During the past several years, competition for open jobs posting has been stronger than ever. With more people looking for work, job seekers need do to as much as possible to make their resumes stand out from all the others on the employer’s desk. Earning an MBA in Healthcare Management will increase an applicant’s chances for landing the job. While going back to school can be a scary proposition for individuals who have been in the work force, the impact upon a career track should outweigh the fear. An MBA in Healthcare Management will open new opportunities and increase the likelihood of success. However, not all MBA programs are the same. A potential post-graduate student should carefully examine the options and make a wise decision. Here are seven key things to consider when looking at and choosing an MBA program in Healthcare Management.
1. Accreditation – Potential graduate students should always choose an accredited school when pursuing a master’s degree. Accreditation means the school’s academic program has passed the standard of excellence and a student’s work will be recognized at another school should the student need to transfer or further an education in a doctoral program. One accrediting organization for an MBA in Healthcare Administration is the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education.
2. Location – A school that doesn’t require the potential graduate student to relocate may make the most sense for a person with strong ties to the community where currently residing. However, for students with no or fewer ties to a community it may be prudent to relocate, temporarily or permanently, to be able to attend a school with a strong MBA program in Healthcare Management.
3. Standing – Some MBA programs in Healthcare Administration are stronger and have a better reputation than others. Good business magazines rank school programs nationally and regionally every year. A wise graduate candidate will take the time to research the school and examine which ones match personal needs and have the highest ranking. Schools with high rankings will often brag making this information easier to obtain. A graduate’s ability with an MBA to land a better job increases in proportion to the reputation of the school attended.
4. Course Work – The curriculum at an MBA program in Healthcare Management should factor into a decision about which school to attend. There are several key questions to ask regarding the course work. What is the school’s educational philosophy? What teaching methodologies do they employ? Do they have a specialization in the area of interest or electives in those areas? Is work experience factored into the program? Is an internship required? If so, how many hours is the required internship? When addressing these questions, the answers should fit within the knowledge and skill base the potential graduate student most desires.
5. Time Commitment – How long will it take to complete the program and earn the degree? What is the time commitment required per class – both in and outside of the classroom? Does the program allow students to work toward the degree on a part-time basis? Are classes offered during nights and weekends or online for students who need to continue working while earning a master’s degree? All the questions need to be asked and the choice of school will partly depend on how the answers match the potential student’s needs.
6. Admission Requirements – Not every potential graduate student will meet the admission requirements for every school. An MBA candidate needs to make sure that under-graduate education and work experience meet the school’s standard before applying. Additionally, a student may be required to take the GRE exam and obtain a certain score before being considered for admission. Knowing this information will save time, money and frustration, keeping the potential student from rejection letters.
7. Cost – Post-graduate education in not cheap. Research the fees and know what the overall cost to earn the degree will be. It also will be helpful to research what types of financial aid are available including scholarships, grants and student loans. Some employers also offer education assistance or tuition reimbursement. There may be some stipulations attached to an employer’s financial assistance with the cost of continuing education such as passing the course with a minimum grade or agreement to work for the organization for a certain time period post graduation. While the cost of education is substantial, remember that individuals with an MBA can demand more in compensation from their employers for the increased knowledge level. Additionally, the increased education will open doors to high positions with better pay.
There are many things to consider when choosing an MBA program for a degree in Healthcare Administration. Each school will supply much of the information a potential graduate school student needs to make an informed decision. Wise students also will take the time to visit each school personally getting a feel for the campus and program first hand before applying. However, taking the time to earn an MBA in Healthcare Administration can make a huge difference in a career track.