Online Health Administration Certificates
Between new research-based treatments and modalities and regulatory changes, the field of healthcare is evolving fast. It’s also growing at a breakneck pace: Healthcare was responsible for 346,000 new jobs in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s almost 29,000 new jobs every month. This growth means there is more need than ever for qualified health administrators to manage the programs, systems, and institutions dedicated to maintaining and improving health. If you want to combine your interest in health care with your aptitude for business, a career in health administration might be a good fit. It’s generally a well-paid field: the BLS reports that healthcare administrators with a bachelor’s can earn a median salary of $99,730 per year.
Health administration certificates are academic credentials outside of a bachelor’s or master’s degree to help qualify you for the health administration field, advance other career opportunities, or help you move into a more focused area, such as public health. A certificate helps people move into healthcare careers quickly, rather than going back to school to earn a second degree in business or management.
It’s now possible to earn a health administration certificate online. On this page, we’ll show you what types of online certificate programs in health administration exist and how to select the best option for you. For more detailed information, check out what you can do with a certificate in health administration.
Types of Online Certificates in Healthcare Administration
The two main types of online certificate programs in health administration are graduate and postgraduate certificates.
Graduate certificate programs are the most common. They help people with bachelor’s degrees in healthcare or business gain the skills and credentials to forge a career in health administration or join a specialized branch. Most programs provide an overview of administration, and many focus on specialties such as:
- Public Health: Focuses on maintaining proper industry standards and may offer concentrations like HIV and AIDS, environmental health, or food and safety.
- Long-Term Care: Prepares you to manage in a long-term setting like a geriatric facility.
- Healthcare Quality and Safety: Identifies patient safety in healthcare procedures and emphasizes guidelines for quality care in a healthcare facility.
- Health Informatics: Studies the beneficial ways technology impacts how we collect, store, and process healthcare data.
Postgraduate certificates are an add-on to a master’s degree. They’re good for people who want to take on supervisory roles in healthcare, as the program prepares you for upper management careers. Large organizations, such as full-service hospitals, require at least a master’s degree for these roles, and a postgraduate certificate on top of your master’s helps you compete.
If you decide to get more education in the future, certificate program credits typically transfer to higher-level master or doctorate degrees.
Benefits of Earning a Health Administration Certificate Online
If you earn your certificate online, you can take advantage of less expensive school costs and probably finish your certificate faster. The flexible scheduling means you’ll have more time for family and other commitments, such as a day job.
Getting your health administration through online education allows you to choose a school with the best rates or financial aid benefits, no matter where you live. You can find the most affordable and best-fitting programs, depending on your career goals and specialization needs.
Tuition fees vary based on the program and school, but most universities offer scholarships in addition to financial aid options.
Public universities, like the University of Denver (UD) cost around $11,408 per semester. At UD, that covers a four-course certificate and takes about six months. A six-course certificate at UD would take about a year and cost $17,112. Private schools usually cost more. The George Washington University College of Professional Studies offers a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Corporate Compliance that you can earn in about seven months, for $15,850 per semester.
You can earn specific specialization certifications by taking online courses on Coursera, an online learning institution that carries courses designed by prestigious schools. For example, Johns Hopkins offers seven courses on patient safety and quality improvement in healthcare; Rutgers offers four courses on healthcare organization operations. Prices start at $39 each month, which costs an average of around $160 per certificate. They even allow students to audit courses for free and offer financial aid.
While most online certificate courses in health administration are completely online, some are hybrid programs that require a bit of hands-on coursework. Some programs require a capstone project, while others require short residencies. Either way, getting your health administration certificate online maximizes your schedule flexibility, which makes it ideal for working professionals and parents. Apply your time management skills and set times to complete your coursework while working at your own pace.
Plus, students can enroll in a single course at a time or transfer credits to most on-campus graduate programs.
Time to Completion
An online health administration graduate certificate from a university usually takes around 12 or 18 credit hours to complete, while postgraduate programs require 20 to 25 credit hours. Full-time students could complete an online graduate certificate in health administration program in around a year or two. Some universities offer healthcare management certificates programs you can complete in six or 12 months.
If you take courses through an online platform like Coursera, each course may take anywhere from 11 hours to three months for completion. The time you spend on the courses varies based on the area of study, and they each come with a suggested five weeks of study time. Most students can complete a specialization certification in as little as four to six months.
Online Certificates in Health Administration
There are many different online certificate programs offered. Explore several options before you decide which is the right program for you. Here are ten tempting online certificates in health administration:
- The Business of Health Care Specialization offered by the University of Pennsylvania, through Coursera: Gain a strong foundational understanding of the American healthcare system, along with the skills to make better decisions that improve the cost and quality of health care. This certificate consists of four classes and takes around a month to complete for $39 per month.
- Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety offered by the George Washington University, through Coursera: With five weeks or 11 hours of study, you can complete this course for Coursera’s starting subscription price of $39 per month. Explore the foundations of health care quality and the science underlying patient safety and quality improvement. You’ll learn how to lead patient safety and improve healthcare initiatives on the micro and macro level.
- Healthcare Organization Operations Specialization offered by Rutgers University, through Coursera: An entirely online option, beginners learn about a wide range of healthcare organizations for four hours per week. You must complete a hands-on project to earn the certificate in addition to the four courses, and prices start on the subscription basis of $39 per month.
- Health Administration Certificate from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine: You’ll gain foundational knowledge on healthcare management and finances in this 18-credit-hour program. You’ll take five or six classes a year. This school offers specialization and postgraduate options too. Although prices vary by location, you’ll pay around $557 per credit.
- Healthcare Management Certificate from the University of Denver: With certificates in various concentrations, this program creates leaders who can identify reform efforts and understand how to solve technological issues. There are online or in-person evening classes for between $11,408 and $17,112 total.
- Health Care Compliance Certificate from the University of Southern California: Students at USC online take this course to learn the fundamentals of risk management, compliance, and privacy in healthcare. It prepares you for a Health Care Compliance specialization, and the certificate consists of 12 credit hours or one year of study for $28,628.
- Post-Master’s Certificate in Healthcare Administration from Clarkson College: This fully online post-master’s certificate program boosts critical thinking and leadership skills. You’ll learn to solve business problems, assess information, and consider alternatives before finding a solution. Both the operational track or the leadership track are 21 credits. Students take one course at a time to complete it in three semesters for $621 per credit hour.
- Healthcare Corporate Compliance Graduate Certificate from the George Washington University College of Professional Studies: This graduate-level certificate covers healthcare regulations and strategies for effectively running a corporation. It requires five days of in-class instruction, six months of online work, and a three-day residency. The 12-credit hours cost $15,850 per semester.
- Health Administration Graduate Certificate from Capella University: In this entirely online graduate certificate program, you’ll learn about operating a healthcare business. Expect topics like economics, strategic planning, and organizational leadership. With a total of four courses and 16 credits, this certification costs an estimated tuition of $8,560.
- Healthcare Administration Graduate Certificate from Seton Hall University: A 15-credit graduate-level certificate, this is for people seeking a leadership role in healthcare. You’ll study topics like management, accounting, ethics, policy, and population health. Courses are on-campus and online, and you can apply for a Master of Health Administration later. Tuition is $1,310 per credit hour.
Accreditation for Online Certificates in Health Administration
Accreditation is an important part of choosing a school or platform. It verifies that programs meet a certain level of quality. It also enables students to transfer their credits to another school or seek federal financial aid.
Look for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). This is the organization responsible for evaluating graduate-level healthcare management education in the U.S., and they started accrediting fully online programs in 2015. Today, CAHME fully accredits more than 91 programs, including online programs.
CAHME accredits prestigious healthcare administration programs only, excluding fully online colleges in favor of campus-based schools with online options. You can also find CAHME scholarships and other helpful tools on their website, which is linked above.
How to Choose the Right Online Certificate in Health Administration
To find the right online certificate in health administration program for you, consider these ten tips:
- Align your program with your career goals: If you plan to move into a specialized field, for example, select a program that offers the track you want to follow.
- Seek an accredited program: This is especially true if you want to apply for federal financial aid to cover tuition costs.
- Keep an eye out for scholarships and other ways to help you pay for school: Not all certificate programs offer federal financial aid.
- Speak to the program’s admissions crew and graduates of the program to get a feel for what people think about first-hand involvement in the program: You can also check out the school’s reputation on sites like College Score Card.
- Ask about how students are graded: Get a feel for the realistic standards you’ll need to meet in the program.
- Ask about the interaction students have with instructors: This is particularly important if you think you’ll need one-on-one help.
- Consider whether a graduate or postgraduate degree is right for you: Your decision may be based on your career goals and the education you already have.
- Find a school with transferable credits if you want to pursue a master’s degree: It’s possible that you might move to another state before completing your program.
- Be sure that online learning will work for you: You will have more flexibility, but don’t underestimate the need for serious time management and self-discipline skills.
- Look for programs with outside networks of relationships you can take advantage of after graduation: Partnerships with employers or other schools in the area can be extremely valuable.
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