The MBA or Master of Business Administration is one of the most prestigious degrees in the world. It equips graduates with business management skills that can be applied across a range of industries. In that, however, also lies the only problem with the MBA, being that it is a generalist degree. To respond to growing demand of MBA skills specific to a certain industry, a number of concentrations have been developed by educational institutions. One of those concentrations is the MBA in healthcare Management. Before you decide to enroll, however, it is important that you know what the program actually is, and whether or not it is right for you. The following list of frequently asked questions may answer some of those questions for you.
1. What Is an MBA in Healthcare?
Answer: An MBA in Healthcare builds on a core business management curriculum, but provides graduates with further expertise around the unique issues and elements of the healthcare industry. This industry is placing an increasingly important emphasis on the role of the manager, due to the fact that the industry as a whole continues to go through significant reforms. The healthcare industry itself is the second largest employer in this country, which demonstrates just how much need there is for managers within this field.
2. What Types of Companies Can I Work for with an MBA in Healthcare?
Answer: One of the strengths of the MBA is that it is such a generalist degree, which means you will be equipped with transferable skills that are relevant to many industries. This is precisely why some choose not to opt for a specific concentration, as they feel it limits their career prospects. With a healthcare MBA, however, there are still many different types of organizations that you can work for, including:
- Consulting firms
- Managed care organizations
- Insurance companies
- Biotechnology firms
- The pharmaceutical industry
- Medical group practices
- Government agencies
3. What Can I Expect from the Curriculum?
Answer: The curriculum of a healthcare MBA will first focus on core MBA courses, which are included across the board, regardless of concentration.
Some of those classes include:
- Organizational behavior
- Economic analysis
- Managerial decision making
- Statistical analysis
- Financial accounting
- Financial management
- Strategic management
- Marketing management
- Technology management
- Business ethics
Because you are taking a concentration, however, you will also have to take a number of courses relevant specifically to healthcare. These include:
- Social policy
- Biomedical sciences
- Applied social sciences
- Behavioral sciences
- Health information systems
- Health services systems
- Legal issues in healthcare
Furthermore, you will usually have to complete a number of elective courses in areas such as:
- Financial management of health institutions
- Managed care and market structure
- Health services delivery
- Health policy
- Management of care for the elderly
- Comparative healthcare systems
- Pharmaceutical and biotech industry considerations
- Healthcare entrepreneurship
4. What Are the Entry Requirements?
Answer: Every school will have its own specific entry requirements for the MBA program. However, some common requirements are:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Completion of a number of prerequisite courses
- A GMAT or GRE score (this may be waived)
- A certain GPA (usually between 2.5 and 3.5)
- A resume
- Several letters of recommendation
- A personal statement
- TOEFL or other English language proficiency scores if you are an international student or English is not your first language
- Immunization records
5. How Long Does it Take to Complete an MBA in Healthcare?
Answer: Generally speaking, completing any type of MBA program will take two years of full time study. However, many schools also offer accelerated, part time, distance learning, and online options. As such, the actual time for completion varies greatly depending on your personal chosen learning style, but it is usually between one and four years.
6. How Much Does the MBA in Healthcare Cost?
Answer: The cost of an MBA degree varies widely depending on the school you have chosen. Generally speaking, public schools are more affordable compared to private schools. The average cost of a full MBA is around $140,000, excluding materials, travel, campus stays, and more.
7. Do Financial Aid and Scholarships Exist for Healthcare MBAs?
Answer: Yes. This is also one of the main reasons why the cost of your degree program should not be the main driving factor behind whether or not you choose to enroll in a program. Schools are all registered with the Federal Student Aid department, where you can apply for loans to cover your tuition fees. There are also many different grants and scholarships available that you can apply for to fund your education.
8. What Can an MBA Do for Me?
Answer: At an average cost of $140,000, with or without financial aid, it is important to really weigh up the pros and cons of such a degree. You are, of course, investing in your own future, but you do need to work out whether you will see a return on that investment. The 2011 Graduate Management Admission Council Survey found that 93% of those who had completed an MBA found relevant employment. Furthermore, 55% stated that they had been able to significantly boost their career since completing their degree. Furthermore, according to Forbes Magazine, those who graduate with an MBA can expect to see a $45,000 per year pay increase. Specific to the healthcare industry, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical and health services managers earn $94,500 per year on average at bachelor’s degree level. The top 10% of earners, who almost all hold master’s degrees, earn at least $165,380 per year, consistent with the Forbes estimates.
9. What Kind of Jobs Can I Get?
Answer: Once you have graduated, it will be time to start looking for work. Some of the most in demand positions that you could apply for after graduation include:
- Hospital CEO
- Hospital administrator
- Hospital CFO
- Pharmaceutical product manager
- Medical practice manager
- Health informatics manager
Resources and References:
Federal Student Aid – How to get federal student aid. (FAFSA.ed.gov)
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Health Services Managers – Job outlook for medical and health services managers. (BLS.gov)