When you want to get an advanced degree in the medical administration field, there are a number of different routes you can take. Along with a master’s degree in health administration (MHA), you can also opt for a master’s degree in healthcare or MBA with healthcare concentration. What are the differences between these programs? Learning this can help you decide which program is best for your career and educational goals.
An MBA degree with a concentration in healthcare can be called many things — Healthcare MBA, MBA in Healthcare, or just plain MBA with healthcare concentration. With this kind of program, you’ll have mainly general business classes, which you’ll take with many other MBA candidates, many who may not be pursuing a career in the healthcare industry. The emphasis here is on business-related matters, and you’ll have a few classes that focus specifically on the specific business challenges within the healthcare industry.
In the United States, another type of master’s degree you can pursue is a master’s in health science, sometimes called a master of healthcare. This is an alternative to a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. You’ll still focus on public healthcare with this type of degree, but you’ll be able to focus more closely on a simple specialty with a master’s in health science. However, the focus here is less on administration and more on public healthcare.
The best kind of degree program for those who want strong skills in healthcare management is the Master of Health Administration (MHA). Unlike an MBA, you’ll receive a much more specialized education with this type of degree, with every class focusing on what it is like to work in administration in a healthcare setting. You’ll learn many of the same skills as you would with an MBA, but the real-life applications you’ll learn are completely geared toward preparing you to help run a hospital, private practice, consulting firm, or other type of healthcare organization. Most MHA programs will include both classroom learning or online classes, as well as a hands-on programs at a real healthcare organization, such as a hospital.
These three types of master’s degrees are not the only types of advanced education you can pursue when it comes to health-related administration. Along with a Master of Public Health (MPH), you can also Master of Health Care Informatics or a Master of Science in management. In addition, you can get a doctorate degree, not to be a medical doctor, but instead to pursue higher education in health sciences, public health, health systems, or service administration.
So which program is right for you? That depends on your career path in the future, as well as your educational needs. Some programs are available online, for example, which allows your to have a higher level of flexibility in getting your degree. Other programs are available only through campus-based classes, which is better for students who want a more hands-on type of learning. The time you’ll need to dedicate to the program, program costs, and other considerations should also be kept in mind when you’re making your final decision regarding which type of degree to pursue.
To become a health administrator or manager, a master's degree is usually required. Some of the most popular types of health degrees include the Master of Health Administration (MHA), the Master of Public Health (MPH), and the MBA in healthcare management. Below is a carefully compiled list of accredited institutions offering such programs to help you meet your career goals.