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When pursuing an education to properly prepare for any career, it is essential to ensure that the education will meet the requirements of the job. In some instances, however, there are many different options for degrees within the same field of employment. It is especially important to keep specific personal career goals in mind, along with school accreditation and reputation, when the profession is in the health field. These factors play a huge role in getting employed beyond completing a master’s. Health administration professionals are faced with the decision of whether to pursue a master’s degree in business administration or a master’s in health administration.

Master’s in Business Administration

Unlike a master’s in health care administration degree, a master’s degree in business administration is a general business administration degree. Those with MBA’s are educated and trained to scientifically manage a wide variety of business types. Students are exposed to administrative duties in areas such as finances and accounting, marketing, human resources and multiple other areas of business that require management techniques. Students working on an MBA are also able to choose areas of specialization in which they will focus approximately one-quarter of their studies on one particular area, but still maintain a well-rounded general education in all areas of business administration duties. An MBA degree is good for those whom are unsure of which specific area they want to specialize in or those whose position will require knowledge of multiple areas of business.

Overall, the master’s degree in business administration is best for those that wish to have a minimal education in multiple areas of scientific forms of business management while perhaps focusing more energy in a business category of their choice. This is different from MHA programs, where the main focus is on health care administration. MBA degrees are most often offered at a business school with various types of programs, ranging from two-year programs, part-time, accelerated or even executive programs which allow very experienced business administrators to higher their education while continuing to be employed as a higher level professional. An MBA program must be completed through an accredited and approved school to ensure that the education is up to standards and consistent with others holding an MBA degree. There are strict admission requirements to begin studying for a Masters of Business Administration degree, which include GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores, lengthy amounts of work experience, interviews, or sometimes GRE (Graduate Record Examination) results. Generally, if all other requirements are met, top MBA school programs only require about five years of related work experience before acceptance into the program.

Master’s in Health Administration

An MHA degree, or master’s degree in health care administration, is much like an MBA degree only MHA program graduates are trained specifically to work in health administration versus multiple fields of business management. A special emphasis is placed on the duties of a senior healthcare administrator, on state, federal and non-profit levels in master of health administration programs. This makes the MHA degree best for those who know that they wish to continually pursue administrative duties that focus solely on medical and health care issues. MHA degrees are frequently pursued and obtained by professionals that have already invested many years in the healthcare field and wish to further their education in order to obtain higher levels of their current profession. Higher paying salaries are also more obtainable once you have completed an online MHA program. There are not as many accredited MHA programs that offer degrees as there are MBA programs so it may be more difficult to locate an accredited program that offers a master’s of health administration degree. If a program is not located in the area one resides, many accredited programs offer online MHA programs in which you can work toward obtaining your masters. Health administration degrees must come from an accredited school in order to be beneficial. The only approved programs for MHA degrees are accredited through the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, or CAHME, as they are the only commission in the field that is recognized by the United States Department of Education. Accredited programs generally require a four-year undergraduate college degree in order to be admitted, though unlike the MBA programs, work experience is not usually required prior to admission. Many MHA programs do, however, require internships and work experience in the field as a requirement in order to graduate with a master’s in health care administration.

The Benefits of a Masters: Health Administration vs. Business Administration

Both degrees are useful in the healthcare administration field, though which degree a person chooses to pursue depends greatly upon personal professional goals. For someone just starting out in an administrative education or career, an MBA may be best in order to be prepared for multiple professional opportunities in business administration. If the professional goal is focused solely on the healthcare field with little interest in other business administration zones, however an online MHA degree may be the best way to prepare for the upcoming duties in the field. Those whom are already greatly experienced in healthcare administration may feel that it is best to pursue their masters of health care administration to fine tune the knowledge they already have incurred over the years, which will in turn open up many more professional advancement opportunities. Location, cost, accreditation and program requirements are also important factors to consider when choosing a master’s in health administration degree, as many master’s degree programs, in any field, are difficult to gain entrance into without proper preparation.