The Benefits of an MHA vs. a Healthcare MBA

The decision to pursue an advanced degree requires careful consideration. It is critical to choose a degree that will teach you the skills needed to move in the direction of greater career opportunity.

For those who decide to pursue a career in health administration, the most closely aligned advanced degrees are a Healthcare MBA or a Master of Health Administration. There are a few factors to consider when focusing on the benefits of an MHA vs. and MBA: your prior education, your professional experience and your career goals.

If your previous degree is in business or a related field (e.g. HR, Finance, Accounting, or Marketing), an MHA degree focuses on advanced business concepts as they relate specifically to health care. This degree is advantageous if your goal is to make health administration your career path. Learning the nuances of the business of health administration will help you prepare to handle the many specialized challenges of this ever-evolving industry.

If your education to date is in medicine, nursing or another allied health field, a master’s in health administration will position you for management opportunities at a higher level. Because of your previous studies and experience, you already possess invaluable knowledge about the health care field. When you build upon that knowledge with the leadership, management and health-related business skills you gain from an MHA program, you have the opportunity to become a well-rounded leader with a complete understanding of health administration from multiple perspectives.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in health administration, chances are you have been working in the health care field for a while and may have developed a good understanding of the facet of the industry in which you work. If your goal is to continue in health care, a master’s in health administration makes more sense than the relatively unfocused MBA. While some topics in both degrees are similar, the MHA degree offers you advanced business and leadership knowledge as it applies directly to health administration.

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4 Responses to “The Benefits of an MHA vs. a Healthcare MBA”

  1. Paul Cheramie says:

    I am looking into either the MBA or MHA degree path. I have a BSN and I have been working in a supervisory position as a House Supervisor for 3 years. I also have a another Bachelors degree besides the Nursing degree, along with 6 years of military experience. I am looking into upper level management in healthcare but I am also open to working for companies outside of the Hospital such as medical devices or pharmacutials. So with my work experience in management would a MBA benefit me more?

    • Margo Eagon says:

      Hi Paul,

      While the MHA and MBA are degree programs that deal with business knowledge and skills, the MHA deals specifically with the complex health care industry and topics and skills necessary for effective and efficient health care administration and health care leadership. Health care specific examples and cases are the primary focus of the course content. The faculty are committed to teaching about the organization and management of health care delivery and policy. Many faculty will have experience in the health care field which will provide the student with significant practical health care management experience. Overall, MBA programs have more emphasis in areas of finance, accounting, strategic management, marketing, international business and more general business concepts and principles.

      So only you can decide what curriculum will best suit you. It really just depends on what you want to study more and which program will benefit you the most. And different programs have different benefits (Flexibility, cost, accreditation, etc). If you would like to discuss the UC-MHA benefits, please contact me, the Enrollment Advisor, at 877-398-3050 ext 5038.

  2. Brendan Mahoney says:

    I am one year away from completing a BS in Healthcare Administration. I’ve been working as Operating Room Assistant role for the past ten years and I will not have any experience in management when I finish my BS. I want to continue onto a master’s degree but I am unsure of the path I should take. MBA with a concentration in Healthcare or a MHA. I feel if I wait too long to get my master’s it will be more difficult to find a career. I’ll be 30 when I finish my BS. Should I try to find a job with my BS for a few years before pursuing my Master’s or continue with my education? In this economy I worry about finding a job and I know most Administration role’s require a Masters. hat path do you suggest?

    • Margo Eagon says:

      Hi Brendan,

      Thank you for your questions. I would like to speak to you directly to discuss your desired journey in pursuing your MHA. Feel free to contact Margo Eagon, Enrollment Advisor, at 877-398-5038.

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