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Is a Masters In Healthcare Worth It?
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Different people choose different professions for very personal reasons, as well as for practical reasons. If you are considering which job may be right for you, or if you are considering a complete change of career, you may want to think about a Masters or MBA in Healthcare Administration (MHA) as one of your options. Only you will know whether you have the right personal reasons for this type of degree, but the practical reasons are true for everybody: it is a job in which you can make a meaningful difference to the world, and one that enables you to earn an interesting salary as well.
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why such a degree is advisable.
1. Without an MHA, You Won’t Really Progress
Even if you have worked for decades, you will have almost no chance of getting to the very top of the ladder without an MHA degree. There are plenty of organizations that will hire you at entry level without an MHA, but you won’t get much further than that. Furthermore, the health care industry is committed to improving the standard of education amongst its workforce, and a master’s degree is now a requirement for most professionals within the field. Because of this, there is even a chance that you may lose your position if you don’t get your master’s. Salaries are good in the field of health care, but you have to prove that you are worth it through your further education.
2. The Pay Is Really Good
Obtaining an MHA is a serious investment in terms of both time and money. This is a barrier for some people. At the same time, you have to remember that there are a lot of scholarships out there and that your employer may sponsor you to obtain this degree. But even if you were to have to pay for the entire degree yourself, you can expect to earn $161,150 per year and above once you reach that degree. This means that the degree will, effectively, pay for itself in a reasonably short period of time. Most people don’t get into the field of health care for the money but, at the same time, the money is very good and it is certainly an incentive.
3. You Can Feel More Responsible
When you hold an MHA degree, you will inevitably get a job role that allows you to steer in the direction in which the health care organization you work for will move. Your decisions have a huge knock-on effect on patients, other health care employees, and medical suppliers. Being able to take on this responsibility is something that you will learn during the degree program and it is likely that you will take this incredibly seriously. It is for good reason that you get paid quite a lot of money – people’s lives quite literally depend on your decisions.
4. There Are Many Disciplines Out There that You Can Work In
One of the downsides of the MHA, for many, is that it is a degree that fits in so many different disciplines and areas. Some people struggle with the fact that they are not just experts in one single field, but rather in a range of fields. But others embrace the fact that they have transferable skills that they can use anywhere from the country’s largest hospitals, to small rural health insurance providers. The scope of information that you will absorb during your degree program is incredibly broad, but this is something that you can use to your advantage, so that you can truly do the job you have always wanted to do.
5. Demand for You Will Be Very High
It is a known fact that the field of health care is growing. This is a knock-on effect of the Baby Boom generation. For one, that generation is getting older and hence needs more care. Furthermore, members of this generation are now retiring and many of them work in health care and therefore need to be replaced. Add to that the fact that there is a strong commitment towards increasing the level of education for health care staff, and you will see why those who hold an MHA degree will be in very high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth will be 17% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than average.
6. You Can Look Forward to a Flexible Future
Because an MHA is such a broad degree, you don’t have to commit to the same job with the same organization for life. There are various medical facilities that you can work in, such as clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, and more. You can work in private health care provision, or state supported areas such as elderly care. Because your degree is so broad, you can also move with the times. If a health care trend changes, and demand becomes higher in a different area of health care, you can simply change jobs.
7. Your Work Will Improve People’s Lives
You are responsible for the overall running of the health care system. No matter how good surgeons are, they can’t do their job properly unless the clinic they work for is properly managed. Administrators have to be as dedicated and compassionate as the doctors and nurses who deal with the patients. The decisions you make will directly affect the health outcomes of the patients served by your organization, and there is something really nice about making the world a better place.
8. Your Job Will Give You a Lot of Personal Fulfillment
As an MHA degree holder, you can really see where your decisions have an impact. This is not a dead end job, after which there is no more room to grow. It also isn’t the type of job in which you know what will happen each day before you even walk through the door. And it certainly isn’t the type of job that you don’t look forward going to. You can continue to advance your skills and knowledge and your position on the corporate ladder, while at the same time making a positive difference in the lives of others.
9. You Can Work Anywhere
If your MHA degree is accredited (the main accrediting body is the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education), then it is recognized and valid all over the country. In fact, it is recognized in most places around the world. This means that you can live wherever you want to, doing what matters to you. Perhaps you want to provide better medical services to impoverished areas of Africa, or perhaps you want to make sure the richest people on the planet can have plastic surgery without anyone finding out. Either way, there is a place for you.
10. Your Resume Will Be Incredibly Impressive
Last but not least, the minute you complete your MHA degree, your resume will look very strong. Even in high demand markets, competition exists and you must do all you can to get ahead of the competition. Even if you do not want to work directly in health care administration, holding this degree will show potential employers that you have the ability to learn at the graduate level, and that you have the leadership abilities associated with that degree.
Resources and References:
- Career Resource Center – Information on careers for healthcare managers. (American College of Healthcare Executives)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Health Services Managers – Job outlook for medical and health services manager. (BLS.gov)
- CAHME (Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education) – Accrediting organization of healthcare management education. (CAHME.org)