They also learn how to develop new processes and implement changes.
What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Health Services Program?
The typical admission process for an online bachelor's in health services program looks similar to on-campus programs. Below, we outline the major components of the standard college application. In addition to the items listed, prospective students, in some cases, may need to complete an interview.
A college application includes an applicant's personal information and program of interest. Prospective students can submit their applications directly to the school. Or they may choose to use a college application system. This allows applicants to apply to multiple colleges with one application.
College entrance exams usually accompany postsecondary applications. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have offered waivers to test-takers, allowing them to bypass this requirement. Check to see if the schools you are interested in require these exams.
Letters of Recommendation
Prospective students may be required to submit letters of recommendation. These letters typically come from professionals who taught or supervised the applicant and can address their strengths. They may also mention why they feel the candidate will succeed in the program and field.
College application essays can serve several purposes. They can provide information on the prospective student's personal journey and highlight academic interests or professional goals. These essays can also demonstrate applicants' writing abilities. In some cases, applicants are asked to answer a specific discipline-related question.
All prospective students submit transcripts to show their potential schools what courses they completed and the grades they received. Transcripts also identify what prerequisites the candidate has and which courses they need. For learners transferring from a community college or another university, transcripts can help with transfer credits.
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Health Services Degree?
Health services represents one of the most popular college majors in the country — for good reason. The expansive healthcare industry offers exceptional flexibility and growing opportunities. Careers are available in numerous environments, including hospitals, residential care facilities, medical clinics, and government organizations.
Additionally, health services graduates enjoy competitive job growth and earnings potential.
The BLS projects 16% growth in healthcare occupations between 2020 and 2030, twice the rate for all occupations. The BLS also projects 32% job growth for medical and health services managers. These professionals earned a median annual wage of $104,280, as of May 2020.
Health services professionals can take on various management roles as well, including in finance, human resources, and administration.
Uncover the postgraduate potential of a bachelor's in health services. Learn more about health services careers.
Medical and Health Services Managers
Medical services managers may oversee a department or an entire medical facility, with the goal of providing the most effective services possible. They may handle finances, staffing, and daily operations. They can also work to implement policies, ensure medical laws are followed, and communicate with governing bodies.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $104,280
Health Education Specialist
Health education specialists develop and implement health promotion and awareness programs. They can work with individuals, organizations, and communities. These professionals teach healthy living habits and explain the risks and benefits of certain choices and actions. They also strive to change and improve health policies and acquire funding for meaningful causes.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $56,500
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers
These managers supervise administrative professionals within healthcare organizations. They develop and implement improved record-keeping processes and ensure information remains secure and private. They also keep their facility equipped with the appropriate technology and equipment. These professionals also stay on top of regulations, laws, and policies.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $87,920
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers organize many of the internal operations of an organization and act as the link between management and staff. They often take charge of all staffing needs, including hiring, training, and compensation and benefits. They also manage internal conflicts, oversee health and safety policies, and assist with company culture and branding.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $101,990
Health Information Specialist
Health information specialists work with healthcare data, including the recording, coding, and categorizing of information for more effective use. They may review records for accuracy, analyze them for treatment purposes, or code them for the billing departments. These specialists work with various technologies and practices to improve privacy and the speed in which records are filtered and accessed.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $51,840
Health Services Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Along with entering the workforce directly after completing an online bachelor's in health services, graduates have the option of continuing their studies. Similar to its professional flexibility, the health services discipline offers several continuing education options. This includes a master's in health services.
Other options include a master's in healthcare administration, master's in health informatics, and a master's in public health. Each of these degrees may improve the graduate's chances of landing management roles and positions within a desired organization.
Health services graduates may also choose to complement their training with a clinical education, such as registered nursing.
How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Health Services Program?
When comparing online and on-campus programs and the costs of an education, prospective students should focus on the true program cost. This includes all the fees associated with the training. It also includes potential indirect effects of pursuing a degree, such as loss of income or decreased pay.
Applicants should also look at the differences in cost between private and public schools and in-state and out-of-state programs.
Finding the right program format can make a big difference in a student's educational experience. Online learners often have the choice between synchronous and asynchronous and part-time and full-time programs, which can significantly affect the study schedule. Prospective students with flexible schedules who need to graduate quickly might seek out online schools with accelerated programs.
Prospective distance learners still need to think about location. Online learners need to find out if their programs have any on-campus requirements. If so, they may want to consider programs closer to where they live. Distance learners may have to pay out-of-state tuition prices. However, some schools charge all online students the same rate, no matter where they live. In some healthcare programs, a school's location may affect licensure as well.
Accreditation is one of the most important things you should consider when deciding on a school or program. Prospective students should first ensure their school received regional accreditation. This can affect financial aid eligibility and future employment opportunities. Applicants should then look for programmatic accreditation from an organization like the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.
Prospective students can find more details in our online college accreditation guide.
Student services can benefit learners academically, socially, and professionally. Prospective students should ensure their chosen school offers online student services. These services include tutoring, wellness services, college mentor programs, and alumni networking events. They can also look for program offerings, such as internships.
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Health Services Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Health Services Programs
Is a bachelor's in health services worth it?
Yes. Similar to the value of an online degree, much of what makes a bachelor's in health services program worth it is the flexibility it can provide. Students can use this program as a stepping stone for numerous professional and educational pathways. They can pursue administrative and management careers or build on their training with a more specialized master's degree.
The BLS projects 51,800 job openings for medical and health services managers each year, on average, from 2020-2030.
What can I do with a bachelor's in health services?
With a bachelor's in health services, graduates can access many positions in the healthcare field. They can pursue medical and health services management positions, along with human resources and administrative services management careers. They also may decide to take on health education and health information specialist roles.
A bachelor's in health services also may lead to other degrees. Graduates may decide to continue their training with more advanced programs, such as a master's in health services, health administration, or healthcare management. They may also choose a clinical pathway, such as nursing or health science.
Are health services majors in demand?
Yes. With many healthcare occupations in demand, a widely applicable major like health services can lead to various career pathways. For example, the BLS projects 32% growth in medical and health services management occupations from 2020-2030.
Not only is healthcare growing at an incredible rate, but it's changing rapidly. According to Deloitte, the main drivers of change come from the need for improved consumer experiences, care models, and technologies. This also comes from a move toward an adaptable and collaborative healthcare system. Health services professionals can have an impact on each of these components.
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in health services?
The salaries available to graduates with a bachelor's degree in health services can vary, depending on the career pathway pursued. According to the BLS, health education specialists earn a median annual salary of $56,500, as of May 2020.
Management occupations earned median annual wages of $109,760 in that same period. Medical and health services managers earned a median annual salary of $104,280, as of May 2020. The top 10% of those professionals earned over $195,630.
What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in health services?
The highest-paying job available to graduates with a bachelor's in health services typically belong to those in management occupations. According to the BLS, financial managers earned median annual wages of $134,180 as of May 2020, one of the highest median salaries among all management positions.
Health services graduates can also pursue other high-paying management careers in the healthcare sector, such as medical and health services managers who made median annual salaries of $104,280, as of May 2020. Human resources managers and training and development managers earned median annual salaries of $101,990 and $98,470 in that same period, respectively.
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