Online MHA Program: What Are the Benefits?

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A health care provider and a hospital administrator talk in front of an open laptop.The American Association of Medical Colleges projects the United States to have a shortfall of as many as 139,000 physicians by 2033. With staffing shortages affecting hospitals across the country, health administration by professionals trained in patient care is crucial.

Health administrators play an important role given the highly regulated nature of health care. Health administration professionals use their specialized skills to keep their organizations running smoothly and efficiently to ultimately minimize costs and avoid compliance issues.

Pursuing a Master of Health Administration (MHA) can set individuals on the right path to make a positive impact in health care. With the convenient option of an online MHA program, earning this degree can quickly nurture the skills to pursue a career in a wide array of health administration roles.

Reaping the Benefits of an Online MHA Degree

The benefits of an online MHA program are many, especially for working professionals. A primary advantage is flexibility, since students can complete their studies from anywhere in the country. They can study on the road while they travel or from home while maintaining their work-life balance. This versatility also helps minimize costs, since most students can continue to work while they pursue their degree and don’t have to spend money on parking or commuting.

Online programs are also flexible when it comes to the pacing of course completion. They often offer varied tracks that can give working professionals the balance they need to continue with their careers while also moving toward their academic goals.

Lastly, an online MHA program is a specialized graduate degree that helps students develop advanced academic knowledge on topics such as leadership, marketing, research, and epidemiology.

The experience of earning an online MHA can be immensely valuable for health care professionals pursuing a variety of roles.

Developing a Robust Skill Set

The learning experience of an online MHA program develops a variety of skills. Essential skills for health administrators range from finance, strategic planning, and health law to soft skills such as interpersonal communication, decision-making, critical thinking, and strategies for data evaluation to measure and improve the quality of patient care.

The duties of health care administrators are complex, and students in an online MHA program work with faculty members to gain insight into this rewarding career. An online MHA program serves to address whatever potential knowledge gaps may exist for someone looking to commit to this work.

Pursuing Career Opportunities

Individuals who complete an online MHA program can differentiate themselves from other candidates who apply to any number of health care administrator positions. An MHA degree showcases comprehensive training in the essential skills of a health administrator, no matter what aspect of the role a graduate may take on.

Health Information Manager

The position of health information manager is critical to maintaining and securing patient health data. Focusing on information technology infrastructure, health information managers must make sure that health data is accessible only to those who need it, when they need it.

Hospital Administrator

Hospital administrators are individuals on the front lines who help make a hospital department run and handle its day-to-day needs. This is a complex role with varied tasks depending on the day, such as maintaining legal compliance or designing a department budget. Hospital administrators work as part of a team or on their own.

Health Care Executive

Health care executives oversee broader responsibilities for a hospital, including staffing, external stakeholder meetings, and overall financial management. They also work across departments to coordinate processes and improve patient services. While some aspects of this role are similar to that of a hospital administrator, the scope of this position tends to be far larger.

Earning a Competitive Salary

When committing to an online MHA program, students need to get a sense of the potential return on this investment. An online MHA program can lead to gainful employment in a fast-growing industry.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of jobs for health services managers to increase by 32% between 2020 and 2030 — much faster than average (8%). The BLS reports the median salary for these managers was about $104,000 as of 2020. This level of pay can be impacted by an individual’s years of professional experience, geographic location, and the type of work they do, as well as the organization in which they work.

Prepare to Advance Your Career with an Online MHA Degree

Health administration plays an increasingly important role in the health care system, for both patients and care providers. Ohio University’s online Master of Health Administration program can help individuals explore the diverse professional opportunities before them. Filling these positions is crucial to ensuring that the potential of our health care system is fully realized. Learn how this program can help you make a positive impact on patient care. 

Recommended Readings:

Career Spotlight: Clinical Manager

How to Become a Health Care Administrator

Hospital CEO Career Outlook and Salary 

Sources:

American Association of Medical Colleges, “U.S. Physician Shortage Growing”

American Public Health Association, Health Administration

Healthline, “Understanding the American Nursing Shortage”

PayScale, Master of Health Administration (MHA) Degree

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers