What Can You Do with a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare?

What can you do with a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare degree? The short answer is a lot! This powerful degree combines industry specific healthcare training with holistic business coursework to help you advance into leadership positions such as hospital administrator, pharmaceutical brand manager, or even Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

For a more detailed answer that includes salary information, potential career paths, and degree program information, keep reading.

The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare sector hosts a variety of businesses that range in purpose and require different education levels for leaders and employees. Some healthcare businesses provide treatment or clinical services, but not all healthcare businesses are treatment focused. Many healthcare businesses focus on manufacturing medical equipment and pharmaceuticals or providing health informatics, and insurance companies provide coverage to eligible clients.

Working in any part of the healthcare field requires a holistic understanding of the industry’s fundamentals and of your selected specialization. Work experience can help familiarize you with day-to-day operations for various healthcare positions. However, combining education and experience by earning a master’s degree in health is the best way to set yourself up for success and usher in prestigious career advancement opportunities.

Why the Master of Business Administration?

Master of Business Administration in Healthcare degree program not only provides a crucial foundation in healthcare but also includes professional development trainings and traditional business courses to refine your leadership skills. Current and prospective healthcare professionals both stand to benefit from the soft skills, business acumen, and industry expertise gained in a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare (Healthcare MBA) program. 

This degree is particularly lucrative for several types of medical professionals, as well. A Healthcare MBA prepares nurses, doctors, and specialists to advocate for their ideas, influence major facility decisions, and be part of the business conversations that directly impact funding, equipment, research, and patient services. 

A Healthcare MBA also provides medical professionals a path to transition from the patient-focused sector of healthcare to the business, investment, and technology sectors. Finally, medical professionals seeking a combination of business and patient-focused work can become Medical Directors or Medical Directors of IT with a Healthcare MBA under their belt.

Now, let’s explore accreditation and certifications for Healthcare MBA programs, and then we’ll evaluate your employment outlook and possible career paths upon program completion.  

Healthcare MBA Accreditation 

There are other graduate certificate programs and master’s degrees in healthcare administration, healthcare management, and public health, but a Healthcare MBA is the only program that unifies broad business and healthcare education. Other programs often approach business concepts specifically through the lens of the healthcare industry. A Healthcare MBA widens the scope of your business acumen by combining industry study with comprehensive courses in corporate finance, marketing management, accounting for managers, and more. 

Not all Healthcare MBA programs are created equal, and your program's quality greatly impacts your degree's return on investment. Beyond curriculum and faculty, you should pay attention to two additional program details when considering a Healthcare MBA: (1) program accreditation, and (2) certifications gained in the program.

Program accreditation refers to whether a program has been evaluated for quality assurance. Graduate healthcare degree programs can acquire accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the AACSB if they are part of a business school.

CAHME- accredited programs undergo a voluntary peer review process to verify program and curriculum quality. Achieving CAHME-accreditation requires the highest level of program excellence and dedication to continuous improvement. An AACSB- or CAHME-accredited degree is required for military Healthcare Administrators, but a CAHME-accredited degree like FIU’s Healthcare MBA benefits any prospective healthcare professional.

Healthcare employers know the difference between CAHME-accredited and unaccredited programs. Recruiters prefer graduates from accredited degree programs for top managerial, senior administrative, and C-suite level healthcare leadership positions.

Healthcare MBA Certifications

Certifications incorporated into your degree program can also set you aside from the competition and better prepare you for career success. For example, graduating with a Lean Six Sigma certification demonstrates your efficiency in management and your dedication to continuous improvement. Try to find degree programs that include certifications in their curriculum to maximize your return on investment, like FIU’s Healthcare MBA program.

Employment Outlook and Possible Career Paths 

Healthcare is a growing industry with high potential for short- and long-term career advancement. Nearly 2.4 million new healthcare jobs will emerge over the next eight years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for healthcare occupations overall is projected to increase by 15% from 2019 to 2029Job growth for healthcare managers specifically will increase by 32% in the same time frame. 

Nearly 2.4 million new healthcare jobs will emerge over the next 8 years.

Healthcare professionals with the right graduate degree can expect plenty of opportunities to step into managerial, administrative, executive, and other leadership positions. As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of healthcare businesses and jobs that range from entry level to executive and from contractual to full time and salaried. Graduates of a Healthcare MBA program can typically expect full time, salaried positions at leadership and management levels. However, MBA grads are also well prepared to found and launch their own clinics or healthcare businesses if that is their preferred path.

Below are quick facts about several prominent healthcare positions for professionals with a Healthcare MBA. Please note that these positions and salaries typically require graduate degrees

Leadership and C-Suite Positions

Healthcare CEO

  • What is the role of a Healthcare CEO?
    • CEOs in the healthcare industry are essentially responsible for overseeing the entirety of their healthcare facility in terms of performance, efficiency, equipment, funding, medical resources, safety, and ethical practices. The CEO works with the other members of the executive and leadership teams to inform organizational strategy and management. As you can imagine, working as a healthcare CEO is no small feat, which is why an adequate graduate degree program is vital for success.
  • How much does a CEO make?
    • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, CEOs in healthcare earned a median salary of $160,950 in 2020. However, due to how the pandemic affected the stock market, some healthcare CEOs saw salaries in the millionsin 2020 according to an Axios analysis of financial filings.

Healthcare CIO (Chief Information Officer)

  • What is the role of a Healthcare CIO?
    • CIOs strategize ways for an organization to leverage its technology and information systems to outperform competitors. In the context of healthcare, a CIO typically oversees operations, purchasing, and performance for a facility’s or organization’s information technology department and assists the other members of the executive team in guiding strategy.
  • How much does a CIO make?

Healthcare CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

  • What is the role of a Healthcare CFO?
    • CFOs basically operate as the head of finance for their organization. Their responsibilities can range from overseeing and approving budgets, acquisition, partnerships, and revenue to investment strategy or personnel management. A healthcare CFO may find themselves deciding which facilities deserve more funding or what organizational initiatives are worth a financial investment. The CFO often works closely with the CEO.
  • How much does a CFO make?

Pharmaceutical Brand Manager

  • What is the role of a pharmaceutical brand manager?
    • Pharmaceutical brand managers supervise the branding concepts and marketing strategies for pharmaceutical companies. Their primary goal is generating company revenue via marketing campaigns designed to increase brand awareness, quality leads, and reach and to nurture consumer retention.
  • How much does a pharmaceutical brand manager make? 

Hospital Administrator 

What does a hospital administrator do?

Hospital administrators organize and supervise the health services and day to day operations of a hospital or healthcare facility. Regular duties include (but are not limited to) managing staff, coordinating departmental communications, supervising patient care and treatment, and managing budgets. Strong leadership and communication skills are vital in this role. 

How much does a hospital administrator make?

According to salary survey research conducted by the Eri Economic Research Institute, hospital administrators make an average salary of $378,000 in the United States. 

Healthcare Administrator

What does a healthcare administrator do?

Professionals with healthcare administrator jobs direct the operation of hospitals and other healthcare facilities and are sometimes called healthcare managers. They oversee and manage facility programs, staff, and external relations. Careers in healthcare administration require a level of education beyond high-school or trade school. Bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees are often necessary.

How much does a healthcare administrator make? 

A healthcare administrator’s salary depends on the type of facility they work for and whether their position is specialized. For example, the median salary for nursing home administrators is $119,596, which is higher than the average health administration salary. Healthcare administrators can expect an average salary of $87,000 working in general roles according to Payscale.com.

Any questions?

To ask specific questions or to learn more about FIU’s Healthcare MBA program, attend a virtual information session.

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