One of the first choices future health care managers make is deciding on the right academic path to launch their careers. Most end up weighing an MBA vs. MHA. While there are differences between the two, both graduate degrees provide professionals with the skills and knowledge to become successful health industry leaders.

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program focuses on learning the best practices in all aspects of business, from corporate finance to organizational behavior. An online Master of Science in Health Care Administration (MHA) program focuses on integrating business practices into a health care setting and studying health policy, health economics, and other health-related topics.

Both provide the education needed to excel in health administration and management. They also are highly valued in an environment where most health organizations want managers with master’s degrees. And demand is high, with the number of health care administrators projected to increase 32 percent by 2030.

What Is Health Care Management?

As the health care industry continues to grow rapidly, managers become increasingly important. While most professionals in the health industry focus on patient care, managers and administrators work to keep operations running smoothly.

The terms “health care manager” and “health care administrator” include many different job titles. For example, there is the top administrator at a hospital and the heads of large departments. Health care professionals also work as community health managers, nursing administrators, health information managers, patient service representatives, and medical office managers.

Whatever the position, a health manager focuses on the business side of the medical field. They also ensure that hospitals, clinics, or other health organizations comply with complex state and federal health regulations.

The Differences Between an MBA and MHA

Either degree supports professionals who want to excel in health care leadership. However, differences between an MBA vs. MHA make one more attractive than the other, depending on the student. The following looks at some of those differences.

What Is An MHA?

In an MHA program, the curriculum focuses on topics relevant to running a modern health care operation. These include health economics, health care informatics, and health care policy. The MHA curriculum focuses on learning business skills in a health care environment. In the Point Park University online MHA program, courses include:

  • Accounting for Health Care Managers
  • Financial Management of Health Systems
  • Marketing and Strategic Planning in Health Care
  • Global Health Care Administration and Management
  • Ethics and Leadership for Health Care Managers
  • Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis for Health Care

The Point Park MHA 36-credit program takes from 1 ½ to two years to complete.

Why People Choose an MHA

Earning an MHA is often the best choice for those planning on staying in health care throughout their careers. With its emphasis on applying business strategy to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, and other medical operations, an MHA prepares graduates specifically for health industry leadership.

What Is An MBA?

An MBA sets the standard for education needed to enter management in any industry. Students in an MBA program learn advanced business skills to prepare them for leadership. It’s a more general business degree not focused on one sector. It also delves deeper into business-related issues. In the Point Park University online MBA program, courses include:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Global Environment of Business
  • Legal Environment of Business
  • Marketing
  • Corporate Finance
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Managerial Economics

The Point Park 36-credit online MBA program takes 1 ½ to two years to complete.

Why People Choose an MBA

Earning an MBA prepares graduates to lead any program successfully. Professionals with an MBA lead organizations in many different fields, including health care, marketing, management consultancy, human resources, and finance. Typically, those earning an MBA intending to enter health care want the flexibility of an MBA education should they decide to switch industries later.

Become a Healthcare Leader

Point Park University offers online MBA and MHA programs designed for working professionals. Both provide students the flexibility they need to earn a graduate degree while continuing to meet workplace and family responsibilities.

The university also offers active support to students in both programs. Enrollment counselors work with students in the degree programs, offering them advice and consultation at every step of their academic journey–including choosing between earning an MBA or MHA.

Whatever program they choose, Point Park University provides the support, experienced faculty, and rigorous academics that will allow them to achieve their career goals. Both MBA and MHA online programs offer working adults a much more convenient way to earn a graduate degree and advance their career in health care.