health care managementLooking for a degree that will help you gain employment and impress employers? named the top four degrees that employers love. Coming in at number one is health care management.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been training future health care managers and administrators for more than 40 years. Program Director Pamela Paustian, Ph.D., said her graduates hit the ground running in their jobs.

“I frequently have the pleasure of receiving validation from our students on how easy it is to immediately apply the skills they are learning in the classroom out in the workforce,” said Paustian, director of the Health Care Management program in the Department of Health Services Administration. “For example, in the ‘Operational Management in Health Care Organizations’ course, students learn to calculate cycle time and throughput time to better understand queuing theory.  This assignment simulates dealing with patient flow and scheduling in the workplace and graduates report that the assignment prepared them well to perform the task on the job.”

Pam PaustianAccording to the U.S. Department of Labor’s projections, 28 percent of all new jobs in the U.S. economy in the next decade will be in the health care industry. A report by Georgetown University Center of Education and Workforce found a 2.9 percent unemployment rate for experienced health and medical administrative service graduates. The population continues to live longer which means health care needs will continue to increase including those who manage the industry.

A median annual wage for a health care manager is $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 which degrees employers love. The company used a 2012 Georgetown University study listing unemployment rates for recent and experienced graduates in various majors. Any major with an unemployment rate above 8.1 percent was considered bad and anything below was good. Yahoo also asked’s Human Resources Guide for what degrees employers might love.