There are many online master of healthcare administration (MHA) programs available. When searching for an MHA program that best prepares you for hospital administration jobs, it’s important to consider factors such as flexibility, alignment with the industry, whether the program is competency-based, the strength of the alumni network, the location of the school, and the support offered to online learners.
The good news is there are plenty of choices for earning an online MHA. As you start your search for a school that will prepare you for a hospital administration job, keep the following in mind. These factors can indicate when a school is a good choice for you.
How to Choose an Online MHA Program
Convenience and Flexibility
This is perhaps the best-known advantage of online courses. Healthcare professionals were once hesitant to enter graduate school because they did not have time to attend classes on campus while working full-time. “Now, with online learning, students can attend class from wherever they have an Internet connection. This is especially important for healthcare professionals, many who work in high-level positions, who want to move into management and hospital administration jobs.
Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College engages business experts to help design the MHA curriculum based on the skills needed in the healthcare industry. This ensures students gain the skills and knowledge healthcare employers want to see in their new hires.
Students can focus on gaining the skills they need rather than going over what they already know. The competency-based MHA program allows students to earn credits for a class once they can demonstrate their mastery of the subject. This gives students credit for the years of experience they often have working in a professional healthcare environment.
Boston College Network
Schools such as Boston College offer both a great reputation and extraordinary student and alumni networks. As a student at Boston College, graduate students join a large network of students and alumni who support each other in both overcoming academic challenges and in their careers after graduation. New students are also invited to Innovation Weekend, an immersive event with classmates, faculty, and members of the industry advisory board.
The Boston Connection
Choosing a school that has connections to the Boston area such as Boston College is a smart move for those who want to work in a vibrant market. The Boston metropolitan area has the third-highest number of “medical and health services managers” in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The city also offers one of the highest salaries in the nation, with a mean annual pay in May 2018 of $140,700.
Another element of a top online MHA program is the support they give students. One fear is that, as an online student, you will somehow get “lost in the shuffle.” The best online MHA programs offer one-on-one support from trained personnel who can guide graduate students on both academic and career issues.
These are some of the elements you want to see in an online MHA program. Take the time to choose the program that best prepares you for the hospital administration jobs you hope to attain.