health administration jobs
For those looking to land health administration jobs. here's latest ranking on the fastest, cheapest and best Master's programmes in the US. Source: Shutterstock

Healthcare administration is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses leadership, management and administration of public and private health providers in all the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. A Master’s in this field prepares students for health administration jobs, which require both business acumen to manage an organisation and the education to understand the field’s many policies and regulations.

Jobs open to Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) holders are usually in the senior managerial and planning roles in the health services and systems sectors, such as clinical manager, hospital administrator and operations manager.

In 2018, Americans spent more than US$3 trillion on healthcare alone, a figure that is predicted to rise by 5.5 percent annually. As populations grow and age, healthcare systems increase in complexity and demand for professionals in this field will continue to rise. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment of healthcare administrators is expected to increase by 20 percent from 2016 to 2026.

But with thousands of colleges and universities in the US alone, selecting an MHA that meets your standards in quality, speed and price is no easy task.

Rankings are far from ideal, but they do offer a baseline of information for aspiring healthcare administrators to find the right institution for them (provided students are aware of the intricacies of the ranking’s methodology).

One such ranking is by Best Health Degrees, an online site on healthcare degrees and careers, which last week published its 2020 rankings of the best Healthcare Administration Master (MHA) degrees in the US.

Assessing five key factors – cost, graduation rate, job placement rate, reputation and student satisfaction – the top MHA programme for 2020 is by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

These universities make up the top 10 best MHA programmes in the US:

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  2. Medical University of South Carolina
  3. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  4. University of Iowa
  5. Ohio State University
  6. Texas A&M University
  7. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  8. Boston College
  9. University of Florida
  10. University of Colorado Denver

According to BHD editors, “a traditional, on-campus degree remains the best option for others, especially students who do not have a lot of prior work experience”. Mentors, hands-on learning and networking opportunities are the advantages of such on-campus programmes, something that could “make all the difference in landing a lucrative healthcare administration job after graduation”.

However, online programmes were also assessed to reflect the growing demand for more flexible courses to fit many working professionals’ schedules. “An online MHA is ideal for those who have already been working in healthcare for a while, and need a flexible, convenient way to increase their credentials”. Because of those advantages, “For working adults in healthcare – whether in lower-level staff positions, or early management careers – an online Master of Health Administration degree will help advance their career.”

These are the top 10 best online programmes in the US:

  1. University of California, San Francisco
  2. CSU Global Campus
  3. University of Michigan
  4. University of Minnesota
  5. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  6. Oklahoma State University
  7. Texas Tech University Health Sciences
  8. George Washington University
  9. Georgetown University
  10. George Mason University

Pursuing a Master’s degree is a big investment for many. Thus, it’s equally as important to select institutions with a track record for quality, but also those with affordable price tags and shorter time frames. Recognising this, MHA programmes were also ranked according to affordability and speed.

The 10 most affordable online MHA degrees from accredited and reputable institutions are:

  1. Texas Woman’s University
  2. Montana State University
  3. Texas Tech University Health Sciences
  4. Texas State University
  5. University of Central Florida
  6. California State University, East Bay
  7. Austin Peay State University
  8. Concordia University Irvine
  9. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  10. Weber State University

For those prioritising speed, these 10 US universities offer an accelerated online MHA through short, intensive courses, credits for work experience, waivers for prerequisite courses:

  1. University of California, San Francisco
  2. Louisiana State University
  3. Saint Joseph’s University
  4. Liberty University
  5. Weber State University
  6. Western Governors University
  7. Grand Canyon University
  8. Briar Cliff University
  9. Union Institute and University
  10. University of Saint Francis

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