A master's in hospital administration (MHA) has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the top ten master's degree programs that lead to robust careers. But don't be misled by the name of the degree. If working at a hospital doesn't necessarily appeal to you, you can also use your MHA degree to obtain other high-level jobs in the healthcare field. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , only about 39 percent of healthcare administrators are based in hospitals. Read on for some alternative ideas for career placement once you graduate with this degree.
Large Doctor Practice or Multispecialty Group
In the current healthcare landscape, sole practitioners are becoming a thing of the past in many communities, with a larger emphasis on group practices where patients can see a variety of different doctors, either in primary care or in a multitude of specialties. Candidates with an MHA will be valuable as administrators to manage the behind-the-scenes work of these groups.
Urgent Care Facilities
Another rising trend in the healthcare field, urgent care facilities provide after hours care to people with illnesses and injuries that need to be treated immediately, but don't necessitate a visit to the emergency room. As with large practices, MHA job candidates will be in high demand to administrate urgent care centers.
If your MHA expertise is in grant-writing, you'll be an asset to nonprofit organizations and foundations in the health care field that need a savvy expert in the field to help write proposals that can bring in the funding they need to remain solvent. In fact, according to Advocates for Healthcare Administration Worldwide, positions at lobbying and advocacy nonprofit organizations are a huge growth area for MHA jobs
MHA candidates are valuable consultants for virtually all areas in health care administration, from process improvements to patient advocacy. If this peaks your interest, then healthcare consulting may be an avenue to pursue after you receive your degree.
Physical therapy practices are typically moving outside of hospitals into stand-alone facilities. As with urgent care facilities and other newly-arising specialty practices, MHA-level administrators will be critical to the success of these institutions.
As savvy corporations increase the quality of the healthcare benefits, insurance, and services they offer to their employees, healthcare administrators are often brought on board to manage these initiatives and provide advice on best practices.
If you've always wanted to work in the Federal Government, an MHA is a great way to get there. Many agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services are seeking skillful healthcare administrators.
Regardless of the career path you choose, attaining a Masters in Healthcare Administration is a clear path to a successful, lucrative career. These positions are expected to grow by 22 percent over the next ten years, with a median income of approximately $88,000 annually. For the best career prospects, seek internships and volunteer opportunities as you complete your coursework.
For more information, check out "The Top 10 Best Master's Programs in Health Care Administration".