Is an MBA in Healthcare Administration Worth it – (Pros VS. Cons)
Written By: Dee Lynn Mason
Reviewed By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Do you have a desire to learn about business but also have a love for everything in healthcare? Are you a born leader and want to use that characteristic in your work? What if you could combine your interests and your leadership characteristics to have the perfect job? Perhaps you have considered healthcare administration or business management but don't know where to start. If this sounds like you, you've found the right article!
In this article, I will give you some information about an MBA in Healthcare Administration and answer the question, “Is an MBA in Healthcare Administration worth it?” Continue reading to learn about this degree and find 25 reasons why an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it and also 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you.
WHAT IS AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE?
A Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration is a graduate degree that prepares you to become a dynamic leader in healthcare. An MBA in healthcare administration degree will provide you with the knowledge and skills to become an informed leader in healthcare facilities. You will be well versed in finance, accounting, marketing, and project management. An MBA in Healthcare Administration will prepare you for upper management positions where you can impact patient and organizational outcomes.
RECOMMENDED ONLINE MHA PROGRAMS
HOW LONG DOES AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE TAKE?
MBA in healthcare administration programs can take one to five years to complete. The curriculum and the individual pace of a student can affect how long an MBA in healthcare administration can take. For example, the University of Louisiana Lafayette
can be completed within 15 months. Union College
offers an option for students who do not have a bachelor's degree upon entry. Union College combines undergraduate classes with graduate classes, allowing students to achieve an MBA in healthcare administration in 5 years.
HOW MUCH DOES AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE COST?
The cost of an MBA in healthcare administration can vary depending on your chosen school. For example, an MBA in healthcare administration program at Arkansas State University
takes one year to complete and costs approximately $16,500. By contrast, the University of Texas at Tyler’s
MBA in healthcare administration program also takes only 12 months to complete but costs $30,219.60.
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE?
Preparing to apply for admission into an MBA in healthcare administration program can be exciting but very overwhelming, especially if you are unsure of what you need to be a successful candidate. Each school sets guidelines for admission for its programs, and criteria may vary from institution to institution. The following are the typical requirements.
• Possess a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university
• Submit your Graduate Management Admission (GMAT) Test Scores
• Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
• Two or Three Letters of Professional Recommendation
• Letter of Intent
• Current Resume
IS AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION WORTH IT? – THE PROS
(The following are the 25 top reasons why an MBA in healthcare administration is worth it in 2023.)
REASON #1: You Can Expand Your Professional Network
Networking is a powerful resource when you are in an administrative position. Healthcare Administration is no different. Graduate programs like an MBA in healthcare administration program will help you build personal and professional relationships that could benefit you, your healthcare team, patients, and the organizations where you work. Your network of professional peers can significantly impact your career and development.
REASON #2: You’ll Have More Options for Where You Wish to Work
Perhaps one of the main reasons an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it is the variety of job opportunities. An MBA in Healthcare Administration spans a variety of settings and roles, including leadership, marketing, law, business ethics, budgeting, and accounting. All of this is viewed through a healthcare lens.
When you graduate from an MBA in Healthcare Administration program, you may choose a job in areas including, but not limited to, healthcare finance, nursing administration, or healthcare I.T. The diversity of jobs to choose from mean you can choose something that makes you happy and leaves you feeling professionally satisfied.
REASON #3: Earn a Great Income
Earning an MBA in Healthcare Administration could mean an increase in your income by several thousands of dollars yearly. The degree alone speaks for itself when you begin to negotiate salary. Additionally, some positions, such as Hospital CEO, earn as much as $150,000 or more annually.
REASON #4: Competitive Advantage
As healthcare providers and facilities strive to improve their services and patient outcomes, they seek employees who can set them apart. An MBA in Healthcare Administration sets you apart from others in the healthcare industry, giving you a competitive advantage.
REASON #5: FLEXIBILITY
One of the things that makes pursuing an MBA in healthcare administration worth it is the flexibility the programs offer. Many of these programs are formatted for distance or online learning, which means you can control when and where you learn and study while earning a graduate degree.
REASON #6: Build Lifelong Friends
Another reason you may feel an MBA in healthcare administration degree is worth it is the network of friends you'll build. This type of program challenges you to work hard and be the best version of yourself possible. In the midst of achieving your degree, you may find you begin to bond with other students and colleagues. For some people, those bonds last a lifetime, with some people becoming like family. It is a positive thing to build friendships among your healthcare team as these friends will motivate and support you.
REASON #7: You Will Be a Master of Healthcare Systems and Policies
As healthcare evolves and facilities, organizations, and practitioners transform their knowledge and roles to adapt to those changes, you will be a vital part of establishing and maintaining change for the good. The knowledge and leadership skills you develop and hone through this program prepare you to be the backbone of a strong organization. This is one more reason an MBA in Healthcare Administration degree is worth it.
REASON #8: An MBA in Healthcare Administration Degree is Not Expensive
One of the top reasons an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it is the cost. Some programs cost as little as $15,000. Some students even qualify for scholarships and grants, which could mean no out-of-pocket expense. Imagine that! You could earn a Master's degree in Business Administration with a Healthcare Administration focus at little to no cost to yourself!
REASON #9: Healthcare Organizations Need Strong Leaders
For businesses to succeed, business-minded professionals need to be at the helm. Healthcare is one of the world's largest industries, meaning the right professionals need to be in place to help healthcare facilities succeed. The skills you develop while achieving an MBA in healthcare administration make you a great candidate to help healthcare facilities to evolve and prosper. The degree positions you to significantly impact patients, healthcare teams, and organizations, making an MBA in healthcare administration worth it.
REASON #10: Positive Return on Your Investment
On average, MBA in Healthcare Administration programs cost from $15,000 to $40,000. The average annual income for someone with this degree is $85,000. When you factor in the possible benefits, your total compensation could increase by tens of thousands of dollars. The return on investment is one of the biggest reasons why an MBA in healthcare administration is worth it.
REASON #11: Sense of Accomplishment and Improved Self-Esteem
Another of the top reasons why an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it is the feeling of achievement and improved self-esteem you'll experience. A sense of achievement can boost your confidence and increase your drive to influence positive changes in healthcare delivery and systems.
In turn, this makes you become more valuable to the systems and people you serve in leadership. The feeling of accomplishment and greater self-esteem you feel is something no one can take from you. Your education is yours, a prestigious degree that comes with the knowledge of knowing you mastered it, literally!
REASON #12: Professional Respect and Credibility
Another one of the top reasons an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it is the credibility it gives you among colleagues. An MBA in Healthcare Administration makes a true statement about the strength, determination, and skills you possess as a leader. This degree is one of the most sought-after degrees in the healthcare field, and your colleagues know that, which means they will respect the effort you put into earning the degree.
REASON #13: You’ll Develop Strong Communication Skills
Healthcare leadership requires knowing how to communicate effectively with others. The way you communicate with others should call attention in any room. An MBA in healthcare administration program will prepare you with solid communication skills that you'll use as you work on group-based projects, present proposals, and share ideas to move healthcare facilities forward.
REASON #14: Healthcare Administrators Are in Demand with Positive Job Outlook
Healthcare employers seek leaders with the type of skills you'll develop with an MBA in Healthcare Administration degree, and the number of people needed is expected to grow.
In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers, like people with an MBA in Healthcare Administration, is projected to grow 32% between 2020 and 2030. This percentage growth indicates about 51,800 new and replacement jobs are expected yearly over the decade. This is just one more reason earning an MBA in healthcare administration degree is worth it.
REASON #15: You Can Advocate for Patients, Families, and Communities
The world relies on healthcare providers to provide quality healthcare services. If you have an MBA in Healthcare Administration, that means healthcare consumers rely heavily on YOU to see to it the services they receive are the best available.
The decisions you make in your position will impact every patient, loved one, and healthcare team member entering your facility. Earning this degree helps position you to be a strong advocate for healthcare consumers and providers, which is one of many reasons an MBA in healthcare administration degree is worth it.
REASON #16: Skills Development
If you wish to succeed as a healthcare administrator, you need a broad range of advanced skills. MBA in Healthcare Administration programs are designed to give students a firm foundation of essential management skills and then build upon them. Successfully earning this degree means you have grasped the skills needed to be an effective leader in healthcare.
Graduates of these programs have the potential to inspire, motivate, and positively impact healthcare outcomes on many levels, many becoming global healthcare leaders. The skills you develop in this program are another reason why earning an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it!
REASON #17: Excitement!!
Working in healthcare means understanding no two days are alike. Even healthcare administration has days that seem full of the unknown, where practically anything can happen. The daily changes within your organization or your team's dynamic can be challenging but also rewarding. As you face each new day, you will find there is an air of excitement, especially when you realize your knowledge and skills can significantly impact the dynamic of the whole organization.
REASON #18: Long-Term Job Security
The knowledge and skills you bring to the job make you not only a prime candidate for a good job but for landing a job that offers long-term security. Healthcare facilities and organizations seek qualified candidates to fill administrative roles who want to commit long-term. If you want to have more than a job but a long-term career where you build strong relationships, and impact healthcare, an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it!
REASON #19: You Can Earn This Degree In a Short Amount of Time
Depending on your current education level, you could earn an MBA in Healthcare Administration in as little as a year. Your previous education and whether you go to school part-time or full-time may determine if it takes longer to complete the program, but it is still possible to earn this degree in a shorter amount of time than some similar degrees.
REASON #20: Emotionally Rewarding
Good deeds play on the psyche. Your position as a healthcare administrator involves making a positive impact. Knowing that you have put forth your best effort to make a difference is mentally rewarding. As a healthcare administrator, you will take the extra step to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare, which can leave you feeling emotionally rewarded.
Keep in mind, a positive return on your investment can mean more than financial returns. Making a difference and being a difference is worth more than any check when you are a true caregiver.
REASON #21: Help Improve Healthcare Delivery Systems
As a leader in healthcare with an MBA in Healthcare Administration, you will make important decisions about healthcare systems and the delivery of care. Your decisions may be at a local level within your hospital or other facility, or you may work on a broader scale, impacting the daily operations of large healthcare corporations. Wherever you work, your degree positions you to help improve the type of care patients receive and the way the care is provided.
REASON #22: Future Career Flexibility
You may start as a management consultant and then move into a public health official role. You could be a CEO of a hospital or a health insurance manager. Achieving this degree gives you the ability to find the position that fits you the best or even grows into a position as your knowledge and experience expand during the course of your career.
Additionally, earning an MBA in Healthcare Administration does not mean you are stuck in the healthcare industry. If you later decide to pursue a career in another field, the MBA skills you've acquired are easily transferable, meaning you can plan your future the way you want.
REASON #23: You Can Positively Impact Communities
Healthcare professionals are the heartbeat of communities locally, regionally, and worldwide. Your MBA in Healthcare Administration degree will position you to impact communities. Your role can help open doors that bridge the gap between populations and healthcare providers. Whether you promote a youth sports team to help kids stay active, sponsor an after-school program to teach kids about nutrition, or support outreach in centers for the elderly, your degree can help you make a difference.
REASON #24: You Can Positively Influence Your Healthcare Team
When you earn an MBA in Healthcare Administration, you have the power to not only make a difference in the lives of patients and their families but also in the lives of your entire healthcare team.
As you lead with compassion, honesty, and integrity, you encourage your team to do the same. As you use your skills to make sure your organization runs smoothly, your team will be encouraged to do their best. You may take care of "behind the scenes" work at times, but you can believe the positive impact of what you do will reflect in your team and the people you serve.
REASON #25: Your Why… This is What YOU Want
Before you make any decision in life, it is good to ask yourself, "Why?" Why do you believe a career as a healthcare administrator suits you? What difference do you feel you can make, and why do you think that? Your decision to seek an MBA in healthcare administration may never be the same as the next person, and that's okay.
Whatever drives you to succeed is what will make it possible for you to say, without any doubt, an MBA in Healthcare Administration is worth it. Whatever your "why" is, make your best effort to chase your dreams because your dreams will never chase you.
WHY AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION MAY NOT BE WORTH IT FOR YOU? – THE CONS
There are many reasons why pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Administration could be an excellent choice for you. However, it is also important to weigh both the pros and cons. In some cases, you may feel pursuing an MBA in healthcare administration is not worth it.
REASON #1: You Don’t Like Being Responsible for Everyone Else
Taking on a job that requires an MBA in Healthcare Administration means being responsible for everything that goes on in your facility or organization. If you’d prefer to work on the team but not lead it, I would wager an MBA in Healthcare Administration is not worth it for you.
REASON #2: You Aren’t Interested in “Business Politics” at Work
When you take on a job using your MBA in Healthcare Administration credential, you will be taking on the responsibility of handling the day-to-day business operations in a healthcare capacity. If you don't think the business side of healthcare is for you, you may feel an MBA in Healthcare Administration is not worth it.
REASON #3: You Want a Stress-Free Life
Have you heard the saying, "If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen?" That pretty much sums up deciding whether to choose pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Administration. If you don't work well under pressure and stress leaves you an emotional wreck, I guarantee you, this is not the career path for you.
REASON #4: You’re Not a “People Person”
This role requires you to manage business and clinical aspects of healthcare, which means lots of people interaction! If you prefer to work independently, don’t like crowds, and dread boardrooms, an MBA in Healthcare Administration is probably not the right degree choice for you.
REASON #5: Free Time? What's That?
Sure, corporate jobs or administrative positions usually come with the perk of working typical office hours, Monday through Friday. You will probably be scheduled off on holidays, too.
However, a healthcare administrator's job is never done. The combination of business and clinical roles that comes with an MBA in Healthcare Administration degree means you may be tied to your phone or called out at a moment's notice. If you can't commit, you may decide an MBA in Healthcare Administration is not worth it.
REASON #6: You Are Happy With Your Current Career
Earning another degree or advancing your career to the next level is great, but it isn't for everyone. If you are truly happy with your career, income, and where you are professionally, you may feel earning an MBA in Healthcare Administration is not worth it for you. Remember, only you can decide what is best for you or how to determine where you want to be in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.
REASON #7: You Like Business, but Not Healthcare
Anyone can have a job but making a career out of something takes dedication. The right career will have personal meaning to you and drive you to do better each day. If you like the idea of working in business, but the healthcare field does not intrigue you, then an MBA in healthcare administration degree is not worth it.
WHAT ARE THE 3 MAIN REASONS BEHIND THE DEMAND FOR MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE HOLDERS?
As you choose a career, one of the first questions is probably whether there is a need for what interests you. There is currently a demand for people prepared to handle the business aspect of healthcare administration. Here are the three top reasons why MBA in Healthcare Administration degree holders are in demand.
1. MBA in Healthcare Administration Degree Holders Help Find Ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs:
As the economy is hit with ever-increasing costs of goods, supplies, and services, suppressing the cost of healthcare is more important than ever. Leaders who have an MBA in Healthcare Administration find ways to promote cost-effective care, which helps patients, populations, and the industry.
2. The Broad Range of Skills:
Graduates of MBA in Healthcare Administration programs come with a broad range of skills and knowledge. This means they can take on more responsibility, manage larger organizations and teams, and be influential leaders of change.
3. Employers Want Leaders Capable of Handling Both the Business and Clinical Sides of Healthcare:
When employers hire individuals with an MBA in Healthcare Administration, they know they have people in leadership with the knowledge and skills to effectively run their facilities, manage the business or financial side and oversee clinical operations. Having skilled leadership makes it possible for larger corporations to handle projects, teams, and care on a broader scale, positively impacting more people.
WHAT IS THE STARTING SALARY FOR MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE HOLDERS?
The starting salary for MBA in healthcare administration graduates is $20.73 per hour. This pay equals $829 weekly, $3,590 monthly, or $43,110 annually.
| Hourly||$20.73 |
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SALARY FOR MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE HOLDERS?
The average salary for MBA in healthcare administration degree holders is $85,000 annually. This pay is equivalent to $40.87 hourly, $1,635 weekly, or $7,080 monthly.
| Hourly||$40.87 |
WHAT ARE THE 3 BEST JOBS YOU CAN GET WITH AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE?
Once you obtain your MBA in Healthcare Administration, you'll want to find the perfect job, right? There are several avenues you can choose to find a job you love. The following are three of the best jobs you can get with an MBA in Healthcare Administration degree.
Chief Operations Officer:
Chief operations officers (COOs) at hospitals and other healthcare organizations work with department leaders to promote and maintain smooth facility operations. They may create and implement facility policies, meet with stakeholders, and ensure high levels of patient care.
Nursing Home Administrator:
Nursing home administrators perform a variety of roles to ensure the elderly and indigent receive high-quality care in a home-like setting. They supervise various departments, plan, and manage budgets, meet with patients and families, and guide staff to ensure the facility operates within state and federal guidelines.
Hospital Chief Executive Officer:
The chief executive officer (CEO) is one of the highest-paid and sought-after positions in a healthcare organization. The CEO works with the board of directors, executives, and stakeholders to make sure the hospital is run effectively and efficiently. Hospital CEOs work to create balance within their organizations while promoting measures to support long-term organizational success and improved patient outcomes.
BONUS! 3 TIPS TO MAKE MORE MONEY WITH AN MBA IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION DEGREE?
One of the main reasons for going back to school and pursuing a degree, like an MBA in Healthcare Administration is to generate more income. Having this degree is one way of ensuring you have options to move up in your career, and increasing your income is one of the perks. Here are 3 tips to make more money with an MBA in healthcare administration degree.
If you are interested in increasing your salary or want a different scene, change industries. A move from a hospital to a pharmaceutical company may be the change you are looking for.
Take advantage of continuing education classes or programs that will enhance your knowledge and give you a leading view of the change coming in the next year.
Consider Moving to a Place Where There is Higher Demand:
Location may be the reason your pay is not competitive with others in your same field. Research the facilities where you live and compare them to facilities that interest you in other areas. If you are unopposed to moving, you may consider a new town or new state, as some geographical areas pay higher salaries.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Your personal career journey is one that will set the tone for the rest of your life. Evaluate your current situation and what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve the degree you desire and deserve. Now, consider the 25 reasons why an MBA in healthcare administration is worth it and also 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you I shared with you and ask yourself, “Is an MBA in healthcare administration worth it?” If you believe this is the right career choice for you, I encourage you get started today!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED
1. What Is The Best Age To Do An MBA In Healthcare Administration?
There is no age that is considered the best age for an MBA in Healthcare Administration. Most students strive for this degree in their mid-20s, which does give a good advantage in building a long-term career in the field. It also allows you to build contacts and a firm reputation.
2. How Hard Is It To Get Into An MBA In Healthcare Administration Program?
Getting into a graduate program for an MBA in Healthcare Administration can be competitive. It is very important to follow the application process and research the requirements to assure you can meet them in a timely manner.
3. Do I Need Work Experience To Get Into An MBA In Healthcare Administration Program?
Work experience is not required, but it does enhance your resume, which is usually required for most application requirements.
4. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into An MBA In Healthcare Administration Program?
For an MBA in Healthcare Administration most Institutions require a cumulative 3.0 GPA on all previous college coursework.
5. Can I Get Into An MBA In Healthcare Administration Program With A Low GPA?
A low GPA may not be a dealbreaker for an MBA in Healthcare Administration. However, your chances decrease, especially if there are other competitive applicants.
6. Are Online MBA In Healthcare Administration Programs Worth It?
Online MBA in Healthcare Administration programs can definitely be worth it! Consider both online and in-person options and choose the one that best suits your personal and professional needs.
7. Can MBA In Healthcare Administration Students Have A Life?
Absolutely! MBA in Healthcare Administration programs are not all full-time. Flex programs that are fixed around your schedule are available. The time and effort you invest are up to you.
8. Do Students Fail In MBA In Healthcare Administration?
Students can fail in any program, and MBA in Healthcare Administration is no exception. Be honest with yourself about the courseload you can handle and discuss your options with an academic advisor to increase your chances of success.
9. Will I Ever Regret Getting An MBA In Healthcare Administration Degree?
This greatly depends on your personal experience in your career choice. If you do not like the specialty choice you have chosen, this field allows for many different changes that could make you happier. Change your location, your department, or role.
10. Will MBA In Healthcare Administration Graduates Be Paid Less In The Future?
The demand for healthcare managers and administrators is expected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When a service is in demand, the chances of decreased earnings is unlikely.
11. Are All MBA In Healthcare Administration Graduates Successful In Their Careers?
Like any other field, your success depends on your ability to secure a good job within the field that will allow growth. Your work ethic and desire to succeed will make a difference in your personal success.
12. Are MBA In Healthcare Administration Graduates Happy With Their Jobs?
Most studies and surveys indicate individuals with MBA in Healthcare Administration degrees are happy with their jobs.
13. Can MBA In Healthcare Administration Degree Holders Become Rich?
Rich can be defined in several ways. If you think of being rich as having lots of money, you could set yourself up for financial success and become wealthy with this degree. However, income varies depending on the specialty and department you have chosen. For many people, rich is about more than a paycheck. If you choose an MBA in Healthcare Administration to make a difference in the healthcare and the lives of others, you may find you are rich in happiness, joy, and contentment.
14. What Are Some MBA In Healthcare Administration Degree Alternatives?
There are several alternatives to an MBA in Healthcare Administration. A few examples include Financial Manager, Computer and Information Systems Manager, Medical Records & Health Information Manager, and Insurance Underwriter.
15. What Is The Difference Between An MBA In Healthcare Management And A Masters In Health Administration?
An MHA is a graduate degree that focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to function in an administrative role within the healthcare industry. An MBA in Healthcare Administration/Management is a graduate degree that includes a specialization in business and healthcare management issues.
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).