Choosing the best online healthcare management degree can be challenging. You’re eager to start working towards a new career and don’t want to spend days digging through hundreds of college and universities website. Finding the perfect fit doesn’t have to be a burden. Here are five quick questions to guide you towards the best online MHA program for you.
Is Your Healthcare Administration Program Accredited?
When you choose any educational program, you should check its accreditation status. Accreditation is the way educators and employers know that a university is offering accurate, relevant and high-quality classes. Many large employers like hospital and retirement home corporations will only hire graduates from accredited degree programs. Plus, if you ever want to earn a second master’s degree or a doctorate in a related course of study, only accredited courses will transfer. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education evaluates graduates programs. Their website includes a list of accredited programs so you can ensure the program you’re considering has been thoroughly vetted.
What Is the Total Cost of Attendance?
Earning a master’s in healthcare administration is an investment in your career. It won’t be free; professional graduate programs rarely offer full-tuition scholarships or research appointments to lower costs. It’s okay to take out student loans to fund the next stage of your professional journey. It’s also okay to be a skeptical consumer. Before racking up six figures of debt, compare and contrast potential schools. Will you get a better value from the more expensive program? With online programs, you aren’t limited to schools within driving distance, so shop around before committing to a specific university.
What Is Your Intended Career Path?
Healthcare administration is an exploding field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 20% increase in job demand over the next decade. As Americans live longer lives and medical technology advances, more healthcare managers and administers will be needed to keep companies operating smoothly. This means you have many options when deciding how to grow your career. You can work for a large hospital chain, a health-related non-profit or a local retirement facility. When you’re trying to decide on the best MHA program, consider your long-term goals. If you’re passionate about delivering great care to seniors at long-term care facilities, it doesn’t make sense to choose a program that’s closely tied to a regional hospital.
How Flexible is Your Schedule?
Some healthcare administration programs use a cohort system. You start taking online classes with a group of students, and you continue in your studies with the same classmates until you finish your degree. This means you’ll build professional relationships and graduate with a strong network. It also means you’re forced to keep up with a set schedule and have limited options for taking a semester off. Other programs offer more flexibility, allowing you to take classes as your schedule allows. If you have heavy work or family obligations on the horizon, it might make more sense to choose a non-cohort program.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the work ahead of you. No matter which online healthcare management degree program you choose, you’re taking the first steps towards a rewarding, in-demand career.