MHA vs. MBA
U.S. healthcare spending—already some of the highest in the world—reached $4.3 trillion in 2021. That’s almost $13,000 per person.1 By 2030, it’s projected that healthcare spending could climb to $6.8 trillion.2
Managing skyrocketing costs while maintaining a high standard of care and service is an ongoing challenge for healthcare administrators, whose talents and skills are increasingly in demand. Employment for medical and health services managers—also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators3—is projected to grow 28% from 2021 to 2031.4 This much-faster-than-average growth is projected to add more than 136,000 jobs over the decade.4
These projections may be the sign you’ve been watching for if you’ve been considering a move into healthcare administration or are ready to expand your current career options. Earning a master’s degree can help prepare you for these opportunities
Why Earn a Master’s Degree?
Earning an advanced degree can level up your leadership, management, communication, and business skills and prepare you to chart your course on the administrative side of healthcare. Master’s degrees are a common credential for medical and health services managers4 and may also play a role in increasing your earning potential.5 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that across the U.S. labor force, wages generally rise with each level of educational attainment.5
A Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) are two online graduate degree programs that can help you prepare for a role shaping the future of healthcare.
Both master’s degree options can give you the knowledge you need to enhance your leadership, management, communication, and business skills. To determine the right master’s path for you, you may want to reflect on your professional experience to date and your career goals. These questions may help:
- Am I planning to stay strictly within the healthcare industry, or do I want to broaden my career options?
- Do I prefer, or have experience in, clinical or direct patient care?
- Do I want to work in the business and support offices of healthcare organizations?
- Do I have an interest in leading teams in the healthcare delivery system?
Exploring the Master of Business Administration
Healthcare has indeed become big business. And while many professionals working within the industry have strong backgrounds in the healthcare field, they may have a limited knowledge of business, operations, and non-healthcare-related performance. That’s when an MBA may be the better choice.
An MBA degree can give you a broader understanding of overall business administration and offer tools that can be applied to healthcare organizations as well as other industries. It’s a versatile degree that is intended to give you a solid background in the critical aspects of business and help prepare you to pursue leadership and management positions. Some top MBA programs even offer a Healthcare Management specialization.
If you’re not working in healthcare, and haven’t determined your career destination, an MBA may be your best choice.
About the Master of Healthcare Administration
Healthcare delivery is a complex world. In it, leaders and managers need a solid foundation in business operations and the human component of delivery. Coursework in a top Master of Healthcare Administration degree program should explore best practices in financial operations, management, and human resources, as well as the trends, regulations, laws, and policies that impact health systems today.
“Healthcare is so significantly different [from other industries],” says Dr. Jorg Westermann, dean of Walden University’s College of Health Sciences and Public Policy. “It has its own reimbursement mechanism, which is based on third-party payers … it has its own ethics issues, including life and death issues … [and] it has its own policy issues, with specific government regulations.”
For professionals who have been working in the healthcare delivery system and want to change direction, the MHA degree can also be a good choice. Earning an MHA degree may help you qualify for a wider range of career opportunities. As a healthcare administrator, you may choose to work as a nursing home administrator, clinical manager, or health information manager, to name just three possible career options.3
More About Walden’s Degrees
A leader in distance learning for over 50 years, Walden offers master’s degree programs online that give you the flexibility to work and enjoy your personal life while earning an MBA or an MHA.
In the online MBA program, you can choose one of three specializations: Healthcare Management; Human Resource Management; and Self-Designed, which lets you tailor your master’s degree program to your career objectives.
Walden’s online MBA degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). ACBSP accreditation indicates a standard of excellence, with an accreditation process based on the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence.
Walden is one of the top granters of healthcare administration master’s degrees in the U.S. Aligned with the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) model, the accredited university’s online MHA degree program combines industry knowledge with the practical competencies you’ll need for healthcare leadership.
In both the MBA and MHA degree programs, you can select a completion option that suits your schedule and learning style. There’s traditional, course-based learning and Walden’s competency-based Tempo Learning® format.
After earning an MHA or MBA, you’ll be ready to use your experience, education, and passion for social change to help build a system where quality healthcare is available to all. Become that much-needed healthcare leader and force for good by earning an MBA or MHA from Walden University.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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