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.

Advantages of a Master’s Degree

Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Industry

Success is a relative term that can only be defined by individual perspective. In terms of professional and financial success, there are many admirable people within the healthcare industry that will always state that you can never stop learning and that your potential is unlimited. With healthcare constantly evolving, earning an advanced education and certification is necessary to remain relevant and employed, especially if you desire an organizational leadership and/or management role someday. So, we know that in general, education is something you shouldn’t cease doing in healthcare, but is an advanced degree like a master’s degree or doctorate worth the time and expense? Our answer is wholehearted YES! Although we may be biased, we have a handful of reasons why higher education in the healthcare industry is important. Let us take you through just a few of the benefits of having a master’s degree. 

Top 5 Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree

Whether you are fresh out of college and looking to distinguish yourselves from your classmates or have worked in healthcare for a few decades and are looking at advancing your opportunities, there is no doubt that you have asked yourself this question: Should I get a master’s degree? Here are five important advantages of a Master’s degree and why it’s important:

1) A Master’s Degree on your resume increases your competitive advantage.

As a leader in your industry and community, you need to constantly be thinking ahead, considering the value you add to your team, and how your career advancement will positively or negatively affect your income. You should also think about the added value of programs and partnerships in which you get yourself and your team involved. So what is in it for you by getting this degree? When considering the benefits of graduate programs, it is wise to calculate the return on your money invested based on industry data. According to the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the profession of pharmacy is only expected to grow incrementally between now and 2026, but Healthcare Administration is growing at a much faster than average rate. As we continue to navigate the pandemic and try to anticipate post-pandemic life, the necessity of healthcare workers and administrators continues to increase in need. Did you know that you can earn your Master’s in Health Services Administration in just five semesters?

2) The healthcare industry practically demands that you have an advanced degree.

Most healthcare workers have a strong desire to make a positive impact on their local or global community. They are true heroes with honorable intentions. Not only is one of the major advantages of going to graduate school a premium salary for those that decide to invest in an advanced degree, but in order to move up within your company or unilaterally within another, you will need an advanced degree. Prior to the creation of a Master’s in Health Services Administration you could get a Master’s degree in business or in public health. Now that we have a niche program specifically for those in the private and public healthcare sector, it is more desirable that you, as a prospective candidate, have that degree for the position.

3) A Master’s degree program works around your schedule.

No matter if you are just thinking about graduation this Spring with your bachelor’s or a career veteran, you have a life outside of school. Oftentimes, that might involve having children, a spouse, a household to take care of, family events, and a full-time career that you need to maintain in order to fund additional schooling and everyday adulting expenses. Considering going back to school can be daunting if you already feel overwhelmed with the tasks that you have to take care of on a daily basis, let alone, going to a nightly class. Luckily, one of the major benefits of graduate programs now is that the majority of them are online. You just have to find the online program that fits your situation best. For example, we offer some of our courses on Sunday evenings for a few hours and you are only taking one course at a time. That way you can excel in each course that is required of you to graduate in just five semesters.

4) Networking is important to your success.

Through the pandemic, we have learned the importance of building a community online. Most folks can now attain jobs without ever meeting their executives in person, you can engage in worldwide meetings in real-time with the click of a few buttons, and you can encourage enhanced business partnerships without ever touching a fax machine. Within specific niche markets, it is often best to know someone within that work-place in order to garner attention to a submitted resume or to establish a business-to-business relationship. With online graduate programs, your ability to build a rapport with individuals within your niche across several markets is not only important but so valuable to your growth and the growth of your business endeavors. It’s certainly a huge advantage of a master’s degree in the age of COVID that your growth as a person will be enhanced by the growth of others during your experience.

5) A higher degree level opens the door to higher-paying jobs. 

Generally, the more advanced your degree the higher your starting salary will be. This is probably the most impactful benefit of graduate programs. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the median annual income for healthcare professionals is around $68,000, but after you’ve earned a master’s degree that number significantly increases. For example, with a master’s in health services administration you could be earning an average starting salary of around $82,000 per year with the top 10% earning $117,000 per year. That’s one huge benefit of having a master’s degree!

If you are still on the fence about a degree, you might be asking yourself: Why is a Master’s degree better than an undergraduate degree?

In general, most bachelor’s degrees are very broad in focus and give you enough education to get started at entry-level in that field. Master’s degrees are more specific and specialized to your field of interest. A big advantage of going to graduate school is that accredited Universities are very focused on getting industry leaders to teach their master’s programs. Thus giving you, the student, a mentor to help guide you in the field that you want to get into. Master’s programs should also include opportunities for great networking. That way if you want to expand your professional network, you should invest in higher-education and certificates in order to network with those that you want to work with or for.

Final question… Is a Master’s degree easy?

Easy is a relative term just like success. What may be challenging for one, may not be challenging for another. In general, a master’s program should be both challenging and rewarding. If it was considered easy, everyone would be getting one. In a program, you should expect to build and expand on your skills, knowledge base, and professional experience. In comparison, a bachelor’s degree is focused heavily on understanding what others have already learned and discovered in the field. In a graduate program, you should be expanding your learning and making discoveries of your own providing you with another great benefit of earning a master’s degree.

Being a lifelong learner is paramount to your personal fulfillment, self-development, and professional success. The reality is that we are much happier individuals if we are fulfilled within our workplace and interests that are outside of work. The contentment of getting an advanced degree is often voluntary and something that you are passionate about. Although going back to school can have its own challenges, ultimately, you are self-motivated to get this degree for further enjoyment in life or your workplace. Making a commitment to yourself, to your employer, to your family, or to your future should include consistent learning in and out of school. Embrace it.

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