A Master's in Healthcare Administration is a very rewarding degree to pursue despite the cost of education. Earning a Master's in Healthcare Administration provides the knowledge and experience to pursue a wide range of healthcare-related careers. The master's degree will give you the opportunity manage regulatory procedures, financial concerns, legal issues, human resources, technology, policy-making and public relations of a hospital. 

Different Types of Degrees

In addition to the Master's of Healthcare Administration, one can pursue a Master's of Business Administration (MBA), Master's of Public Administration (MPA), or a Master's of Public Health (MPH). In addition to a master's degree, one can always continue their education and obtain a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Science (ScD), Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), or a Doctor of Health Administration (DHA). All of these degrees of advanced study will make any potential healthcare administrator more competitive in the job-seeking process. The only major differences in these degrees is the content of the curriculum. Specific distinctions depend on whether the school is focused on business or public health.

Careers to Pursue with a Master's in Healthcare Administration

A Master's in Healthcare Administration is very versatile, allowing one to pursue a wide variety of careers. According to the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, there are four major career fields for individuals with a Master's in Healthcare Administration: policy organizations, insurance organizations, suppliers, and healthcare providers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , hospitals account for about 30 percent of all healthcare administrators. However, it is important to note that hospitals are not the sole employers of healthcare administrators. Clinics, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, mental health facilities, home healthcare organizations, and rehabilitation centers employ individuals with a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration. Job titles for potential candidates include executive director of hospital operations, practice manager, vice president, chief nursing officer, director or risk management, director of business development, and director of patient safety.

Is the Degree Worth the Money?

Unless you are paying for your education out of pocket, a student loan is often necessary to cover the costs of going to school. Several distinctions are made depending on the specific academic program. Some programs are full-time or part-time. Instruction is given in either a traditional classroom setting or a nontraditional setting like online instruction with limited time on a physical campus. Careers in hospital administration pay much more than most jobs you will be able to attain with just a bachelor's degree. Accounting for the long term salary difference, obtaining a Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration is well worth the money.

Overall, a career in hospital administration is very lucrative and isn't too time intensive. Some programs can be completed in as little as two or three years. Considering the cost of education and the salary received as a hospital administration, it is obvious that the degree is worth the time and money. Special circumstances like previous student loans, families to take care of, and being involved in a full time job may deter one from pursuing this lucrative degree. However, sacrifices must be made if you want to begin an exciting and rewarding career as a hospital administrator. To learn more, click on "The Human Side to Healthcare".