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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Health Care Management: Why Advance Your Career with a BS?

December 23, 2020
health care management degree

Health care management is an overarching career path that may help those already in health care move into administrative positions. A bachelor degree in health care management helps teach leadership strategies including human resources, budgeting and supervision. 

If you already have an associate degree in business or health care, learn why a bachelor degree program in health care management may be right for you. 

Why Get a Degree in Health Care Management?

A degree in health care management may open the doors for career advancement that may not be as readily available with just an associate degree. For example, at San Joaquin Valley College you would take courses in:

  • Leadership in Healthcare Settings — This course introduces students to theories and approaches to leadership in healthcare. Students will apply leadership theories to scenarios in the healthcare context, and develop the necessary skills to communicate effectively, manage conflict, and lead organizational change.
  • Health Care Law and Ethics — This course presents an overview of legal and ethical issues facing health care managers. Students will be introduced to legal and policy issues in the dynamic health care environment and explore ethical dilemmas faced by health care managers. Emphasis is placed on developing the skillset to evaluate legal and ethical situations and assess the potential consequences choices have on key stakeholders. 
  • Human Resource Management — This course presents the major elements of human resource practices, retention, performance evaluation, compensation, education, and succession planning. Students will learn to analyze and evaluate how human resource management is applied in different health care settings. An emphasis is placed on strategic planning for health care organizations using the major elements of human resource management. 
  • Management Principles for the Healthcare Professional — The focus of this course is the application and practices of effective management in the health care setting. Topics include effective supervision, personnel management, budgetary controls, and legal and ethical concerns. 

Potential Job Options for Those With a Health Care Management Degree

For those with technical associate degrees in fields like medical sonography or medical radiography, you may choose to stay in your given profession and take on more responsibility as a senior member of the team. However, there are possible management positions that a health care management degree may open doors to. Below are some possible careers for those with a health care management degree. 

Administrative Services Managers 

Administrative service managers may plan, direct or coordinate administrative services in a health care or other organization. They may manage records and information, mail distribution or other office support services, according to O*NET online

Some common tasks for administrative services managers may include:

  • Prepare and review operational reports and schedules to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
  • Set goals and deadlines for the department.
  • Analyze internal processes and recommend and implement procedural or policy changes to improve operations, such as supply changes or the disposal of records.
  • Conduct classes to teach procedures to staff.
  • Plan, administer, and control budgets for contracts, equipment, and supplies.
  • Hire and terminate clerical and administrative personnel.
  • Communicate with and provide guidance for external vendors and service providers to ensure the organization, department, or work unit’s business needs are met.
  • Manage paper or electronic filing systems by recording information, updating paperwork, or maintaining documents, such as attendance records or correspondence.
  • Oversee payroll functions, such as maintaining timekeeping information and processing and submitting payroll.

General and Operations Managers 

According to O*Net, general and operations managers plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations. In a health care setting, this could mean overseeing a department or team of medical professionals or managing HR and lower managers in other departments. 

Some common tasks in this role include:

  • Review financial statements, sales or activity reports, or other performance data to measure productivity or goal achievement or to identify areas needing cost reduction or program improvement.
  • Prepare staff work schedules and assign specific duties.
  • Monitor suppliers to ensure that they efficiently and effectively provide needed goods or services within budgetary limits.
  • Direct or coordinate financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
  • Establish or implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, or procedures in conjunction with board members, organization officials, or staff members.
  • Perform personnel functions, such as selection, training, or evaluation.
  • Plan or direct activities, such as sales promotions, that require coordination with other department managers.
  • Manage the movement of goods into and out of production facilities to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, or sustainability of operations.
  • Implement or oversee environmental management or sustainability programs addressing issues such as recycling, conservation, or waste management.

Health Educators 

For those who want to pass a love of health care to others, health education may be a great option for those with a health care management bachelor degree. Health educators provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles, according to O*Net. They may use data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments.

Some common work tasks include:

  • Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address smoking, vaccines, and other public health concerns.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care.
  • Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs.
  • Document activities and record information, such as the numbers of applications completed, presentations conducted, and persons assisted.
  • Develop and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences, and school or community presentations.

Medical and Health Services Managers 

According to O*Net, medical and health service managers plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations. This makes it an ideal career path for those who have a health care management degree. 


Some common job duties of medical and health services managers include:

  • Direct, supervise and evaluate work activities of medical, nursing, technical, clerical, service, maintenance, and other personnel and direct or conduct recruitment, hiring and training. 
  • Conduct and administer fiscal operations, including accounting, planning budgets, authorizing expenditures, establishing rates for services, and coordinating financial reporting.
  • Establish work schedules and assignments for staff, according to workload, space, and equipment availability.
  • Review and analyze facility activities and data to aid planning and cash and risk management and to improve service utilization.
  • Monitor the use of diagnostic services, inpatient beds, facilities, and staff to ensure effective use of resources and assess the need for additional staff, equipment, and services.
  • Consult with medical, business, and community groups to discuss service problems, respond to community needs, enhance public relations, coordinate activities and plans, and promote health programs.

Online Health Care Management Bachelor Degree at SJVC

San Joaquin Valley College offers a Health Care Management B.S. online, allowing working professionals the flexibility they need to advance their education. This program is designed for those who already hold a health care associate degree. Those with an associate degree looking to advance their career can complete their bachelor degree in as little as 19 months. Request more information to learn more. 

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