Pursuing a Graduate Degree: Have You Considered an MHA over an MBA?


Pursuing a Graduate Degree: Have You Considered an MHA over an MBA?


Depends on your career goals.

Continuing your education with a graduate degree is a big decision. There’s a time commitment involved, and of course, the financial commitment as well. You want to be sure that the time and money you invest in your advance degree will pay a worthwhile dividend. If you’re interested in pursuing a business career, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is probably on your mind; however, before you move forward, consider this: a Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA) might make more sense to you.

So, which do you choose?  Below we explore some pertinent facts that might help you to make the right decision for your career goals.  

The healthcare industry is booming and looking for talent!

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., second to the technology sector. Health data management and personalized healthcare are particularly fast-growing areas, and job growth in the industry is expected to hit more than 120 percent in the next 10 years.

As American public continues to age, their demand for healthcare leaders will only increase in areas such as nursing home administration and hospital CEOs. The shift towards preventative care will also mean continuing evolution in the industry, adding more administrative roles to ensure quality patient care. Moreover, an MHA uniquely prepares you for roles just like these.

Do you want a generalized (MBA) or specific (MHA) degree?

Pursuing a healthcare-specific degree prepares you for your career with coursework that is tailored to the industry—that’s the purpose of a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. While much of the MHA curriculum may sound somewhat like an MBA program, an MHA offers classes that are customized to the specific requirements of healthcare careers such as managing and operating hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other major healthcare organizations.

These courses along with the MHA degree you will earn will prepare you to take on healthcare roles from hospital marketing directors to CEOs, from nursing home administrators to medical office business managers. Of course, an MHA also prepares graduates to take on other roles that have ties with the healthcare industry but outside hospital walls. For example, government policymakers and lobbyists who focus on healthcare issues would benefit from an MHA similar to an insurance contract negotiator.

Blend In or Stand Out!

As you prepare yourself for a career in Healthcare Administration, imagine the distinct impression you will make with your Master’s in Healthcare Administration. Unlike an MBA – with more generalized courses in marketing, accounting, and management – your MHA courses will demonstrate a commitment to the healthcare industry.

For example, in addition to specialized marketing and accounting courses focused on healthcare, the degree program also features classes unique to the industry such as healthcare information law, privacy, and security.

The estimation provided by the United States Department of Labor Statistics shows that the healthcare field has grown 23 percent in the past few years and will continue growing rapidly in the future. In this way, the healthcare industry will offer virtually endless career opportunities. Thus, a Master’s in Healthcare Administration may be just the right tool you need to take advantage of them. 

Whether you’re just finishing an undergraduate degree and looking for a next step or already on your way down a career path, the MHA program at Auburn University at Montgomery offers a convenient and affordable way to pursue a valuable degree. You can earn your graduate degree in as few as three semesters. Plus, you have the flexibility to take classes entirely online, in class, or a combination of the two.