Which Degree Is Right for Me?

In 2015, health care jobs grew at the fastest rate the industry has seen in 25 years, causing Forbes to claim it as a “trillion dollar industry in the making.Money magazine also projects that, over the next three years, the industry will become the largest job sector in the U.S. due to:

  • An aging baby boomer population
  • The Affordable Care Act
  • A rise in health care spending

Within this booming industry, there are a multitude of career options becoming available, many of which may require experienced leaders with an advanced degree.

Health care professionals who aspire to evolve in their career should first determine which graduate degree option best fits their professional goals and personal interests. To help with this decision, we have outlined several health care master’s degree options for you. Explore which degree is right for you:

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Focus

The MHA degree is designed for professionals who want to improve the success of their employees and the well-being of their patients by efficiently managing health care organizations and systems. As a student, you will gain skills in management theory, law, ethics, critical decision-making and human relations.

Read more about career path options in non-clinical settings, clinical administration, and health care planning and management.

Required Experience

In order to apply, you must:

  • Be a current full-time employee in the health sector
  • Have at least two years of full-time health sector experience or three years of full-time experience in any industry
  • Pass an online examination if less than two years health sector experience
  • Have completed courses in financial accounting and statistics
Core Coursework
  • Health care financial management
  • Community and public health
  • Health care management and strategy
  • Quality and performance improvement
  • Law and policy
  • Medical informatics and decision management
  • Health economics and quantitative methods
Career Paths
  • Director of safety
  • Budget analyst
  • Patient accounts manager
  • Director of physician recruiting
  • Director of infection prevention
  • Director of emergency services


Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics

Focus

An M.S. in Health Informatics degree prepares experienced professionals to improve patient services, patient outcomes, health care systems and the public health of populations by collecting, analyzing and translating health care data.

Required Experience

In order to apply, you must:

  • Have at least three years of work experience in data analysis, programming, IT or health care/health services and be currently employed in one of those fields.
  • Have completed undergraduate courses in statistics and accounting
Core Coursework
  • Research analytics
  • Business intelligence
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Predictive analytics
  • Health innovation
  • Population and community health
  • The Internet of Things
  • IT project management
Career Paths
  • Chief information officer
  • Health informatics director
  • Medical information officer
  • Nurse administrator


Master of Public Health (MPH)

Focus

An MPH degree prepares professionals and recent graduates to learn the core competencies and acquire the skills needed to be an effective leader in the field of public health. MPH degree programs can offer students the opportunity to concentrate their studies in focus areas such as environmental and occupational health, global health, health communication, health policy, or program planning and evaluation.

Read more about career paths for MPH graduates.

Required Experience
  • Work experience in health care is not required for admission.
  • Students can be recent college graduates or established professionals.
Core Coursework
  • Health communication
  • Professionalism
  • Public health biology
  • Biostatistics and epidemiology
  • Leadership
  • Cultural competency
  • Planning
Career Paths
  • Medical writer
  • Nutritionist
  • Environmental health officer
  • Global infectious disease specialist
  • Health scientist
  • Emergency preparedness director
  • Public health engineer
  • Health care policy analyst
  • Political scientist
  • Public health consultant


Healthcare Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Focus

A Healthcare MBA focuses largely on the financial aspects of health care management. As a student, you will learn the necessary business skills to become an administrator, executive or manager in a health care system or organization.

Required Experience

You must have a qualitative or managerial background in either clinical health care or business.

Core Coursework
  • Operations management
  • Marketing
  • Global perspectives
  • Financial and managerial accounting
  • Business ethics and public policy
  • Strategic management
  • Micro for the global economy
  • Finance
Career Paths
  • Physician/surgeon in private practice
  • Officer of U.S. Public Health Services
  • Entrepreneur
  • IT professional in a hospital setting