Healthcare management is a field that draws professionals from a variety of other areas. Two of the best degree options for students hoping to pursue a career in this field are a master’s in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in healthcare management and a master’s in healthcare management. Their names—and the degrees themselves—are deceptively similar, although there are some subtle differences that are worth noting. Here is a brief synopsis of what each degree requires and provides, as well as the differences between the two:
Master’s in Healthcare Management
A master’s in healthcare management curriculum will be tailored to the needs of healthcare administration professionals. The typical healthcare management curriculum consists of courses covering health law, bioethics, health and public policy, nonprofit management, statistics and data analysis, healthcare economics, operations management, strategic management, health information technology, international health issues and corporate healthcare compliance. These programs are aimed at developing students’ knowledge about the numerous aspects of the healthcare industry while also teaching them the skills necessary to manage a large business organization successfully. However, the former is given slightly more precedence than the latter. By contrast, an MBA in healthcare management would place more emphasis on the latter than it would on the former. The bottom line is that a master’s in healthcare management will open many professional doors, almost all of which will be in the healthcare industry.
MBA in Healthcare Management
An MBA with a concentration in healthcare management will provide you with a great deal of broad, business-related knowledge. The typical MBA curriculum includes courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, organizational behavior, financial management, mergers and acquisitions, investment strategy, business organizations, introductory accounting, corporate finance, corporate reorganization, business and employment law, monetary policy and securities regulation. This course sequence will leave almost no leaf unturned as far as academic understanding of the business world is concerned. Not every MBA program offers a concentration in healthcare management, though. In fact, most institutions that do offer such a program also offer a master’s degree in healthcare management or administration. What you want out of the degree—academically, personally and professionally—should ultimately determine which program you choose.
Though they may sound as though they are the same degree, there are a number of differences between a master’s in healthcare management and an MBA in healthcare management. If you know you want to pursue a career in the healthcare industry, you should obtain a master’s in healthcare management. If you are interested in the healthcare industry but are at all unsure what you would ultimately like to do professionally, you should pursue an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management. It will provide you with the solid general business background necessary to succeed in any type of business-related career.