Are You Ready to Earn an MHA Degree? Ask Yourself These Five Questions.
You’ve been thinking about earning a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree for a while. You’re happy in your job, but you’re ready to kick your career up a notch. A master’s degree in healthcare administration could equip you with the skills and credentials for the job you want, but is now the right time to take the leap and earn an MHA degree?
Deciding if you’re ready to return to college to further your education in a healthcare administration master’s degree program can be a tough decision. And rightly so. Earning a master’s degree requires a significant investment of time, energy, and money. There’s no question about it: An MHA program can be a big commitment.
So, are you ready to continue your postsecondary education by returning to graduate school for an MHA degree? Here are five questions to ask yourself as you make this important decision.
1. Will an MHA Degree Help Me Reach My Career Goals?
A master’s in healthcare administration is an excellent degree choice, but it’s not for everyone. Before you take the next step in your college education, you should think carefully about what you want to do in your career and if an MHA program is the best path forward.
An MHA program is designed to provide graduates with the specific knowledge needed for a healthcare administrator career or for other related jobs that require skills in healthcare administration and management. For example, with an MHA degree, you might pursue career opportunities as a:
- Compliance or business operations director
- Group practice administrator
- Academic program or departmental administrator
- Hospital or health services administrator
- Assistant administrator
- Materials management director
- Director of business functions such as marketing, operations, and planning
- Health information manager
- Director of managed care
- Director of managed care business development
- Director of patient access
- Medical and health services manager
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
If these types of jobs align with what you want to do next in your healthcare administration career, then you could be ready to pursue your MHA degree.
Before beginning an MHA program, it’s helpful to know which area of healthcare administration you might want to work in. Then search for a good program where you can tailor your college courses with a specialization that supports your specific career interests. By choosing a master’s in healthcare administration specialization, you can focus your studies on career areas such as population health, systems and policy, leadership and organizational development, or social entrepreneurship and change in healthcare.
2. Will I Enjoy What I Study?
If you’re going to put the time and effort toward earning a master’s degree, you might as well enjoy what you’re studying. MHA program courses delve deep into high-level topics surrounding the administration and management of complex healthcare systems. Your courses will cover subjects such as the laws, ethics, regulations, and policies that affect healthcare; technologies and best practices for healthcare operations management and administration; and leadership strategies and skills for healthcare administrators.
Do these types of healthcare topics excite you? If you answered with an enthusiastic yes, then you could be ready to start working on your healthcare administration degree.
3. Do I Have Time to Earn a Master’s Degree?
You might be ready intellectually for an MHA degree, but are you prepared to put in the time needed to earn a master’s degree?
Yes, earning an MHA degree will take up a huge chunk of your time. But it doesn’t have to include a daily commute to campus for hours of class. With many colleges and universities offering online master’s programs, it’s possible to fit learning into a busy life. You can complete online classes and assignments at times and locations that work best for you—which means you can earn an MHA degree while continuing to fulfill work and family responsibilities.
If you want an online education with even more flexibility, a competency-based MHA degree program could be a great choice. A competency-based program option allows you to learn online and progress through the degree program at your own pace.
You’re probably wondering: How long does it take to earn a master’s in healthcare administration degree online? The answer depends on many factors, including the online learning format you choose. The length of time it takes to complete a master’s degree through a standard course-based format could range from 18 months to several years, depending on if you attend full time or part time. Through a competency-based program, you could potentially complete your master’s degree faster—or slower, if you wish— since you will go through the MHA program at your own pace.
4. Is an MHA Worth It?
Before jumping into any life-changing decision, you should ask yourself: Will it be worth it? When it comes to earning a master’s in healthcare administration, many would argue that, yes, an MHA degree is worth it.
First, a healthcare administration degree can put you in demand for great job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 18% by 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 As the need grows for healthcare services for the aging baby-boom generation, so will the need for qualified healthcare administrators.
Plus, an MHA degree could potentially result in a bigger paycheck. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $100,980 in May 2019.1 The median annual wages for medical and health services managers in the top industries were as follows:1
- Government: $111,520
- Hospitals—state, local, and private: $110,430
- Outpatient care centers: $95,320
- Offices of physicians: $91,600
- Nursing and residential care facilities: $86,820
If you want to grow your earning potential and career opportunities in healthcare administration, then it might be the right time for an MHA degree.
5. Where Can I Earn a Master of Healthcare Administration?
Once you determine you’re ready for an MHA degree, then it’s time to decide where to earn it. As you search for MHA programs and compare colleges and universities, be sure your list of options includes Walden University.
Walden is an accredited university well known for its online Master of Healthcare Administration program. In fact, it is recognized as the leader in graduating students with MHA degrees.2 At Walden, you can choose to earn a healthcare administration master’s online through either a course-based or competency-based learning format.
Are you ready? Get started today on your MHA degree.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
2Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Collected using Burning Glass Technologies. Retrieved February 2020, using CIP 51.07 (Master’s degree – Health/Health Care Administration/Management). Includes 2017–18 provisional data.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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