If you think you want to pursue a career in the healthcare industry, you may be wondering whether it’s worthwhile to obtain a graduate degree in healthcare administration. Is an advanced degree necessary to obtain a good job in this field? What advantages would you have if you were to earn a Master’s degree in healthcare administration that you wouldn’t have with just an undergraduate degree? Read on to explore some of the possible career paths and the corresponding answers to these questions.
Possible Career Paths for Candidates Holding Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration
Specialists in healthcare administration hold a variety of job titles. Some of the possibilities are as follows:
- Medical services manager
- Director of medical services
- Health services manager
- Healthcare executive
- Healthcare administrator
- Healthcare manager
- Hospital chief executive officer (CEO)
- Medical director
Minimum Academic Requirements for Becoming a Medical Services Manager
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of employees working as medical services managers hold bachelor’s degrees. Many of them have also obtained Master’s degrees. To qualify for the most competitive and desirable medical administration positions, the experts at the BLS recommend earning a Master’s degree and gaining experience with healthcare IT systems.
Earning Potential for Bachelor’s Degree Graduates Versus Master’s Degree Graduates in Healthcare Administration
This is a field where academic credentials directly affect earning potential. Elka Torpey, an economist working in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, has written an article exploring the question of whether it’s worthwhile to earn a Master’s degree. In the article, she reveals that medical administrators holding bachelor’s degrees earn annual median pay of only $70,000 US dollars. In contrast, medical administrators holding Master’s degrees earn annual median pay of $90,000 US dollars.
Because of the increased earning potential and the greater availability of rewarding jobs, some candidates will find it extremely worthwhile to pursue a Master’s degree in healthcare administration. If future earning potential is your most important criteria for determining whether to pursue a Master’s degree, there can be no doubt that it would be beneficial to successfully complete a graduate degree program.
However, thanks to the significant rising demand for healthcare administration staff, there is room in this niche for individuals who do not obtain graduate degrees.
Regarding the question of whether it is worth getting a Master’s degree in healthcare administration, the answer is yes if you want to invest time upfront in order to maximize your long-term earning potential. The answer is also yes if you want to have your pick of the best possible job opportunities.
The answer is no if you would be satisfied with earning less income over the course of your career, but you have an urgent need to begin your career and generate income as soon as possible. In this situation, you also might have to be willing to settle for working at one of the healthcare administration jobs that other candidates would consider to be less desirable — perhaps working in a healthcare facility that is comparatively less prestigious or in a less affluent geographic location where the healthcare facilities are not as well funded.
Whether or not you decide to pursue an advanced degree in healthcare administration, the job is a generally a rewarding one that offers a comfortable salary range. An advanced degree does offer you advantages, but it is not a necessity. We hope this information is helpful to you in deciding whether or not you think it would be worth it for you to get your Master’s degree in healthcare administration.
Related Resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Healthcare Administration