shutterstock 175803695Healthcare Administrators use their in-depth knowledge of business and healthcare policy to manage hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. Instead of working directly with patients, they coordinate with other professionals behind the scenes to keep healthcare facilities running smoothly.

Some jobs you’ll be qualified for as a Healthcare Manager are:

  • Hospital CEO/CFO
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Nurse Manager
  • Hospital Department Manager
  • Head of Policy

With a median pay of $99,730 and a projected growth rate of 18% by 2028, Healthcare Administration is a very lucrative field. And since people with graduate degrees earn an average of $28,000 more than those with a bachelor’s degree alone, a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management is a great way to boost your earning potential.

Can I pursue a Master’s in Healthcare Management with an unrelated undergraduate degree?

Many people wonder how to become a Healthcare Administrator, and if it’s even possible without a medical background. Luckily, previous medical experience isn’t usually required for admission into a master’s program in Healthcare Management. Although a medical background will boost your chances of getting accepted, a bachelor’s degree is the only real requirement.

In fact, many students who return for their Masters in Healthcare Management have been working in unrelated fields for a number of years. And since business expertise is just as valuable as healthcare knowledge in this field, this can sometimes work in their favor during the application process.

Although all degrees are accepted, students who pursue a Healthcare Administration Master’s often hold undergraduate degrees in the following topics:

  • Biology
  • Nursing
  • Human Resources
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Business

Generally, students with a background in healthcare-related topics such as Biology or Nursing will have an easier time getting accepted than a student with a background in History. However, even if your background is totally unrelated to healthcare, there are steps you can take to boost your chances of getting accepted.

How can I prepare for a Healthcare Administration master’s program?

If you’re considering a career in Healthcare Management, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the field. Schools will want proof that you have a true interest in healthcare management, and that you aren’t just pursuing the degree on a whim.

One of the best ways to gain experience is finding an internship at a hospital, nursing home, or anywhere else that Healthcare Administrators work. If no internships are available, you should consider volunteering at a nursing home or hospice.

Additionally, many professionals are willing to be interviewed by potential students. Discussing the pros and cons of the field with a seasoned professional will allow you to make an informed decision before committing to a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. Even if you can’t find someone in your immediate area, an interview could be conducted over the phone.

Here are a few more ways to gain a better understanding of the field before applying to a degree program:

  • Take a CPR course
  • Go on a tour of a healthcare management facility
  • Read online forums for healthcare professionals
  • Take a quick summer course in Healthcare Management

What are some schools that will accept me with an unrelated degree?

When pursing your master’s, you’ll have the option of working towards several different degrees:

  • Master’s of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
  • Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Management (MBA)

While a MHA focuses strictly on theory and data management, a MBA focuses more on the business side of Healthcare Administration.

Theory Focused

The type of degree that suits your career goals should have a strong influence over the schools you consider. While some schools will offer both options, others will offer an MBA or an MHA exclusively. You should also consider how your bachelor’s degree and prior work experience will complement each program.

Here are several different MHA and MBA programs available for you to consider:

  • George Washington University: This MHA program is ranked #12 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of best Healthcare Management graduate schools. Students also have the bonus of completing their degree entirely online.
  • Johns Hopkins University: This flexible MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration allows you to study from one of the top universities in the country from the comfort of your home.
  • The University of Scranton: Ranked one of U.S. News and World Report’s Top Ten Colleges in the North, the University of Scranton is known for its world-class research facilities.
  • Utica College: This MHA program allows you to customize your education to suit your goals by focusing on Acute Care, Service Organizations, or Long-Term Care.

Regardless of what type of degree you choose, a career in Healthcare Administration is an excellent choice. Even though you won’t usually work with patients face-to-face, you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of countless people from behind-the-scenes. By doing a bit of research and investigating your top programs, you’ll be on the way to greater earning potential and a rewarding career.

Erica Ciko Campbell

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Biology| Utica College

Associate of Science (A.S.)| Herkimer County Community College

October 2019

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