Why Earn a Master’s in Health Administration (MSHA) Degree?

Lissie Hoover

Medical professional smiling

Healthcare professionals eager to advance into management positions may choose to earn a master’s degree in health administration, also known as an MSHA. By earning your Master of Science in Health Administration, you will build on your foundational knowledge and develop the necessary leadership skills to enhance your professional qualifications.

Benefits of Earning an MSHA

Earning a master’s degree requires diligence and balance, including time devoted to studying and homework. However, students in a health administration degree program receive instruction from experts in the field and explore topics from ethics in healthcare to resource management. Coursework is designed to develop students as leaders while promoting greater knowledge of the healthcare field. Here are a few benefits of earning a master’s in health administration:

  1. Increase healthcare administrator career qualifications: Graduates of this program are equipped to become middle- and upper-level healthcare managers. Many manager-level positions require graduate education in a relevant field of study. The rigors of an MSHA program also reveal a candidate’s dedication to continuous improvement and excellence.
  2. Partake in healthcare growth: MSHA graduates can benefit from the rapidly increasing demand for professionals in this field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for medical and health service managers are projected to grow.* With a health administration degree, graduates are equipped to fill the growing need for qualified personnel to serve in these roles.
  3. Gain industry skills: A master’s in health administration is more than a qualification for management roles—it is a professional development path. Throughout the program, students gain industry-standard skills and explore relevant topics. They learn management skills and methods of analyzing, evaluating and implementing healthcare models.
  4. Personal development: Education is its own reward. Graduates of this MSHA program will achieve personal, as well as professional, development. Earning a master’s degree is an accomplishment that requires self-discipline and a desire to learn. Graduates should feel a sense of accomplishment at the successful conclusion of their master’s program.

Understanding Health Administration Degrees

Learn more about what you can do with an MSHA degree and the university terminology surrounding this degree.

MHA vs. MSHA

Different universities may use different terms for health administration degrees. Two popular classifications include the MHA and the MSHA. Both are master’s degrees involving health administration courses. However, the MHA is a general category for master’s-level health administration degrees, whereas the MSHA is specific to a Master of Science in Health Administration. The differences between MHA and MSHA degree programs depend largely on each university and its curriculum, though both programs provide knowledge related to management and health administration.

Master’s in Healthcare Administration vs. Health Administration

Another phrase that may vary from institution to institution is “health administration,” sometimes replaced by “healthcare administration” or “health care administration.” While there may be slight distinctions based on institutional preferences, these phrases are largely equivalent.

What Can You Do With a Health Administration Degree?

Health administration job opportunities for graduates of an MSHA program are abundant.** While hospitals and clinics are popular choices for employment, graduates can also consider positions in government health agencies, medical equipment companies and even insurance companies.

Relevant health administration job titles may include:

  • Healthcare manager: This title may be used for a variety of roles in healthcare. Possible settings extend to ambulatory health facilities, assisted living facilities, government agencies and beyond.
  • Nursing home administrator: Professionals in this role provide leadership in nursing home facilities, giving direction to staff while attending to business operations and management. Additional responsibilities may include overseeing compliance with legal mandates and promoting positive client relations.
  • Healthcare program director: MSHA graduates are equipped to become healthcare program directors at organizations and colleges. This role includes developing and overseeing health programs that support health education. Healthcare program directors provide administrative support to enhance the quality of learning.
  • Clinic director: The healthcare professionals who manage clinics are often referred to as clinic directors, clinic supervisors or clinic managers. These roles entail a variety of administrative and supervisory tasks, from training new hires to financial operations and staff development.
  • Hospital executive: With a master’s degree and sufficient experience, hospital executive jobs may be within reach for exceptionally driven individuals. These positions may include CEO, president, vice president and other high-level roles in healthcare administration. Each of these positions entails different responsibilities.
  • Healthcare information specialist: This position is frequently found within insurance organizations. Insurance companies need the strong administrative skills of health administrators to promote organization and policy implementation.

Enrolling in a Master’s Program in Health Administration

Many individuals pursuing a master’s degree in health administration are already employed or wish to return to the workforce. Online health administration degree programs can support a balanced lifestyle while advancing your education. An MSHA degree can also be completed by taking evening courses on campus. Learn more about admission to a graduate program and discover how soon you can start your educational path toward vocational achievement. 

Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is committed to preparing students to fill evolving roles in healthcare. To learn about GCU’s MSHA degree and other healthcare degrees, contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page. 

Retrieved from:

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers in February 2021.

**Healthcare Management Degree Guide, Top 20 Jobs for Health Care Managers in February 2021.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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