Health and wellness management is an increasingly competitive field—as wellness programs become a normal function within the corporate environment, professionals in the field must now perform a growing number of tasks that previously fell under the rubric of C-level executives. In the pursuit of these high-visibility roles, a master’s degree offers notable value.
In response to this market need, the University of Wisconsin-Extension and five UW campuses—UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, UW Stevens Point, and UW-Superior—have developed the Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management program. Applications will be accepted next month, and classes will begin in September (pending final approval from the Higher Learning Commission).
A curriculum that creates in-demand candidates in a competitive market
The program, designed with input from industry leaders, will offer a comprehensive and integrative curriculum with a strong focus on strategic planning, program budgeting, change management, and systems thinking—next-level skills that will put graduates in high demand in the health and wellness management market.
“The health and wellness market is growing increasingly competitive,” says David Schejbal, dean of UW-Extension Division of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning. “In Wisconsin and across the country, employers in most industries are realizing the impact skilled corporate wellness professionals can make on an organization’s employee engagement rate and overall bottom line. We are excited to offer an online professional degree program aimed at generating highly qualified candidates to fill their needs.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for the health and wellness industry from 2014 to 2024 is 13 percent, a faster rate of growth than most other fields. Within Wisconsin, the projected annual growth is ten percent. In 2014, the Education Advisory Board performed a market demand study on wellness careers; the Custom Research Brief they produced indicated that the demand for graduates with a master’s degree in health and wellness management in the upper Midwest outpaced national demand. Specifically, the number of job postings in industries that require a graduate degree increased by 40 percent.
This increased demand for the most highly trained specialists in the field of health and wellness means job candidates must make extra effort to match the needs of the industry. A graduate degree ensures their skills and knowledge are in direct relevance to market expectations. Theresa Islo, program manager for the UW Health and Wellness Management program says, “Our goal was to create a rigorous, multidisciplinary program that ensures our graduates are highly sought-after assets in the job market.”
The Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management program is intended for students with a bachelor’s degree in areas including (but not limited to) community health, health education, kinesiology, exercise science, nutrition, health promotion, recreation management, human resources, or social work; and who have limited education and training in the management field.
Students in the program will enjoy affordable tuition that compares favorably to competing graduate programs from other institutions. Like other collaborative online University of Wisconsin programs, students will pay the same tuition whether they live in Wisconsin or out of state.
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The UW Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management joins a growing list of online degree and certificate programs offered in collaboration with UW-Extension and UW System campus partners, including the existing bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness Management; bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in Sustainable Management; a master’s degree in Data Science; a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management and Technology; a bachelor of professional studies degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication; bachelor of science in Nursing (RN to BSN) programs for Wisconsin and out-of-state residents; and nine additional degree and certificate programs offered in the self-paced, competency-based UW Flexible Option format.
Prospective students seeking more information about the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program are encouraged to visit the program webpage, call 608-262-2011, or email email@example.com.