Due to an aging population, advances in medical technology, and much more, the healthcare industry is poised to continue its rapid growth in the years ahead. This means, of course, that there will be a greater need for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. At the same time, however, there will also be a greater need for healthcare administrators. The healthcare MBA is the ideal degree for those who are interested in healthcare administration and related positions. The following is just some of what you should know about the top healthcare MBA programs and their benefits.
Top Healthcare MBA Schools/Programs
Given that different organizations apply the criteria for excellence in healthcare management differently, it can be difficult to find a list of the best healthcare MBAs that everyone would agree upon. The U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top healthcare management programs, however, is a great place to start. As far as the MBA, healthcare programs that make up the top tier of this list include:
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
- University of Alabama (Birmingham)
- University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
- University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
- University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Many of these schools, as well as the other MBA in healthcare programs on the list, have online degree options, which makes it easy for you to earn the degree no matter where you live.
Why Should You Get a Healthcare MBA?
There are many reasons why you should consider an MBA in healthcare. Here are just two of them:
Demand — The demand for management positions in the healthcare industry is tremendous. Healthcare companies such as hospitals and insurance providers cannot find enough graduates even from top online healthcare MBA programs to fill the need.
Fulfillment — When it comes to areas of specialization available in the MBA, healthcare majors experience a high degree of personal career fulfillment. This is no doubt due to the fact that working in the healthcare industry is a tangible way to help people.
General Healthcare MBA Courses
All of the best healthcare MBA programs differ a bit in their requirements. However, there are some typical healthcare MBA courses that must be taken no matter where you enroll. These courses include:
- Financial Accounting
- Data Analysis
- Healthcare Policy Analysis
- Marketing and Markets
- Business Law and Communication
Healthcare MBA Career Opportunities
There are many careers open to those who have a field-specific MBA. Healthcare is no different, and those with an MBA in healthcare are qualified for many different positions. These include:
- Healthcare administrators who help run hospitals, serve as middle managers in insurance companies, and more.
- Nursing home directors
- Nurse supervisors
General Healthcare MBA Admissions & Educational Requirements
The top healthcare MBA programs all have the same basic admissions and educational requirements. All of them will require a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business or accounting. Those with a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field can also be admitted, but they will usually require some additional business-related coursework before enrollment. A passing score on the GRE and/or GMAT is also required in most cases.
Once enrolled, students who are pursuing an MBA in healthcare will have to take approximately two-years’ worth of courses at the graduate level. They will then have to complete a major thesis or research project that demonstrates their competence in the field.
Accredited Online Healthcare MBA Schools
Today, it is easy to find excellent online healthcare MBA programs. The best online healthcare MBA degrees will be accredited at both the institutional and program level. Accreditation is granted through a major regional accrediting body and, usually, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Professional Organizations for Healthcare MBA Graduates
Education does not stop once you have earned a highly rated MBA in healthcare. Professional associations help ensure that you continue to grow in your knowledge of the field, provide networking opportunities, certify your competence in different areas and more. The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) is one professional organization that many top online healthcare management graduates join once they have completed their degree. Another popular association, the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP) focuses on leadership development.
- AAHAM — The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management bills itself the top professional organization in healthcare administrative management.
- AHCAP — The Association for Healthcare Administrative Professional is a top professional association that supports healthcare leaders across the country.