Top 6 Master’s Degrees in Healthcare

Top 6 Master’s Degrees in Healthcare

After earning your bachelor’s or entry level professional degree in the healthcare-related area of study, you might be wondering: what now? Or what if you are in your mid-career and are looking to advance your career? One option is to continue your higher education and apply for a master’s degree. One important thing to note is that, although some professions will hire those with a bachelor’s degree, many of roles today require a master’s degree. If you are looking to open the door to a wider variety of career opportunities and larger salaries, pursuing a healthcare master’s degree is the way to go. Also, it is important to note that many of these master’s degrees offer in-person and online programs, so there is an added degree of flexibility. Below is a list of the top 6 types of master’s degrees in healthcare:

1. Master’s in Health Services Administration (MSHSA)

One of the best types of master’s degrees in healthcare is the MSHSA because it is a perfect blend for someone interested in both business and healthcare.

Educational Requirements

On average, it takes around two years at an accredited university to complete this healthcare graduate program. As a full time student, you will be learning the necessary skills to launch you into a senior managerial position in the healthcare industry. Students will learn how to manage the finances within a healthcare facility, how to analyze data, and how to run a facility in order to produce the most efficient results. Strong organizational skills are a must! If you are looking to get even more specific with your studies, there are specialty tracks. Just to name a few:

  • Healthcare Financing
  • Health Economics & Outcomes
  • Geriatric Care Systems

Career Paths

After the completion of this healthcare graduate program, there are many career opportunities with lucrative salaries, such as:

  • Hospital Chief Executive Officer
  • Hospital Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Clinical Director
  • Hospital Administrator

The average annual salary for those with an MSHSA is around $79,000, but this number can exceed well above the six-figure range, depending on the job title and the number of years of experience you have and if you have a healthcare professional degree such as pharmacy, nursing, or medicine.

Future Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers after completing this healthcare graduate program are expected to grow at 32% between 2019 to 2029, which is much higher than the average for other occupations.

2. Master of Science: Health Education (MSHE)

With this healthcare-related master’s degree, you will be equipped to make a real difference in a person’s health. You will be able to conduct research and studies to educate others on topics regarding healthcare.

Educational Requirements

Depending on the specific college you attend, the number of years required to complete this medical master’s degree can vary. At most schools, an MSHE will take a student between two and three years to earn. These extra years of education in this healthcare graduate program will help strengthen the development of your leadership, teamwork, and communication skills so that you can be a strong pioneer in the healthcare field.

Career Paths

This particular healthcare-related master’s degree prepares you for many different job titles upon graduation. Here are just a few:

  • Diabetes Educator
  • Integrative Health Practitioner
  • Environmental Health Educator
  • Health Counselor
  • Community Health Educator

The average annual salary with an MSHE is between $63,000 and $69,000.

Future Job Outlook

Health education specialists are in luck! The BLS estimates that jobs in this career field will grow 13% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

3. Master of Health Informatics and Health Information Management (MHIHIM)

An MHIHIM is a more technology-focused degree of study. In order to provide high-quality care to patients, these healthcare professionals need to use reliable information systems to keep track of patient history, information, and billing data. An advanced professional in this master’s program will know how to ensure a seamless user-experience in healthcare settings.

Educational Requirements

This healthcare graduate program takes around two years. You’ll be trained in analyzing and protecting digital medical data in order to protect patients’ files and to provide excellent care. In addition, you will learn about computer coding, program design, and technology management.

Career Paths

For those of you geared towards computers, technology, and healthcare, this is certainly the medical master’s degree for you. Some potential career titles include:

  • Computer Program Developer
  • IT Manager
  • Business Intelligence Analyst

With an MHIHIM, the average salary is $68,000 per year, but this number can exceed well above the six-figure range, depending on the job title and the number of years of experience you have.

Future Job Outlook

Similar to the MSHSA job outlook, the BLS projects that a career in this health-related graduate degree will grow 32% between 2019 to 2029.

4. Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA)

A highly rewarding career in a health administration or executive position can be yours for the taking with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration! With this medical master’s degree, you will be managing an entire facility and addressing each department’s specific needs. Another thing to note is that although an MSHSA and an MHA sound very similar, they are still two separate, distinct degrees. Some MHA programs require students to complete a thesis or capstone project. However, this can depend on your specific university’s requirements.

Educational Requirements

Most individuals take around two years to complete MHA programs. You will also need to complete an internship or residency during that time. This medical master’s degree will provide you with resources on how to be an effective leader in the ever-changing healthcare industry. Some of your goals include being able to communicate with different faculty members, foster a strong and united community, and maintain smooth operations/activities within the facility.

Career Paths

After completing this healthcare graduate program, you could be working at any type of healthcare location. You could be working in clinics, on a college campus, at a physical therapy office, a laboratory, or a physician’s office, just to name a few. Some candidates for job titles and their respective salaries include:

  • Executive Director
  • Director of Operations
  • Healthcare Consultant
  • Health Services Manager
  • Hospital Administrator

The average annual salary with an MHA is $100,000.

Future Job Outlook

The BLS estimates that careers in this field will increase by 32% between 2019-2029, which is much faster than average.

5. Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

While both MHA and MBA degree programs will prepare students for those upper-level management roles, there are some key differences. An MBA is a more general degree, while on the other hand, an MHA is a more specialized health-related graduate degree.

Educational Requirements

An MBA typically takes two years to complete. Your time spent pursuing this degree program will be focused on a curriculum regarding marketing, management, accounting, leadership, economics, IT, and finance. There are many different disciplines and areas of study, but learning about all of them will provide you with a solid foundation to be an exceptional business leader.

Career Paths

With an MBA, there are many possible career paths to choose from:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Financial Manager
  • Business Operations Manager
  • Health Center Manager
  • Logistics Manager

With an MBA the average annual salary is $88,000.

Future Job Outlook

The career outlook is looking good for those with an MBA. For example, a career as a financial manager is expected to increase at 15% between 2019-2029.

6. Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

The MPH degree provides a very hands-on learning experience. It will prepare students to educate their surrounding communities on ways to improve their health, nutrition, and safety. You could be working at a government or non-profit organization, focusing on educating others on violence prevention, infectious diseases, and illnesses in order to improve upon the community’s health and wellness.

Educational Requirements

An MPH typically takes between two to three years to complete. During this time, you will learn more about epidemiology, environmental health, biostatistics, health administration, and social/behavioral sciences.

Career Paths

With an MPH, there are lots of different positions available:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Dietician, Nutritionist
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor

The average annual salary with a degree in MPH is $74,000.

Future Job Outlook

The BLS estimates a 15% increase in jobs in the healthcare occupations between 2019-2029.

Selecting The Right Degree For You

It can certainly be overwhelming to pick a master’s degree, especially since there are so many to choose from. When deciding, you should consider the following criteria, and evaluate each one:

  • Identify your personal interests, goals, and aspirations
  • Look at each degree’s specialized area of focus (is it in business, technology, public health, etc?) and evaluate if it aligns with your personal interests
  • The number of years required to earn the degree
  • The earnings potential/salary
  • The future career outlook (are jobs in this field increasing or decreasing?)

2 Years, An Endless Amount of Opportunities

As you can see, there are many types of master’s degrees in healthcare, and we have barely scratched the surface. Most master’s degree programs typically take around two years to complete, and of course, it also costs money. However, after earning your undergraduate degree, if you choose to pursue a healthcare master’s degree, the opportunities increase significantly. Not only will you qualify for those higher-level management positions, but your salary will also increase. So now you must make a pivotal decision: should you limit your professional options and risk being in a stagnant job, or should you choose to further your education and pursue your professional aspirations? It seems as though the answer is quite clear.