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Pursuing A Masters In Health Administration

Marcel Breuer Seat

Marcel Breuer Seat

Business school students now have a much wider variety of options available to them when it comes to selecting a specialization for their masters degree programs. But before you decide to pursue a degree to help you advance in the expanding field of health administration, we thought it important to provide you with a resource that delves into determining which type of degree program is in your best interest.

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the discussion, let’s make one thing clear- The most important thing to take into account when prospecting for a potential school is to make sure that it’s a fully accredited healthcare school by a widely respected organization, agency, or group that will ensure your eventual degree is viewed as legitimate by potential employers.

If you get your degree from an unaccredited school, there is a high likelihood that you will have spent a great deal of time and money without being able to recoup those investments. Do not neglect to do your research during this part of the process, because it could really come back to bite you later on!

With that said, since roughly a fifth of all jobs within the healthcare industry are focused exclusively on administration and management, the potential for finding an exciting, stable, and lucrative career becomes quite obvious to any aspiring student.

And while many people who enter the field of healthcare administration at the bachelor’s degree level are forced to start their careers with roles as simple administrative assistants, those with Masters degrees are often able to find starting positions as Health Services Administrators, Department Managers, or Supervisory Staff members. The differences in responsibility, excitement, and especially in salary can be vast.

The level of your starting position in healthcare administration will vary mostly based on your previous experience within the field and the size of the organization that hires you. Hospitals and other health facilities typically offer postgraduate residencies and fellowships, which are usually staff positions.

Graduates from master’s degree programs are also often able to take jobs in large medical group practices, clinics, mental health facilities, nursing care corporations, and consulting firms. The possibilities really are endless.

And while it is true that occasionally an employer is looking for someone with a liberal arts or non health-care related background, previous work experience can oftentimes make the difference when employers have to choose between two potential employees.

And those candidates who are either currently enrolled in Masters programs or have already completed them are much more likely to have served in important roles than people who are still at the undergraduate level.

Having or not having your Masters degree could make the difference between getting that next promotion, and being passed up for younger candidates who have more skills and knowledge than you.The range of opportunity is great for a Masters in Business Administration graduate, but those with a Masters in Health Administration are also offered a similar range of possibilities.

Opportunities abound for the best and the brightest students; you could even find yourself with a postgraduate residency paid for by the hospital of your employment! An example of the range of healthcare careers accessible through earning a Masters in Health Administration include:

  • Hospital Administrator
  • Medical Facility Administrator
  • Medical Claims Manager
  • Health Insurance Supervisor
  • Health Information Manager
  • Clinical Manager

The difference between the two graduate degrees is largely a product of specialization. In an increasingly competitive job market, employers at major hospitals, and other healthcare related corporations are looking for candidates who have specialized educational knowledge and experience that is specifically suited to their particular niche.

A Master’s In Health Administration or a Masters in Public Health may grant the type of education that could give you the edge on traditional MBA candidates and allow you to advance beyond them along your career within the medical health industry.

Obviously, this factor is position-specific, so you’ll have to do your research to find out exactly which specialization works best for your intended job.

The real advantage of the traditional Masters in Business Administration program is that it allows you to command a higher salary while working within the healthcare industry, while also offering that flexibility to leave it and move to the non-healthcare business world.

And finally, remember that potential employers determining their next healthcare administrator who are forced to choose between an MBA candidate and an MHA candidate are likely to go with the person whose knowledge and skill-sets were sharpened specifically for use in the healthcare industry.

While the MBA tends to concentrate on refining competency in general management concepts like accounting, employee relations, and general business skills, your MHA will give you that edge that could propel you to fantastic success!

In the end, remember that both types of degrees offer ample room for advancement, but be sure to research your own career goals and decide which degree is more suitable to your desired career path.

Make sure to think about each of these things to consider before pursuing your degree from any specific school or university.

For more information, request details from these top accredited healthcare administration and management programs, or contact us with your questions and we’d be happy to offer personalized suggestions.