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Is a Master’s in Healthcare Management Worth it – (Pros VS. Cons)


Written By: Raymond Aguirre, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPN

A master's degree in healthcare management can be a great investment for people who have a desire to enter the exciting field of healthcare administration. But is a master’s in healthcare management worth it? You need to ask this question to ensure that you will get the most out of your education. In this article, you will learn about 25 reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it and also 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you. Hopefully, you will be able to make a good decision after reading this article.


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WHAT IS A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE?


A master's in healthcare management is a postgraduate degree that helps prepare students for leadership roles in the healthcare industry. The curriculum typically covers topics such as human resources, finance, and healthcare policy. Students often have the opportunity to specialize their studies in areas such as long-term care administration or hospital administration. A master's in healthcare management can lead to a variety of career opportunities managing various types of healthcare organizations.


HOW LONG DOES A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE TAKE?


A master’s in healthcare management can take an average of 2-3 years of full-time study. However, some master’s in healthcare management programs will allow students to finish their master’s in healthcare management degrees faster. In addition, some students also choose to take many classes at the same time, which speeds up the time it takes to get their master’s in healthcare management degree.


HOW MUCH DOES A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE COST?


The cost of a master’s in healthcare management can vary. For example, there are schools like Western Governors University that have a unique tuition fee system for their master’s in healthcare management program. Students that finish their degrees faster pay cheaper tuition fees. According to their website, someone who finishes their master’s in healthcare management degree in one year will pay $9,350 while a student that takes two years to finish will pay $18,700. Meanwhile, schools like Harvard University lists their tuition for a master’s in healthcare management at $89,500.


WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE?


Every master’s in healthcare management program is unique, so students need to contact their schools of choice to make sure that they have all the necessary admission requirements. Some common requirements to get into a master’s in healthcare management program include:

-a college transcript
-a graduate record examination (GRE)
-a resume
-professional references
-an essay or statement stating your reasons for applying to a master’s in healthcare management program




IS A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT WORTH IT? – THE PROS

(The following are the 25 reasons why a Master’s in Healthcare Management is worth it in 2022.)

REASON #1: A master's in healthcare management can help you advance your career in health administration.


One of the biggest reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it is because it opens door to more career opportunities. Employers prefer or sometimes even require a graduate degree in healthcare management for certain high-level executive positions. Having a master’s in healthcare management enhances your credentials and sets you apart from other people in the field of healthcare management.


REASON #2: A master's in healthcare management can give you the skills you need to be a successful healthcare manager.


Being a successful healthcare manager takes a lot of skill. You can earn these skills by working, but you can earn them faster by educating yourself. A master’s in healthcare management teaches you skills that can help you thrive in today’s complex world of managing healthcare organizations.


REASON #3: A master's in healthcare management can help you make a difference in the lives of others from behind the scenes.


With a master’s in healthcare management, you may not be at the front lines of patient care, but you get to help people in so many other ways. One of the biggest reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it is because it helps you acquire the knowledge you need to develop a sound infrastructure within a healthcare organization. That is an important role that not only helps healthcare facilities but also the people that these facilities serve.


REASON #4: A master's in healthcare management can help you earn a higher salary.


A master’s in healthcare management can lead to several high-paying careers. For example, it is estimated that hospital administrators earn an average of $249,865. That does not take into account that hospital administrators may have other financial benefits, which may include company stock options and performance bonuses.


REASON #5: A master's in healthcare management can allow you to work in a variety of settings.


Among the top reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it is that there are several work settings to choose from. You can work in hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and more. A master’s in healthcare management is a great degree to have if you value variety in your career.


REASON #6: A master's in healthcare management can lead to a career as a quality assurance analyst.


Those with a master’s in healthcare management can take on a role as a quality assurance analyst for healthcare organizations. These are people who ensure that patient care is being delivered with the highest standards. If this job appeals to you can pair your master’s in healthcare management with a well-respected quality assurance certification, such as the CPHQ or Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.


REASON #7: A master's in healthcare management can help you develop new ideas and approaches to healthcare management.


A master’s in healthcare management is worth it if you like coming up with big ideas and implementing them within healthcare systems. Having a master’s in healthcare management puts you in a position to take on jobs that allow you to change healthcare on a systemic level.


REASON #8: A master's in healthcare management can help you become a better leader.


Do you like being a leader? Then a master’s in healthcare management can help you develop the skills to become a good one. Although leadership is a skill you will likely develop through time, having a master’s in healthcare management can give you the right foundation to become a well-respected leader.


REASON #9: A master's in healthcare management can lead to a career in the government.


If you do not want to work in the private sector but would like to pursue a master’s in healthcare management, then perhaps working for the government might appeal to you. There are healthcare management and administration jobs at the local, state, and federal levels of the government. For example, if you are interested in healthcare management jobs with the federal government, you can go to USAJOBS.


REASON #10: A master's in healthcare management can help you get started in academia.


Having a master’s in healthcare management degree is worth it if you are considering possibly working in academia. Colleges and universities typically require at least a minimum of a master’s in healthcare management to teach that subject.


REASON #11: A master's in healthcare management can provide you with the opportunity to improve health equity.


A master’s degree in healthcare management helps you to become a systems-level thinker. This means that you may be placed in a position where you have the power to improve healthcare access in the country. If the equitable distribution of healthcare resources is important to you, then you can consider having a master’s degree in healthcare management.


REASON #12: A master's in healthcare management can give you the chance to learn how running a business works.


Keep in mind that many healthcare organizations in the United States are for-profit institutions. One of the biggest reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it is because it gives you the knowledge on how to run and manage a business. If you ever think about starting your own business in the future, a master’s degree in healthcare management can help you with that.


REASON #13: You can pursue a master’s in healthcare management while working a full-time job.


Certain graduate degrees don’t lend themselves well to online learning. Thankfully, this is not the case for master’s in healthcare management programs. While there are many brick-and-mortar master’s in healthcare management programs, there are also online programs that you can do even while you have a full-time job. The University of Arizona, for example, has its own online master’s in healthcare management program.


REASON #14: A master's in healthcare management can help you land jobs in the health technology industry.


Healthcare technology companies need competent managers, and you can be just the person these companies need with a master’s in healthcare management. If you like working with cutting-edge technology, then that could be one of the top reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it.


REASON #15: A master's in healthcare management teaches you practical skills you can use in the real world.


A master’s degree in healthcare management curriculum does have some theoretical components to it. However, a master’s in healthcare management typically involves more practical skills, such as marketing, accounting, and business administration.


REASON #16: A master's in healthcare management can help you make a difference in the public policy arena.


Elected officials may be the ones debating and enacting laws, but they need experts to craft public policies. With a master’s in healthcare management, you have the knowledge needed to shape public discourse and potentially put forth laws and regulations that can improve the state of healthcare in society.


REASON #17: A master's in healthcare management does not confine you to one specialty.


A master’s in healthcare management degree is worth it if you do not like the idea of confining yourself to one specialty. Some graduate degrees can only be useful for one or two types of careers. That is not the case with a master’s in healthcare management. A master’s in healthcare management program teaches you skills that can be applied to many jobs.


REASON #18: A master's in healthcare management can help you navigate the complex regulatory landscape of the healthcare industry.


Healthcare regulations are becoming increasingly complex. A master’s in healthcare management gives you the knowledge to meet this ever-growing challenge, which can make you an asset to any healthcare organization.


REASON #19: A master's in healthcare management can help you launch a consulting career.


You should consider pursuing a master’s in healthcare management if you like the idea of being a health consultant. A health consultant is a well-respected professional who helps healthcare organizations become more efficient. A consulting career can be very fulfilling. Because health consultants may be contracted personnel, they have a more flexible schedule than someone who works as an employee of a healthcare institution.


REASON #20: A master's in healthcare management can enable you to become a strong problem-solver.


Healthcare employers value many things in their employees, but one of the main things they like is people who can solve problems. And this is one major reason why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it. A master’s in healthcare management can sharpen your ability to navigate difficult issues in healthcare organizations and find great solutions.


REASON #21: A master's in healthcare management can help boost any other healthcare degree or credential you may have.


If you are reading this article as a nurse, social worker, doctor, or any other healthcare provider, you may be glad to learn that a master’s in healthcare management can boost your credentials even further. If you are a clinical professional, you can benefit from adding a master’s in healthcare management because it opens more career options for you.


REASON #22: A master's in healthcare management can lead to a career in the pharmaceutical industry.


You may think that the pharmaceutical industry is strictly for pharmacists and scientists. That’s not true. The pharmaceutical industry, to function properly, needs the steady hand of healthcare managers to stay afloat. With a master’s in healthcare management, you will learn the skills needed to help pharmaceutical companies thrive.


REASON #23: A master's in healthcare management can help get become published in authoritative journals.


One of the top reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it is that you can learn research skills that can get you published in journals and publications related to healthcare management. Well-respected healthcare management journals desire writers who not only have strong credentials but who also know how to properly conduct a research study.


REASON #24: A master's in healthcare management can help you get jobs in a recession-proof industry.


Healthcare jobs are incredibly resistant to the whims of the economy. A master’s in healthcare management will put you on a career path that can withstand economic stabilities that typically affect other careers. While there is no such thing as having a guaranteed job for life, a master’s in healthcare management is a degree that can help lower your chances of being unemployed.


REASON #25: A master's in healthcare management can offer opportunities to attend conventions within the healthcare industry.


A master’s in healthcare management is worth it for those who like the idea of attending seminars and conventions in the healthcare management industry. These events are great for expanding your professional network and learning from health industry experts.



WHY A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT MAY NOT BE WORTH IT FOR YOU? – THE CONS

(Now that you have gone through the 25 reasons why a Master’s in Healthcare Management is worth it, here are 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you.)

REASON #1: A master’s in healthcare management is not always necessary for advancement in your career.


A master’s in healthcare management may give you a competitive edge at times, but this is not always the case. Some employers prefer experience over education and that could be a major reason why a master’s in healthcare management is not worth it.

REASON #2: A master’s in healthcare management can add to your list of debts.


Unless you have a full-ride scholarship or work grant that will pay for your master’s in healthcare management degree, chances are that you will incur student loan debt. Are you willing to take on student loan debt? If you are unsure or if you simply do not want any more debt, then a master’s in healthcare management may not be worth your time.

REASON #3: A master’s in healthcare management may not give you the practical experience you need.


It has often been said that experience is the best teacher. Although a master’s in healthcare management can teach you some practical skills, you may learn these skills better by instead taking certain jobs in healthcare management.

REASON #4: A master’s in healthcare management does not lead to a specialty career.


A master’s in healthcare management degree is not worth it if you prefer you become a specialist. A master’s in healthcare management program can be a bit broad in its scope, which means that you learn a broad set of skills. Some people may see that as a good thing, but if you are one of those who would pursue a more specialized field of study, then a master’s in healthcare management may not be for you.

REASON #5: A master’s in healthcare management may be time-consuming.


Pursuing a master’s in healthcare management is a serious endeavor. Even though there are some online programs, that does not always mean that they are any less challenging than a brick-and-mortar master’s in healthcare management program. If you do not have a lot of time, then you may want to consider how pursuing a master’s in healthcare management can impact your life.

REASON #6: A master’s in healthcare management can have an opportunity cost.


Attending a master’s in healthcare program can cause you to miss out on other potential career advancement opportunities. A master’s in healthcare management degree may not be worth it if you believe you might lose an opportunity to get promoted or get a higher-paying job.

REASON #7: A master’s in healthcare management can make you overqualified.


If you are just getting started in the field of healthcare management, you may want to think twice about getting a master’s degree in healthcare management. One of the reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is not worth it is that it may make you overqualified for certain positions. Just as being unqualified for a job is not good, having too high of a credential can also negatively affect your chances of getting a job.



WHAT ARE THE 3 MAIN REASONS BEHIND THE DEMAND FOR MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE HOLDERS?


There are many reasons why the demand for healthcare managers with a master’s degree is on the rise. Here are three of the most important reasons:

1. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created a need for more efficient and effective healthcare managers:

The ACA has put pressure on healthcare organizations to become more efficient and effective in their operations. This has created a need for managers who can help lead these organizations in a new direction. A master’s in healthcare management will not instantly make you a great manager, but it can certainly help you develop the skills and the knowledge needed to become one.

2. The aging population is driving up the demand for healthcare services:

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, they will require more healthcare services. This increased demand will require healthcare organizations to be able to provide quality care while also maintaining profitability. Having a master’s in healthcare management gives you insight on how to find the right balance between caring for an aging population and ensuring that health institutions are operating sustainably.

3. The healthcare industry is becoming more complex:

The demand for master’s in healthcare management is spurred in part by the need for healthcare managers who can deal with the growing complexity of running health organizations. Today, there are many regulations to navigate in addition to the day-to-day operational challenges. Employers are looking for healthcare managers that not only have the experience, but also the education to meet these demands.


WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SALARY FOR MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE HOLDERS?


The average salary for master’s in healthcare management degree holders is $89,000 per year or $42.79/hour. This is equivalent to $1712/week or $7420/month.

Hourly$42.79
Weekly$1,712
Monthly$7,420
Annual$89,000
(Source: Payscale.com)


WHAT ARE THE 3 BEST JOBS YOU CAN GET WITH A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE?


1. Healthcare Administrator:

As a healthcare administrator, you will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility. This can include everything from managing staff to handling finances and budgeting. If you have strong leadership and organizational skills, then this could be the perfect role for you.

2. Healthcare Consultant:

As a healthcare consultant, you will use your knowledge and expertise to help organizations improve their operations. You can help healthcare organizations develop strategies that would help them deliver patient care more efficiently. If you are a natural problem-solver who likes sharing your ideas with others, then this could be a great career choice for you.

3. Healthcare Policy Analyst:

As a healthcare policy analyst, you will research and analyze policies that impact the healthcare industry. This can include everything from insurance reform to new legislation. If you have a keen eye for detail and enjoy working with numbers, then this could be the ideal role for you.


BONUS! 3 TIPS TO MAKE MORE MONEY WITH A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT DEGREE?


1. Pursue a specialization:

When it comes to healthcare management, there are many different specialties you can pursue. By focusing on one particular area, you can become an expert in that field and be more attractive to employers. Some popular healthcare management specializations include health policy, hospital administration, and long-term care administration.

2. Consider working in high—paying industries:

Certain industries tend to pay healthcare managers more than others. For example, those working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries tend to earn higher salaries than those working in the public sector or non-profit organizations. If you're looking to maximize your earnings, consider pursuing a career in an industry that pays well.

3. Get more work experience:

While having a Master's degree will certainly give you a leg up in the job market, it's not the only factor that employers will consider when hiring. To stand out from the competition, try to get some experience in the healthcare field before applying for jobs. This can be done through internships, volunteering, or even working part-time in a related field. By gaining some experience, you'll be better prepared to take on a leadership role and earn a higher salary.


IS A MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT WORTH IT FOR YOU – MY FINAL THOUGHTS


Deciding to pursue a master’s in healthcare management is an important life decision. You have to ask yourself, “Is a master’s in healthcare management worth it?” The answer may not come easily to you. However, this article listed 25 reasons why a master’s in healthcare management is worth it and also 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you. By reading through this article, hopefully, you have gained some insight that would make it easier for you to decide. In the end, the decision to pursue a master’s in healthcare management is ultimately up to you.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED


1. What Is The Best Age To Do A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree?

The best age to pursue a master’s in healthcare management degree is whenever you feel the time is right for you. No matter what your age is, you can always decide to work towards having a master’s in healthcare management.


2. How Hard Is It To Get Into A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Program?

Every master’s in healthcare management program is different. Some will have stricter standards than others. That is why it is important to contact the master’s in healthcare program of your choice so you can get a better idea of their requirements.


3. Is The GRE Required For Those Wishing To Pursue A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree?

Some master’s programs in healthcare management may require a GRE. Others, like Western Governors University, only require a college transcript showing a bachelor’s degree.


4. Do I Need Work Experience To Get Into A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Program?

You are not required to have work experience to get into some master’s in healthcare management programs. However, it may be helpful to have a background in healthcare management.


5. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Program?

Every master’s in healthcare management program is different. Some may require a minimum GPA, while others don’t. Generally, however, it is ideal to have a GPA of at least 3.0. This will help make your admission application to a master’s in healthcare management program more competitive.


6. Can I Get Into A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Program With A Low GPA?

Yes, you can. It is possible to get into a master’s in healthcare management program with a low GPA, although you may have to have a good GRE score to be considered.


7. Are Online Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Programs Worth It?

An online master’s in healthcare management degree can be worth it if you put in the time and the effort to take advantage of all the learning opportunities you will be presented. An online master’s in healthcare management can be just as good as any traditional, brick-and-mortar master’s in healthcare management program.


8. Are Scholarships And Grants Available For Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Programs?

There are many scholarships and grants for master’s in healthcare management students. If you are interested in financing your master’s in healthcare management program with scholarships and grants, you should speak with the financial aid office at your school for more detailed information.


9. Can Master’s In Healthcare Management Students Have A Life?

Students in master’s in healthcare management programs can have a life. There are plenty of online programs that offer great flexibility to master’s in healthcare management students who have jobs and families.


10. Can I Work Part-Time And Successfully Complete The Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Program?

With plenty of online master’s in healthcare management programs today, it is very much possible to work part-time while pursuing a master’s in healthcare management degree.


11. Can I Work Full-Time And Successfully Complete The Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Program?

It can be hard balancing a full-time career with school. However, with the right mindset and habits, you can work full-time while you are in a master’s in healthcare management program.


12. Do Students Fail In Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Programs?

It is possible to fail in a master’s in healthcare management program if you are unable to meet the requirements of your classes.


13. Will I Ever Regret Getting A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree?

There is a positive to everything. You will not regret pursuing a master’s in healthcare management if you approach it with the right attitude and an open mind about the benefits it has to offer. The benefits of a master’s in healthcare management may be something tangible, like a promotion or a higher salary. Or it can also be just something as simple as learning new skills, such as leadership and communication skills.


14. How Much Does A Master’s In Healthcare Management Graduate Make Per Hour?

Someone with a master’s in healthcare management degree can expect to earn $42.79 per hour.

$42.79


15. How Much Does A Master’s In Healthcare Management Graduate Make Per Year?

A person with a master’s in healthcare management degree typically earns an annual salary of $89,000.

$89,000


16. Will Master’s In Healthcare Management Graduates Be Paid Less In The Future?

It is unlikely that master’s in healthcare management graduates will be paid less. With healthcare demand growing, it is possible that master’s in healthcare management degree holders could be paid more instead.


17. Are All Master’s In Healthcare Management Graduates Successful In Their Careers?

Graduates of master’s in healthcare management programs may go into different careers and may have unique definitions of success. One thing you can do to see whether graduates of master’s in healthcare management programs are successful is to find alumni networks or societies. You can reach out to the members of these groups for some insight into how successful they are in their careers.


18. Are Master’s In Healthcare Management Graduates Happy With Their Jobs?

There is no way to track whether master’s in healthcare management graduates are happy. A master’s degree in health management can open many doors in a person’s career, but this is not a guarantee of happiness. Every person who has a master’s in healthcare management is unique and will see their jobs in different ways.


19. Can Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Holders Become Rich?

Absolutely. There are many executive-level jobs that you can qualify for with a master’s in healthcare management. These jobs are not only paid a hefty salary. Some of them are also entitled to bonuses and other monetary perks.


20. What Are Some Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree Alternatives?

Some alternatives to a master’s in healthcare management include: a master’s in business administration, a master’s in public administration, and a master’s in health administration


21. How Does A Master’s In Healthcare Management Differ From A Bachelor’s In Healthcare Management?

A master’s in healthcare management is a more advanced degree. By having a master’s in healthcare management, you are showing potential employers your commitment to lifelong education and professional growth.


22. What Is The Difference Between An MHA And A Master’s In Healthcare Management?

An MHA and a master’s in healthcare management are very similar to each other. The difference may just come down to how a college or university chooses to call its master’s in healthcare management program.


23. What Is The Difference Between A Master’s In Public Health And A Master’s In Healthcare Management?

A master’s in public health is a vast field of study that covers many areas including epidemiology, biostatistics, community health education, and healthcare management. A master’s in healthcare management, on the other hand, is specific to the study of managing healthcare institutions. Neither degree is better than the other, but unless you are also considering a career in public health, then a master’s in healthcare management might be a better option for you.


24. What Is A Good Choice Of Internship Along With A Master’s In Healthcare Management Degree?

The best places to look for an internship while pursuing a master’s in healthcare management is through major healthcare institutions. University of California, Los Angeles Health, for example, offers an administrative internship. Being an intern with a major organization can help you develop practical skills while you work towards your master’s in healthcare management degree.


Raymond Aguirre RN, BSN, PHN, CHPN
Raymond M.E. Aguirre is a registered nurse with years of experience in the medical field. He currently works as a public health nurse and has years of experience in home health, hospice, and skilled nursing facility settings.