Taking notice that the job market for healthcare is rapidly growing, many people who decide to pursue an MBA in healthcare management do so because of the career opportunity. Often, these MBA candidates worked in healthcare before earning their degree—or are doing both simultaneously. For these students, earning an online MBA in healthcare management offers convenience, flexibility, and the ability to advance their careers without sacrificing their income.
In the United States, there is a growing need to address the physical, mental and healthcare demands of an aging population. Last year, The Atlantic identified the healthcare industry as the nation’s largest employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for healthcare and medical services will experience a 20 percent increase by 2026. Because business and healthcare are intertwined in the U.S. medical system, there is already ample opportunity for healthcare MBAs.
Career opportunities may include work in any of the following areas:
The curriculum. To choose an online MBA in healthcare program, look closely at the curriculum for that specialization. In addition to the general management curriculum of business school, healthcare management MBAs study strategic planning, health economics, management, policy, and other healthcare-related topics. An online healthcare MBA program should also provide business management courses including business law and compliance, organizational leadership, and corporate ethics.
Who’s teaching? Beyond reviewing the curricula of prospective schools, also consider who will be teaching your courses. Specialized programs are often lead by an interdisciplinary faculty made up of business instructors as well as those who work in law, medicine, nursing, and other behavioral sciences. As someone who will be entering a collaborative field, you will likely find these varying perspectives to be hugely beneficial. You might also look for professors who bring real-world experience and connections into your online healthcare MBA classroom.
How will you learn? Most healthcare MBA programs have connections to local institutions and hospitals, allowing students substantive in-the-field learning opportunities—such as practicum coursework and even direct clinical experience. Keep fieldwork opportunities in mind as you select your online healthcare MBA program.
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Look for accredited programs. It’s important to choose an accredited program for your MBA in Healthcare Management. Accreditation acts as a sort of guarantee, certifying that a program’s curriculum, coursework, and faculty have all reached an agreed-upon standard of quality. This is important not only for your graduate school experience, but also for your resumé; when applying for jobs, you will want to show employers that you attended an accredited—read, high quality—online healthcare MBA program. The two main accreditations to look out for are from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (AABSP). Either accreditation will signal that a program that has met high standards.
Know the alumni. A strong alumni base is important when selecting an online Healthcare MBA. Traditionally, business school alumni groups offer substantial career supports and guidance. Healthcare graduates also rely on alumni organizations for mentorship and job opportunities. As you weigh programs, keep alumni organizations top-of-mind. Those who came before will help you bridge the gap between school and the professional world.
Containing costs and improving medical services are among the most urgent priorities in healthcare today—and managing those priorities requires not just business savvy, but an understanding of the best practices to impact healthcare in a positive manner. More than any other profession, MBAs are poised to meet the leadership and management challenges of healthcare in the United States. With their knowledge of business operations, analytics, marketing, and communication, these degree-holders are uniquely qualified to solve some of the critical problems facing hospitals and other healthcare entities.
If you want to make a difference in the medical field, an online healthcare MBA program will allow you to build dual expertise in business and medicine while benefiting from the flexibility of online study.