5 Skills to Master during a Master’s in Healthcare Administration Program

The healthcare industry is becoming more and more competitive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the health services manager occupation is forecasted to grow almost 20 percent from 2014 to 2024. As much as health care providers place importance on delivery of care, they must also focus on what's going on behind the scenes. A successful healthcare organization is managed efficiently and comprehensively. Students going through a Master of Healthcare Administration program must learn and demonstrate the skills necessary to successfully develop and manage an organization that centers around health and wellness.

Resource: The Top 10 Best Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Programs (MHA)

Legal and Ethical Knowledge

Because the technology involved in caring for patients and dealing with data and information is constantly changing, students in a healthcare administration program must have the capability of staying in touch with progress. They should be familiar with current laws and legal issues and be able to quickly assimilate ethical questions surrounding new advances in the field. This will enable them to incorporate developments in the healthcare industry into their scope of practice once they've established a career in the field.

Financial Prowess

Students of healthcare administration must grasp the fundamentals of business finance. From profit and loss statements and budgets to forecasting financial growth, students should be able to assess the financial standing of an organization and find solutions to improve on it. Working in the accounting department of a healthcare organization can give students real-world experience with the financial strategies that go into running or managing an organization that provides patient care.

Understanding of Healthcare Policy

An important skill to master while earning a degree in healthcare administration is the ability to understand healthcare policy. Because policy affects the way in which all medical organizations, including hospitals and insurance companies, are run, students must grasp the nuances of how policy shapes society. Taking a course in healthcare policy and understanding the current regulations in the field can help students start their careers on the right foot.


Being able to create an effective marketing strategy is a boon to any business. Students of healthcare administration can take courses that teach them how to harness the current market. Graduating students should understand how to analyze the community for potential opportunities and broadcast the mission of the organization to its target market. This is important for any business, but especially necessary in such a competitive field.

Strategic Management

Students completing a Master of Healthcare Administration program are usually required to prove that they understand how to manage all administrative aspects of a healthcare organization. Gaining some experience with different areas of management will provide students with comprehensive skills when it comes to overseeing an organization. One of the main skills involved in management is creating systems that are as automated as possible and that adjust to a changing environment. Students who can demonstrate this ability will go far in their healthcare administration careers.

No matter what the concentration, certain skills are necessary for any student completing a Master of Healthcare Administration. Core classes will set students up for success, as will gaining experience working for organizations in the community.

Additional Resources:

The Top 10 Best Master's Programs in Healthcare Administration 2014

Top 20 Affordable Master's Degrees in Healthcare Administration 2015

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