hcmWith a slow economy, it’s time for students to find a degree that gives you more bang for your buck. A bachelor’s degree in health care management does just that. It also happens to be one of the five college degrees Yahoo lists as giving graduates good job prospects and high average pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor projects a career as a health services manager is expected to grow by 22 percent during this decade. The population continues to live longer which means health care needs will continue to increase.

UAB has been training the future health care managers and administrators for more than 40 years.

“The health care management faculty focus on delivering high-quality, market-relevant learning opportunities for individuals to develop the knowledge and skills required of mid-level managers in a variety of health care organizations,” said Pamela E. Paustian, Ph.D., RHIA, director of the program.

The unemployment rate for health care administrators is 4.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics which is significantly below the 2012 Alabama unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. The list shows the median annual wage of $86,400.

“Salaries immediately following graduation average $48,000 to $75,000 depending on the type of facility and will increase with experience and responsibility,” said Paustian. “However, five years post-graduation, our alumni salaries are consistent with this median.”

Yahoo used several factors to determine what degrees have the potential to pay students back. They used a 2012 Georgetown University study listing unemployment rates for recent and experienced graduates in various majors. Any major with an unemployment rate above 8.2 percent failed the test. Yahoo also studied potential careers and average salaries. The top careers had to have a median wage higher than the national average of $45,230 as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.