Masters of Business Administration in Health Care (MBA)
A Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management is built on the foundation of strong business and management principles and supplemented with courses designed specifically for the health care industry. For those students currently employed in health care, getting an MBA can be a monumental step toward advancement or better job prospects. Having this specific type of MBA can be a wise investment in the current job market as well, since the demand for the health care industry is constant. Tough competition for jobs in this industry require candidates to make wise investments in their education and credentials to ensure the best chance possible for the success of their career.
The healthcare management MBA differs from other master’s degrees in this subject because of its focus on the management aspects of the field. Whereas other degrees tend to be more specific to various aspects of health care, this MBA allows students to have the flexibility of pursuing other careers in the industry that may not be as specialized but still require a master’s degree. This provides a higher level of flexibility and more career options paths for the student.
Completing an Online MBA in Healthcare Management
Fortunately for students pursuing a career in healthcare, MBA programs in this subject are readily available online or in traditional form through various colleges and universities. Faculty members work with the institution to design the curriculum for on-campus and online courses, combining the best in higher academics with real-world experience to give students a working knowledge of the material. Online MBA healthcare management programs give students the flexibility of studying and submitting assignments on a schedule more adapted to their needs but still provides the same education quality as traditional versions of the identical program.
The materials included in this degree program are heavily focused on the management aspects of business, with a special concentration of study dedicated to the healthcare aspects of business management. Graduates will be fully prepared for the various requirements of upper-level management positions in the medical industry. Studies in this program can be divided into several business categories, such as financial, logic and reasoning, management, and business marketing. Common courses include:
- Financial Management
- Business Research for Decision Making
- Managerial Approach to Marketing
- Healthcare Administration
As with all master’s degrees, this program necessitates students complete a period of in-environment training, a thesis, and in most cases, a residency to complete course work. During their time of in-environment training, students will work alongside a professional in the healthcare industry to learn first-hand the business elements they are studying. Typically based on a specific aspect of healthcare business administration of particular interest to the student, the thesis is usually completed throughout the duration of the degree program and is approved with a pass or fail grade by a board of faculty members. Residency requirements primarily relate to distance learning programs and enable students to complete the hands-on aspects of their MBA under the supervision and guidance of a professor or experienced professional. In addition to these elements, students will generally be expected to meet the following criterion for acceptance to an MBA in health care management:
- One or more essays
- One or more letters of recommendation
- Passing scores on the GMAT or GRE
- Professional Resume
- Interview (if applicable)
Career Opportunities for MBA in Healthcare Management Graduates
For people already working in the healthcare industry, an MBA in healthcare administration can greatly improve the chances of a raise, promotion, or increased number of available jobs. Graduates will have the credentials and academic background necessary to get ahead of the competition in the job market. Depending on the exact capacity a student desires to fulfill in the healthcare industry, there are several well-paying occupations they can apply for.
Medical and Health Services Managers
- Average Salary: $108,600
- Employment Prospect: 22%
Employed primarily by hospitals or other medical facilities, medical and health service managers are essentially the executive administrators in their field. They typically collaborate with fellow healthcare employees, such as nurses, physicians, or lab technicians to keep the system running smoothly. In addition, they usually manage specific clinical departments or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers can hold one of several different titles, including nursing home administrators, clinical managers, health information managers, and assistant administrators. The employment prospect and salary figures above were provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Human Resources Managers
- Average Salary: $108,600
- Employment Prospects: 13%
In the healthcare industry, human resources managers are typically hired by larger companies with a large number of personnel. This position requires extensive knowledge in management as it specifically relates to employees, a strong component of the MBA in healthcare management programs. As the BLS figures above indicate, the employment prospects for this position are positive and the average salary is above six figures. Competition for this career is tough however, particularly in the medical industry, and having an MBA in healthcare management can substantially set a candidate apart from the competition.
- Average Salary: $120,450
- Employment Prospects: 9%
Though not often employed in the medical industry, financial managers are responsible for contributing to the direction of the financial health of an organization. Larger medical facilities may employ a financial manager to ensure the most efficient use of funds, thereby increasing productivity and reducing unnecessary expenditures. If a candidate has an MBA in healthcare administration, they stand a good chance getting one of the highest paying administrative jobs in the medical market. The figures listed above were taken from the BLS’ Occupational Employment Statistics from 2011.
Additional Benefits of an MBA in Healthcare Management
Having an MBA in healthcare management not only improves the value of a resume, but it strengthens crucial skills for people already employed in administrative capacities. The medical industry is ever-growing and demand for experienced managers will continue to increase at the same rate. Students with this level and type of degree effectively set themselves apart from the competition and lay the groundwork for advancement. If interested in pursuing the highest level of education in this subject, an MBA in healthcare management can be an ideal foundation for traditional and online learners.