The United States' healthcare job market is a particularly fast-growing sector, with social assistance and healthcare forecasted to account for one-third of all new jobs created by 2026.
But beyond growing like crazy, healthcare is also going through a consolidation “frenzy," prompting the healthcare leaders of tomorrow to invest in developing well-honed management chops to navigate these complex changes.
A Master of Science in Healthcare Management (MSHM) degree provides precisely those skills, combining foundational healthcare knowledge with business training, in near-equal measure. While an MBA in Health Administration focuses on business with a healthcare slant, and a Master of Health Administration leans more toward clinical knowledge with a focus on management capacity, an MSHM treads a middle path.
Usually housed in business schools, this interdisciplinary master's degree program prepares students to lead teams, design workflow processes, and plan strategies for healthcare delivery. Healthcare management courses typically cover health policy, organizational behavior, operations and financial management, human resource management, IT systems, quality improvement, and business communications.
When it's all said and done, MSHM graduates are positioned to take top management positions in all sorts of medical and healthcare institutions. Still on the fence about pursuing this degree? Here are nine (more) reasons to get it.
1. You’ll pretty much never be out of a job. With the healthcare industry growing fast and changing rapidly, healthcare management is a considerably secure career path. Job prospects for medical and health services managers look great—and are expected likely to increase by 20 percent through 2026, a far higher growth rate than average.
2. You’ll be prepared to lead. Due to the business focus of the MSHM degree, students graduate ready to take on responsible management positions. They gain skills that allow for the effective leadership of healthcare institutions of all sizes, from financial management savvy to marketing know-how.
3. Plus, you can pursue high-level ambitions. MSHM degrees impart the skills needed to pursue a path to the highest levels of healthcare management. Whether you want to run a small physicians’ practice or lead a major hospital, an MSHM will give you the background you need to make your dreams a reality.
4. You can work in a variety of environments. There are many types of healthcare institutions that need managers at all levels, which means MSHM graduates can look forward to picking and choosing where they work. Healthcare managers often find jobs working in hospitals, doctors’ offices, various types of care facilities, and companies in the medical field, such as pharmaceutical firms and device manufacturers.
5. You’ll earn good money. The average salary for healthcare managers is $60,000 per year, with a range of $40,000 to almost $100,000. Bonuses and profit sharing may supplement that income to make the financial picture even more attractive. Like most other career paths, healthcare managers can expect significant bumps in compensation as they gain seniority and responsibility.
6. You’ll see innovation first-hand. Healthcare is on the verge of what some describe as a “disruption wave". The technological change that has swept industries including retail and media is now impacting healthcare, and managers in the field will be at the forefront of guiding institutions through the complex process of embracing change. That includes grappling with the details and consequences of digitization and other technological changes that are influencing healthcare.
7. You’ll be a business person in the helping fields. As a healthcare manager, you can experience the best of both the business world and the healthcare field. You can use hard-nosed business skills while also feeling the satisfaction of pursuing a career geared toward helping others.
8. You’ll do things that really matter. Healthcare managers are responsible for making sure that hospitals function efficiently, that healthcare practices are sustainable, that innovation is implemented effectively, and many other essential elements of the healthcare field. Simply put, what you do on the daily will make a huge difference to a lot of people.
9. You can transition from clinical care to management. The MSHM degree is an excellent path for those in the medical and healthcare fields who want to transition out of clinical care and take on a more managerial role in their institutions. You’ll learn how to use your technical healthcare knowledge to inform a business-minded approach to healthcare management.
Pursuing an MSHM degree is a good idea for those looking for a business school curriculum contextualized for healthcare. Pursuing this degree will position you to take on managerial roles at all levels of healthcare institutions, taking on challenging and purposeful work that makes a difference to many people. That, and you’ll be at the forefront of a fast-changing and technically innovating field.
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