In times of upheaval, strong leaders guide the way forward.
COVID-19 has thrown significant challenges at the health industry – from the way we treat patients to the way we manage staff. Now, it’s time to take what we've learned and improve the way we work.
That’s where you come in. As a leader in health, you’ll apply your skills and experience to optimise organisational effectiveness, encourage innovation and achieve better outcomes for patients. Health leadership roles come with a strong growth outlook.
Health leadership in Australia: overview
COVID-19 has fundamentally challenged the modern healthcare system. And with an ageing population, more frequent natural disasters and the likelihood of future pandemics, the challenges are only growing. Skilled, innovative leadership is in demand as we make sure we’re ready to take on whatever the future holds.
Postgraduate studies in health leadership give you a versatile, interdisciplinary qualification you can apply in a range of roles and settings.
Interdisciplinary skills in health system management and quality control are particularly valued in the post-COVID world. In the wake of the Aged Care Royal Commission, skills in aged-care leadership are in high demand too. As noted by KPMG in its analysis of the Royal Commission’s Interim Report, “The work of change must be leader-led from across the aged care sector.
Depending on your previous experience and career goals, you could find yourself running a nursing unit in a hospital, managing a multidisciplinary community health services, or developing and implementing quality-control processes in a clinical environment. Potential roles include medical administrator, health service manager and program manager.
In 2021, there were nearly 8,000 job listings for health leaders. Of these, 3,148 were for health and welfare services managers and 4,643 for medical administrators.
The average advertised real-time salary for health and welfare services manager roles in Australia in 2021 was $124,000 per year. Senior leadership roles in the health sector can earn significant salaries of over $200,000 per year.
Skills gained & learning outcomes in online health leadership and management postgraduate studies
Online postgraduate study lets you build theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills, all while you work. You’ll examine contemporary healthcare and leadership concepts, then learn how to combine that knowledge with available resources to effectively guide teams through change.
Our partner universities work closely with a host of industry bodies to develop their courses. You can be sure that your curriculum is designed around the contemporary industry and sits at the forefront of health best practice.
Online postgraduate study in health leadership will empower you with skills such as:
- Leading individuals and teams to improve quality, safety, risk and cost within complex healthcare systems.
- Engaging and unifying stakeholders to drive desired future outcomes.
- The ability to adapt to a changing healthcare system.
- How to maintain relevance in a rapidly evolving environment, shaped by technological change, interdisciplinary thinking and macro circumstances such as global pandemics.
- Research skills and presentation of solutions to stakeholders using evidence-based health care delivery theories.
- Applying evidence-based thinking to arrive at better decisions across a range of healthcare disciplines.
Topics you will cover:
- Managing change across multi-professional, interdisciplinary healthcare teams.
- The complexities of our healthcare systems and services, including their policies and politics.
- Data analysis, including the potential of digital health to harness data to improve decision making and drive change that achieves improved outcomes for patients and communities.
- Interpersonal skills needed for effective leadership, including social and emotional competence, leading effective learning, and strategy development.
- The driving forces behind the business of health care.
- How to apply evidence-based thinking to improve decision making across a range of healthcare disciplines.
- Comparisons of health systems, practices and policies and their impact on service quality and efficiencies.
Career outcomes for online health leadership and management courses
With a postgraduate qualification in health leadership you’ll be ready to take on roles such as:
Medical practice manager
- Salary range: $85,000–136,000/year
- As a practice manager, you’ll take control of the high-level strategy and planning functions that make a practice ‘tick’
- Use your skills and experience to make a practice operate more efficiently and provide the best possible experience for patients
Executive director of nursing
- Salary range: $122,000–$173,000/year
- As a director of nursing, you’ll lead nursing teams on the frontline of hospitals and medical clinics
- Maintain high standards of patient care, create training programs and support staff to achieve their objectives
- These roles have strong future growth prospects
Social services manager
- Salary range: $62,000–122,000/year, with an average base salary of $83,000/year
- Take a leading role with services that help some of the community’s most vulnerable people
- Drive efficiency, allocate budgets, plan new initiatives and help make a tangible difference in clients’ lives
Other possible career paths include:
- Healthcare manager
- Medical administrator
- Primary health organisation manager
- Health service manager
- Program director
The difference between a specialist masters in healthcare leadership or health services management and an MBA
Broadly, there are two pathways you can choose from if you want to build your skills in health management and leadership through postgraduate study:
- a master's degree focusing on the healthcare sector or managing health services
- a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
The pathway you choose depends on your interests and career aspirations. The key differences between the two are:
|Specialist health leadership and/or management masters
||Master of Business Administration
|Can require a health or social care undergraduate degree as a prerequisite. Courses without this requirement offer opportunities for those with non-health backgrounds to build skills, knowledge and credentials in the health sector.
||Can require undergraduate business studies. Courses without this requirement may require people with no business/administration experience to undertake additional units of study in business foundations.
|Majority of course content is specific to the health sector.
||Course content includes data, case studies and other content from a boarder range of industries. May offer a health major or specialisation.
|Tends to focus specifically on the Australian regulatory environment.
||Tends to have a more global perspective in content.
|Covers management topics including people, organisation, strategy, etc., but rarely marketing, IT or finance.
||Generally, a broader business degree than a specialist masters. Covers the range of enterprise functions – marketing, finance, accounting, HR, IT, operations management, strategy.
|Suitable for people who aspire to be leaders within the health or social care sectors.
||Suitable for those whose ultimate goal is to work either outside the health sector, or within the health sector in senior leadership or business management positions.