The field of healthcare administration can offer a range of exciting options to professionals with an interest in working in the medical field. This career path is particularly beneficial to those who want to work in healthcare, but don’t want to be a nurse or doctor. While an administrative professional will still have an impact on patient care, they exist within a growing field that offers a greater focus on the business and paperwork behind patient care. You can begin working as a healthcare administrator with nothing more than a bachelor’s degree, but if you want to qualify for the top positions in this field, a master’s degree is by far the best solution. The only question is; which master’s degree is the right one for you?
Either a master of health administration (MHA) or a master of business administration (MBA) can be sufficient to open a world of different possibilities for you in your career. However, it may be difficult to determine which option is better for your particular situation.
The MBA Degree Option
The first degree that many individuals interested in healthcare administration consider, is the MBA program, designed to offer students an extensive overview of the business world around them. The curriculum for this degree will focus on subjects, such as marketing, economics, finance, accounting, strategy, management, and technology. The main difference between this degree and the education given through an MHA is that the MBA works to offer students a broader understanding of various business practices, instead of sticking exclusively to positions within the healthcare industry.
For those with a specific interest in the business side of the healthcare industry, an MBA can be a great choice. Many of these programs offer a track in healthcare administration, so while your complete education may not be specifically designed for the healthcare field, you can take the majority of your classes in lessons geared towards healthcare. MBAs are particularly good options for individuals who already have experience working as a lower-level administration official, doctor, or nurse.
Perhaps the main advantage associated with the MBA degree is that it works to prepare students for business processes in a way that an MHA program doesn’t. You will expect to take classes in accounting, finance, public relations, marketing, and human resources and more with this degree. What’s more, some employers regard MBAs to be more prestigious degrees. Additionally, graduating with an MBA makes it easier to transition from healthcare into industries if you find yourself in need of a change.
When determining if an MBA is right for you, it’s best to consider your long-term goals. For instance, those who plan to work in accounting or finance industries will find that an MBA degree gives them the education they need to look at crucial issues in those industries. What’s more, this degree will give you plenty of flexibility within your career. Most people with such a degree find that they end up earning a salary of between $90,000 and $113,000 a year depending on where they are employed and the level of responsibility that they are given.
The MHA Option
An MHA degree provides individuals with a curriculum that revolves specifically around health and business in relation to the healthcare industry. An MHA is often considered to be the most commonly pursued career for students with an interest in healthcare administration positions, and it is perfect for those who have already worked within administrative positions in other industries. With an MHA program, you should expect to attend classes that are based entirely on healthcare, as well as learning some information about general administration.
Most students will take around two years to complete the MHA degree. However, the speed with which you get through your degree will depend on where you choose to do your schooling, and whether you attend on a part-time or full-time basis. There are many programs for this degree that are currently available to study online for those who prefer a more flexible approach to learning, and this makes this degree a great choice for those with an administrative background.
Most of the time, the MHA curriculum will include a variety of subjects relating to human resources, finance, healthcare delivery, ethics, health policy, and business management. Students frequently become versed in laws, budgets, and healthcare scheduling, and the admission requirements involved are often quite similar to what you might expect for an MBA program. Most schools will require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a similar field to the one that they’re pursuing.
The average income a person with an MHA can expect to earn will depend on where he or she is employed, and how much responsibility is required. Usually, the income is more than $84,000, and options for employment within the industry are rapidly growing too. Part of the reason for this is the fact that the healthcare industry is the largest in the country, and the second largest opportunity in terms of employment.
Choosing the Right Degree
It’s worth noting that both the MHA and the MBA will offer a range of promising opportunities in regards to careers for people in the healthcare industry. The key is often deciding whether you are more committed to building your career specifically within the industry of healthcare, or whether you simply want to work in administration, regardless of where that takes you. An MHA will give you the in-depth knowledge you need to excel within the healthcare industry, whereas an MBA will provide more general information for those who want to move across other industries during their career.
Both programs will provide a thorough education in various areas of administration, but they leave it up to the student to decide exactly what they want to accomplish with their master’s degree after they have earned it.