Should You Get a Healthcare MBA or an MHA?

MBA or MHA, that is the question. Both healthcare MBAs and Masters in Healthcare Administration offer their students the potential to grow as leaders in the healthcare industry. For many, that makes it a difficult choice as to which to pursue.  

That’s why today we’re going to discuss the differences between healthcare MBAs and MHAs. We’ll cover what each entails, and what are the expected outcomes for each such as salary and job opportunities. Along the way, we’ll help you decide which is right for you. 

But first, let’s take a look at exactly what an MBA and MHA are. 

What is an MBA in Healthcare?

An MBA in healthcare is an MBA with a healthcare concentration. More precisely, it’s a graduate business degree that prepares you with everything you need to oversee operations and strategy in healthcare environments such as hospitals and clinics. The curriculum will typically cover finance and management principles mixed with healthcare-specific management fundamentals. 

This degree typically comes in two forms: Healthcare management and healthcare administration. These are easily confused and overlap in nature. In fact, many organizations use the terms interchangeably. That’s why we’re going to cover them both here.

An MBA in healthcare administration focuses on the handling of the day-to-day staffing and human resource demands of healthcare organizations as well as departmental operations. Those seeking this degree are looking to specialize specifically in this role.

Healthcare management on the other hand focuses on the organization as a whole. That means logistics, staffing, operations, and almost anything else you can think of. Pursuing this degree is for those looking to oversee operations on a larger scale. 

What is a Master in Healthcare Administration? (MHA)

Now that we’ve covered MBAs in healthcare, it’s time to answer “what is an MHA?” A Masters in Healthcare Administration is a degree that teaches students how to advance their careers and fill leadership roles in the healthcare industry. The overall purpose is to equip graduates to with the skills to plan, direct and coordinate a variety of healthcare organizations. These skills include a deep understanding of the healthcare industry and problem-solving and innovation as they relate to healthcare. 

The requirements for a masters in health care administration can vary depending on the school. However, the general requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a resume, official transcripts, and any letters of recommendation.

In terms of time, it takes an average of 2 years to earn this degree.  

Why Pursue an MBA in Healthcare? 

An MBA in healthcare can open many doors and provide students with the opportunity to grow in their careers. This comes in many forms which we will outline here. 

Earning an MBA in healthcare can provide:

  • A better understanding of the healthcare industry’s accreditation, regulatory licensure, and compliance policies. 
  • Understanding of the economic supply and demand as it affects the healthcare industry
  • A diversity of perspectives on healthcare management decisions 
  • An understanding of technology in the industry. 
  • The ability to identify and understand the major challenges facing the industry, and how to develop strategies to address them. 
  • Networking opportunities with other healthcare professionals. 

Beyond these immediate benefits, an MBA in healthcare can prepare the student for a career in healthcare administration. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for healthcare administrators will grow by at least 20% by 2026 as the U.S. population continue to grow and age. As such, an MBA in healthcare will increase your chances of securing one of these high-demand positions. 

Why Get a Masters in Healthcare Administration? 

Similar to an MBA, an MHA degree can open a lot of doors in the healthcare industry to higher-paying leadership positions.

Here are some other reasons to consider an MHA. 

  • A competitive edge when applying for hotly contested positions
  • An MHA provides leadership skills specific to the healthcare industry
  • Potential to specialize in specific healthcare organizations 

What can I do with an MBA in Healthcare? 

When a student graduates from an MBA program, it’s only natural to ask what to do after an MBA in healthcare. It’s also naturally a difficult question to answer, and not for a lack of options. Rather, answering this question is difficult as there are so many options available to MBA healthcare graduates that it can be hard to choose. 

These include positions such as healthcare policy analyst or strategic project management.

Here are some entry-level and other jobs you can expect from an MBA in health care as well as what you can expect to earn in each position. 

Entry Level Jobs for MBA in Healthcare

Other Jobs for MBA in Healthcare 

What Can You do With a Masters in Healthcare Administration? 

MHA graduates face a similar problem – a graduate degree can open so many doors that it can be difficult to choose. If you find yourself asking what jobs can you get with a masters in healthcare administration, take a look at the list below.

MHA graduates will find there are many entry-level positions suited to them such as hospital unit clerk or medical office manager. What’s more, those pursuing this education will find themselves posed to take more senior positions such as clinical director or hospital administrator. 

Entry Level Jobs for Masters in Healthcare Administration

Other Jobs for Masters in Healthcare Administration

  • Hospital Administrator – According to Payscale, this position earns an average salary of $88,447.
  • Health Information Management Manager – According to, this position earns an average salary of $94,691

Average Salary Comparison 

With these job opportunities in mind, it’s worth asking how much does an MBA in healthcare agent make as opposed to an MHA holder. On average, MBA graduates earn more than MHA holders. What’s more, MBA holders typically experience more opportunities for promotions and pay raises.

66% of Quantic’s MBA graduates, for example, see a promotion within the first six months of graduating. Another 23% see significant salary increases within that 6 months. 

MBA in healthcare management salaryMasters in healthcare administration salary
$84,000 $79,000

*Estimated averages for MBA and MHA from Payscale

Are These Degrees Worth it? 

Advancing your education is always worth it as a matter of personal growth, but a boost to your career certainly doesn’t hurt either. However, for those that are strictly conscious of the cost-to-benefit ratio, we’re going to explore what makes these degrees worth pursuing. 

Is a Healthcare MBA Worth it? 

When calculating the ROI of your MBA, you need to look at what the education cost you and how long it will take you to recoup those losses. This is more than just tuition money, however, we have to consider the additional costs as well as the benefits that come with an MBA program. For example, should you have to stop working to pursue a program, you must consider the lost income during that time.

In terms of benefits, we’re talking more than just the salary of your new position after graduation. We’re talking about networking opportunities and differentiation in the job market. An MBA program provides its students with the opportunity to meet similar-minded professionals from around the world to add their network of friends and colleagues. Meanwhile, an MBA alone will set you apart from the competition in the hiring process. 

On the other hand, the primary downside to an MBA is that it typically does little for those well-established in the healthcare industry for many years.

At the end of the day, though, a healthcare MBA is certainly worth the investment of time, money, and effort to achieve more in your career.

If you’re looking to maximize the ROI on your education, consider Quantic. Quantic not only provides a superior education with networking opportunities with exceptional fellow classmates but also offers scholarships and an employer-funding tuition model to help students afford the program. 

Is a Masters in Healthcare Administration Worth it? 

The same principles of measuring the ROI of an MBA apply to an MHA. You have to consider the cost of the degree compared to the time it will take to recoup those costs. With a marginally smaller average salary than MBA earners, naturally, this will take longer. 

In terms of the time it will take to earn the degree, the average program typically takes two years to complete. For part-time students, this extends to three years. However, during that time, graduates of MHA programs often earn a year of work experience as part of their studies under the supervision of existing healthcare leaders.

MHAs also typically do not provide the same networking opportunities that we see in the MBA program. 

However, despite the drawbacks, an MHA still equips graduates with a variety of opportunities across public service, health, and policy positions in the healthcare industry. As such, this degree is also worthy of consideration.

So, is a masters in healthcare administration worth it? Reddit users discuss the subject on a regular basis. It’s worth joining the conversation to find more information.

Masters in Healthcare Administration vs MBA in Healthcare

Both MBA and MHA programs typically take approximately 2 years to complete. In terms of costs, an MHA is, on average, less expensive than an MBA. However, MBA alumni receive a higher average salary than their MHA counterparts. 

However, the key difference comes down to what each program focuses on.

Those interested in working with the business side of the healthcare industry rather than healthcare will be interested in the MBA. Typical MBA in Healthcare programs focus on a business-first approach to education. That means their students will take more classes in finance, economics, marketing, and accounting than their MHA counterparts. At the end of the day, MBA graduates possess a broad understanding of management with specialized knowledge on the business side of healthcare.

Naturally, this means those pursuing MHAs can expect the opposite. Although there is much overlap between the programs, MHA is less business-focused.  Rather, the MHA curriculum focuses on healthcare-specific topics. These courses, for example, will likely include care delivery, the ethics of medicine, healthcare policies, and health law. As such, an MHA is best for those looking to focus on the medical side of healthcare management. 

Best MBA for Healthcare? 

Although both of these options are valid and worthwhile options for many potential students, some will find an MBA in a non-healthcare specialization the best option for them. Quantic provides an innovative and effective approach to MBAs, allowing students to achieve more in their fields in ways they never thought possible.

For example, as technology continues to rapidly advance, the need for that technical expertise branches across industries. As such, a software degree stands to be the modern-day equivalent of medical or law degrees when it comes to administration. 

Quantic’s MBA program allows STEM-minded individuals to succeed in almost any industry today with the right application of education and experience. Quantic students enjoy an accelerated 15-month program of study designed specifically for the early career professional with leadership potential. Our innovative approach combines interactive technology and collaborative group study in a structured and flexible format. 

So, if you’re ready to advance your career, Quantic is here.

An online MBA from Quantic can help you every step of the way from having no experience to being a seasoned professional. Apply today. 


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