5 Master-Level Careers For Healthcare Professionals in Columbus
How important is healthcare to the Columbus economy?
Consider this: Columbus is home to 45,000 plus healthcare professionals, four major healthcare systems (two of which are ranked as top 10 in the country), leading healthcare suppliers (tech and device manufacturers, like Cardinal Health), nationally-recognized research institutions, and even a few industry disruptors (CoverMyMeds and Beam Dental). And over the last 10 years, healthcare job growth in Columbus has outpaced national trends by nearly 19%.
Healthcare isn’t just big here. It’s being shaped here.
“We already have an extremely robust healthcare industry, and it’s growing at an alarming rate.” says Dr. Alycnia Bowen, Dean of Doctoral Studies and School of Nursing at Franklin University. “You can see the success of the Columbus healthcare economy in the number of Fortune 500 companies here. We’ll continue to see staggering growth in data, research, nursing, and healthcare leadership positions in the upcoming years.”
Which means there’s a huge and growing demand for top healthcare talent. While all types of jobs across the industry are growing in Columbus, these five master-level careers will be at the forefront of change.
5 Industry-Leading Healthcare Jobs In Columbus
Healthcare administration is a broad category of professionals who are responsible for helping healthcare organizations achieve strategic goals related to operations, patient care, and quality initiatives. In today’s increasingly complex healthcare environment, medical facilities of all shapes and sizes are in need of strategic healthcare administrators to lead them forward.
What’s it take to land one of these jobs? Education and experience. Regarding education, a Master of Healthcare Administration degree (MHA) is quickly becoming the norm for management, senior, and executive positions in healthcare.
“Most facilities won’t hire someone with just a bachelor’s degree at the management level,” says Dr. Leslie Mathew, lead faculty member Franklin University. “Organizations want people who have the technical skills from a specialized master’s degree, especially at large hospitals or long-term care facilities.”
Nurse practitioners are qualified to treat patients without the direct supervision of a doctor. As the number of physicians decreases, these professionals are becoming more and more critical for the future of medicine and patient care.
“We’ve had a physician shortage occurring for the last five or so years with no way to fill the gap,” says Dr. Bowen. “Nurse practitioners will be key to managing patient care and fulfilling that need. Their approach is also different and more holistic, making them excellent primary care providers.”
A nurse practitioner is required to have at least a master’s degree. One of the largest areas of opportunity for nurse practitioners lies in primary care settings. A M.S. in Nursing–Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) prepares you to work in this setting managing the health of individuals and families. A specialized degree also tailors its curriculum to prepare you for the national certification exams you must pass to become a nurse practitioner.
Nursing is a great, always-in-demand occupation. The job continues to outpace growth trends for other industries as our population ages, and our society places more emphasis on wellness and preventative healthcare.
“Nursing is the number one career in Columbus based on sheer volume of positions,” says Dr. Bowen. “Bachelor’s degrees are standard for nursing positions at top hospitals and care facilities. They are better prepared and deliver a higher standard of care, which benefits the nurse, patient and provider. A master’s degree prepares nurses to take the next step in their career and increase their earning potential.”
Whether you’re looking to add to your skill set to improve the patient experience or looking to transition to management and leadership roles, a Master of Science in Nursing degree provides the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills that will define leaders in the era of continuing healthcare reform.
Health Informatics Specialists
Technology and big data are changing the way we deliver healthcare. Healthcare, biological and genomic data are quickly becoming the largest source of data in the world. Being able to access, analyze and use this data to improve patient outcomes is a top priority for many healthcare organizations.
“Now, 98% of providers use some form of electronic health records. Government and insurance payment models are driven by data. There are endless ways data is used every day in healthcare,” says Dr. JoAnn Jordan, chair of Healthcare Division, Academic Operations at Franklin University. “Today’s healthcare organizations need professionals who understand where technology and patient care intersect to improve outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. That’s the trifecta of effective data and analytics in our industry.”
A health informatics master’s degree can give you a significant advantage in this job market. Most leadership and management positions require a master’s degree because top organizations want people who are qualified and trained in their area of expertise, but also have leadership skills. Healthcare is a large and complex system so people don’t just operate within their area. A master’s degree helps you see the big picture and understand the effects and ramifications of your department on the rest of the system.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Healthcare information systems are both extremely sensitive and complex. They handle data related to patients, providers and organizations, which are leveraged to improve patient outcomes, inform research and influence healthcare policy. Healthcare needs IT leaders to help create a seamless, secure flow of information to empower the success of these efforts.
“Technology in the healthcare sector is one of the fastest-growing aspects of technology,” says Dr. Kody Kuehnl, Dean of Faculty and Instruction at Franklin University, “How we deal with the vast amounts of bio data and use it to make decisions will literally change lives.”
Depending on your background and career goals, you may benefit from a master’s in health informatics. Which will give you skills in database management and health information governance, as well as strategic management.
Columbus Healthcare Leaders Will Shape Tomorrow’s Outcomes
Columbus is a city poised for growth, especially in healthcare where we already have deep roots and successful businesses. If you’re pursuing a career in healthcare, make sure you’re prepared for these flourishing careers that will dominate the Columbus market.
Healthcare is a living, breathing industry that changes every day. With the right experience and education, you’ll gain a nimble set of skills to help you not only navigate change, but change the industry for the better.
This article is one installment of the Jobs & Education Outlook series, presented with paid support by Franklin University.
Franklin University is an accredited and nonprofit college in Columbus that has been dedicated to educating adults since 1902. The University offers a variety of career-focused online healthcare degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels. For more information, visit franklin.edu.