The MBA is a master’s level business administration degree program that is so well known that folks now use the term interchangeably to mean any type of high-level degree, even if it has nothing to do with business. For prospective students, this brings confusion to their degree decisions. Is the MBA really a generic program that embraces a one-size-fits-all approach?

Add to this the growing health care field that now demands many of its top earners to present with the MHA and puzzlement is complete. To ensure that you can compare apples to apples when selecting the right master’s degree for your career plans, we have put together an MHA vs MBA analysis that makes your choice clearer.

What is the MBA Degree Program?

This program is open to any student with a bachelor’s degree. Learners complete 36 semester credit hours. Most students complete this program in about two years. Core courses prepare you for a broad range of careers in business. Examples of these classes include managerial accounting, human resources, and organizational behavior, as well as marketing management. From there, you have some options with respect to a concentration in a particular field. Choose 12 credits from fields such as international business, project management or human resources management.

What is a Health Care MBA?

Eagle-eyed students will notice that one of the MBA concentrations in health care administration. Its 12-credit classes include coursework associated with health care policy, the management of health care organizations and an overall understanding of health care systems. As such, this part of the MBA program focuses on the business aspects within the health care field and the decision-making processes that take place against the backdrop of standard business ethics and economics.

Is the MHA Right for You?

The Master of Health Care Administration (MHA) prepares the successful graduate for positions of leadership in all health care settings. The program requires the competition of 36 semester credit hours. Of these, 27 credits focus on coursework related to such classes as physician group practice management and public health. Nine credits offer you the chance to add electives that help you define your field of interest. Examples of available classes include health care marketing and human resources management in this field.

MHA vs MBA: Career Tracks

The MBA program opens doors to a broad range of business careers. Sales managers, management analysts, and upper-level executives frequently choose this field of study for careers in various industries. In many ways, the Health Care MBA also offers the versatility of the open market. While it does provide you with a specialization, it also gives you the exhaustive business background that is germane to any field of commerce.

In contrast, the MHA is ideal for the student who knows what she or he wants to make the health care field a professional home. Since there are plenty of public as well as private settings where you can benefit from the focused education you receive, this specialized degree sets you apart from MBA candidates with a more general business-centered education.

Where Do You Want Your Future to Take You?

Medical and health services managers enjoy a positive job outlook. The health care field is growing by leaps and bounds. Since the MHA prepares you for careers in all types of facilities and settings, you do not limit yourself to a narrow scope. In contrast, the MBA opens doors to a broad range of business fields. Yet each of these fields contends with its own industry outlooks, which vary from one profession to the next. It is impossible to suggest that your earning potential with the MBA, or even the Health Care MBA, is higher or lower than that offered by the MHA degree.

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We recommend discussing your MHA vs MBA decision with one of our dedicated admissions specialists. Contact us today to learn more about these fields of study and to chart your new career course with a degree in one of these disciplines.