For those wanting to advance their career in healthcare administration, earning a Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) degree can help bridge the gaps in any skill set. Some of these essential competencies include extensive knowledge of clinical, regulatory, and operational factors that influence healthcare environments, as well as the ability to envision how they can be improved.
While there are several options available to those interested in breaking into healthcare leadership, earning an online degree offers the convenience and flexibility needed for students who either can’t enroll full-time or have barriers to attending in person. Northeastern University offers several online programs to students who can also benefit from small class sizes, access to expert guest lecturers, and regular communication with supportive faculty.
Here’s a closer look at the three things Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences’s online Doctor of Medical Science in Healthcare Leadership program can offer you in your pursuit of a new career in healthcare leadership.
1. Innovative Learning Model
Creating an immersive learning environment online can be challenging. However, Northeastern’s DMSc degree is designed for professionals who already work in healthcare and want to enrich their educational experience by applying their new knowledge in real-time.
By accommodating different types of DMSc students, Northeastern’s online program is able to tap into a wider range of professional backgrounds and skill sets. Not only does this inclusivity benefit the industry, but it also helps students gain valuable insight from peers who have worked in other sectors of healthcare. Here are key ways the online degree program offers flexibility.
Not Limited to PAs
Unlike most programs, Northeastern’s DMSc degree isn’t exclusively open to physician assistants. Medical professionals from any healthcare field can leverage their skills and experience to build a career in healthcare leadership and administration. A wide variety of roles contribute to healthcare outcomes, so it’s beneficial for organizations to build leadership teams with diverse perspectives and expertise. The most important thing is for prospective students to be passionate about discovering new solutions and making an impact on healthcare.
Professionals who work, have families, or live with disabilities need educational options that fit their lifestyles. Northeastern’s DMSc program offers virtual, asynchronous coursework which allows you to create a schedule that works best for you. Students can learn at a comfortable pace and, if necessary, earn a degree part-time while still working, making it easier to manage the financial commitment.
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Teaches Specialized Concentrations
After completing core courses, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a concentration that aligns with your interests and career goals. Northeastern’s DMSc program has seven specializations, including:
- Health Informatics (Practice): The increasing availability of health data has made it essential for leaders to have advanced knowledge of analytical decision-making, information systems, and data applications.
- Health Informatics (Research): By combining data and systems analysis with empirical research, healthcare professionals can develop new methods of capturing, assessing, and applying health data.
- Health Law: To become skilled administrators and patient advocates, graduates need a thorough understanding of healthcare-related legal issues, regulatory standards, data privacy, employee rights, and organizational management.
- Business Management for Healthcare: A business concentration provides further training in core management and strategic planning skills, such as finance, business landscape analysis, and health informatics.
- Public Health: Tailored to professionals interested in advocacy and community engagement, public health courses focus on assessing public policies, urban health initiatives, and cultural considerations.
- Pharmacy and Health Systems Sciences: By diving deeper into pharmacy practice, graduates can learn how clinical research and evidence-based medicine inform the pharmaceutical industry and patient care.
- Interdisciplinary: For a customized education, students can integrate courses from different concentrations to focus on the skills most relevant to their career goals.
Offers Experiential Learning Opportunities
Northeastern operates on the principle that experience and practical application deepen learning. Through jobs, internships, and capstone projects, students are expected to draw connections between classroom concepts and the complex dynamics of real-world environments. Instead of simply receiving facts and information, DMSc students have opportunities to individualize their research studies by identifying problems of practice they want to focus on. Interactive portions of the curriculum also allow students to have an ongoing dialogue with peers and faculty advisors so they gain meaningful feedback and diverse insight about how to implement solutions in healthcare environments.
2. Degree Credibility
DMSc degree programs are designed to develop healthcare professionals into well-rounded leaders with a clinical, operational, and strategic understanding of issues shaping the industry. With this in mind, it’s important to choose a program with a strong emphasis on research and innovation.
The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education classifies institutions as R1 for “very high research activity” if they devote substantial funding and resources to research, provide extensive research opportunities to students, and employ expert researchers as faculty. Northeastern is currently the only R1 research university that offers a DMSc program.
While all DMSc programs help you gain the functional and technical knowledge to be administrators and executives, research-based programs also give you the skills to create innovative solutions to real-world problems. Northeastern’s DMSc program facilitates critical thinking, problem-solving, and investigative discovery by allowing you to shape your research around your interests and personal experience in healthcare environments.
3. Positive Career Outlook
Earning a DMSc degree isn’t just important when considering your educational interests and preferences, it also directly influences your professional success post-graduation. Here are some positive career projections that Northeastern’s online program can help you achieve.
Long-term Career Growth
Healthcare is essential to public well-being, and as provider shortages continue to create challenges, healthcare organizations will need skilled administrators and executives who can make leadership decisions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs for medical and health services managers are expected to grow by 28 percent by 2031, resulting in roughly 136,200 new jobs over the next 10 years.
While the largest employers of healthcare managers are hospitals, physician’s offices, and other direct care facilities, many roles also exist in auxiliary industries, such as government agencies, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare technology. Northeastern understands the rising demand in these emerging industries and provides students with co-op and internship opportunities with these kinds of companies to better immerse in the evolving world of healthcare.
High Salary Potential
Salary is often a top concern for students who want some assurance that their educational investment will pay off. Today, medical and health service managers make a median annual salary of $101,340 per year, while research and development roles in physical, engineering, and life sciences pay a median salary of $119,340 per year. Seasoned administrators and executives have the opportunity to earn much higher salaries, so your overall earning potential depends on factors like experience and industry.
The greatest benefit of a DMSc degree is that it can open the door to leadership roles that were previously less attainable for non-physicians. If your current career offers few options for advancement, earning a doctoral degree is a good way to take what you already know and use it to expand upon your skills. While Northeastern’s DMSc program prepares you for healthcare administration, the strategic and operational knowledge you can gain from this degree is valuable for any type of organizational leadership. Building a highly sought-after, transferable skill set can increase your career options and make you stand out in a competitive job market.
Consider Enrolling in an Online DMSc Program
If you’re interested in the DMSc program at Northeastern University, consider contacting an admissions counselor to find out if it’s a good fit. Prospective students typically speak with the program director one on one to ask questions and get more information about the curriculum and program requirements. Going back to school for a postgraduate degree is a big decision, and it’s crucial to fully understand what this commitment will require before you enroll.