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Sept. 20, 2011
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Pittsburgh Magazine lauds SRU’s
health services administration major

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. ­–Slippery Rock University’s health services administration major has been named one of the 12 smartest educational choices in the region for finding a job. Pittsburgh Magazine, which profiled the hottest majors, said SRU’s program gives graduates a competitive advantage, especially for those planning to pursue a master of business administration degree.
     “When you think about becoming a captain of industry, Heinz and U.S. Steel probably come to mind. But UPMC trumps them all having almost 50,000 employees. There’s big money and stability in healthcare, so if you’re aspiring to an MBA, consider specializing in health services administration at Slippery Rock University as an undergraduate,” the magazine wrote.
        Even though other regional universities offer health services administration, SRU’s undergraduate program is the only one that made Pittsburgh Magazine’s list. Associate editor Sean Collier said the magazine researched college curriculums to find the hidden gem, non-flagship majors that offer abundant employment opportunities.
      The magazine lauded SRU’s program for preparing graduates to enter the health care industry, which provides some of the best employment opportunities. The U.S. Department of Labor reports health care will be the largest employer in the nation through 2020.
        “Taking advantage of western Pennsylvania’s largest professional sector doesn’t mean you have to be a doctor, nurse or technician. Hospitals and clinics also need smart, business-savvy professionals to manage their vast operations,” the magazine wrote.    
     Universities cited for top programs in other fields include Carnegie Mellon, Washington and Jefferson, and Seton Hill.
     “I am pleased but not surprised, because we have an excellent program that has been in existence for more than 25 years,” said John Bavaro, said John Bavaro, associate professor and coordinator of SRU’s Health Services Administration major. “We have excellent relationships and partnerships with a large number of health care organizations in the region, not just hospitals but nursing homes and you name it.”
       While some graduates enroll in MBA programs, Bavaro said there are many other choices for master’s degrees, such as health care informatics, healthcare law, ethics, and even health services administration. Masters degrees in these types of programs offer more promising job opportunities. “The MBA, unless it is from a highly ranked university, such as the University of Pittsburgh has become quite watered down and common. As such, it has lost some of its value.” he said.
     SRU’s program prepares graduates for employment as health-care industry administrators, practice managers, human resource specialists, clinicians and consultants. Graduates work for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Sharon Regional Health System, among others.
     Mychael Lee, a health services administration major from West Chester, said he chose the major for its robust employment potential and because he wants to help others.
     “I entered the field of health services administration because health care has always been a dear topic to me,” he said. “Research shows that health service administration is becoming increasingly in demand with many different health care facilities that need to be managed,” he said.
    Lee, an undergraduate, plans to attend graduate school. “My plans for the future include a few different stops,” he said. “If accepted, I hope to go to graduate school for health care management at Towson University in Maryland or at Temple. After achieving my master’s degree, I hope to become someone how is involved with two different fields, medical staffing and human resources.”