Healthcare Administration vs. MHA Degree

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An MSM degree grooms students for a managerial role in many industries. Many MSM degree programs today allow students to go even further and choose a specialization in healthcare administration. However, a Master of Science in Management with this specialization does not restrict itself to the healthcare industry.

Students pursuing an MSM degree with a concentration in healthcare administration might consider other types of degrees as well. For some students, an MBA may focus too much on business administration and an MHA on healthcare skills. An MSM in Healthcare Administration could offer a middle ground by optimizing the management program for the healthcare sector.

Although the actual coursework in an MSM in Healthcare Administration program differs from school to school, it is typically more focused on general business management. Students are first required to complete general management courses covering subjects like organization, leadership, economics, marketing, finance, business ethics, corporate responsibility, and international business. They are then divided by their respective specializations during the final semesters, where those opting for healthcare administration take courses specific to the healthcare industry, such as healthcare ethics and laws.

An MSM in Healthcare Administration program can help candidates become more skilled at making effective policy decisions while working in managerial positions in  healthcare organizations. It imparts the necessary knowledge and skills required for strategic thinking, problem-solving, positive interpersonal relationships, innovation, and leadership.

Who Should Work Toward an MSM in Healthcare Administration Program?

An MSM in Healthcare Administration is a suitable degree for candidates looking to work in managerial positions in healthcare settings like hospitals and research facilities. It may help candidates build necessary skills in managerial disciplines like policy making, information systems, and facility management to address the concerns related to the overall management of an organization as opposed to the day-to-day operations of the facility.

Additionally, experienced healthcare professionals working in patient care and other operational departments of a healthcare organization may want to equip themselves with an MSM in Healthcare Administration to acquire the necessary business skills needed to transition into the management side of healthcare.

Further, students from different educational backgrounds may want to shift toward the healthcare industry. An MSM in Healthcare Administration offers a chance for such students to work in the healthcare sector, despite not having an undergraduate degree in a related area.

An MSM in Healthcare Administration might also be a good choice for those who do not want to enter the core healthcare industry but are looking for job opportunities in related sectors like health insurance, pharmaceuticals, rehabilitation centers, and private consultancy.

Students pursuing an MSM in Healthcare Administration without any experience in the healthcare industry may need to take an additional healthcare-focused courses to break into the industry, especially if they are looking for an operational job profile.

Job Opportunities for MSM – Healthcare Administration Graduates

Master of Science in Management graduates with a concentration in Healthcare Administration may qualify for top-level positions in the healthcare sector, which come with greater responsibilities, higher salaries, and better benefits packages than typical clinical jobs. Students can look forward to career options ranging from working as an independent consultant to managing a private healthcare enterprise.

Some of the common job opportunities for a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Healthcare Administration graduates include clinical manager, hospital administrator, and healthcare executive.

Graduates may be employed in a wide variety of medical settings, including the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Health insurance companies
  • Medical institutes
  • Medical regulatory authorities
  • Medical technology companies
  • Healthcare management consultancies
  • Research laboratories
  • Educational institutions
  • Outpatient care facilities
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Biotech companies
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Elder-care organizations
  • Surgical centers
  • Private practices

You Can Pursue an MSM in Healthcare Administration Program Online

Some MSM in Healthcare Administration programs can be pursued online, allowing students to earn a degree in less than two years. Some universities also offer rolling admissions throughout the year so students don’t have to wait an entire year for enrollment.


An online MSM program offers the following benefits:

  • Students get round-the-clock access to courses
  • Students can earn a degree from home

Features to Look for When Choosing an Online MSM Program in Healthcare Administration

There are several common features students can expect and should look for when pursuing an online MSM degree:

  • The university offering the program should be accredited by an appropriate organization, body (for example, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges), or authority (for example, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education).
  • Students should look for a program developed and taught by experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in the field.
  • The university should have a good network of alumni. Students should look for a university that lets them connect with its alumni for career guidance and opportunities.
  • Student support is important in an online program. Most universities have dedicated staff to guide students in their area of study.


Master of Health Administration (MHA)

An MHA program is typically targeted at developing skills for managing hospitals, healthcare organizations, and public health infrastructure. It places more emphasis on applied healthcare experience and focuses on topics like health policy, operations improvement, healthcare economics, and human resource management. The curriculum also often includes financial analysis, marketing, business planning, and strategic management.

MSM in Healthcare Administration vs. MHA: Difference in Career Goals

The healthcare-focused approach and specialized curriculum of an MHA program may be ideal for candidates who are committed to working in the healthcare industry and want to hone their skills to meet the challenges of this field. An MHA program can help students familiarize themselves with areas like medical research, treatment, staffing, and patient care.

A Master of Science in Management – Healthcare Administration degree, on the other hand, deals with the bigger picture. Its business-focused approach may be beneficial for those looking beyond clinical facilities to a potential job related to health insurance, medical equipment, or pharmaceutical sales.

Master of Science in Management – Healthcare Administration graduates can also seek employment in other sectors if they change their minds later and want to explore opportunities outside the healthcare industry. Visit New England College online to get more information about the program.


Masters in Health Administration

New England College

Bureau of Labor Statistics