Introduction: Career Progression in Health Administration
In the modern world of professional healthcare, there is an increasing variety of roles within health administration which offer challenging and valuable careers to professionals ready to work both in the field, and in the classroom.
In recent years, the developed countries have developed their healthcare systems to the extent that alongside the provision of direct healthcare, issues of cost, access and quality within public health have become of primary concern. As healthcare systems become more accountable, the professionals employed in delivering them need to be better qualified to deal with the elements involved. Across the United States, a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) is now the standard credential for health administrators.
However, across the healthcare service, this raises an important question for providers; how to ensure that healthcare administration professionals attain the appropriate qualifications to progress within the industry, without losing the valuable experience they already have and the services they provide, while they study for the qualification.
An online Masters of Healthcare Administration degree offers the answer, as it is designed to provide access to the qualification through distance learning, enabling the student to continue with his or her career, while studying from home or from the office. Ideally suited to mid-career professionals, it welcomes the practical experience these students can bring to their studies, and provides them with a vital chance to develop their career.
The programmes have been designed by experienced academic faculty teams with an in-depth knowledge of health administration and of teaching adults who are already developing their own career paths. The availability of internet-based resources makes distance learning as effective as classroom experience, and is ideal for busy and committed professionals.
Many programmes can be completed in two years, using a module-based format which engages the student fully and uses realistic examples which encourage the student to apply knowledge directly in his or her workplace as the course progresses.
If you’re already out there in the front line in the vital and growing industry of healthcare administration, but are looking for the challenge, security and career potential the MHA qualification can offer, an online Masters in Health Administration programme could be for you, enabling you to stay on the job while you study, and earn while you learn.
In most countries, applicants are required to hold minimum a four year undergraduate degree and have a minimum period of professional experience in the health system. The curriculum, however, varies between universities.
Other advantages of internet-based distance MHA programmes include the ability to connect with the central resources of the academic faculty and with other students, the possibilities afforded for developing a network of relevant professional contacts within the industry, and total flexibility in terms of time.
Healthcare administration professionals often work long or irregular hours, and being able to log onto the teaching modules 24 hours a day is an invaluable advantage. Course content can be updated continually to take account of developments within the industry and specific issues which arise from any student’s study programme. You can contact your tutor at midnight, or deliver an assignment on a Sunday if it suits you!
Many MHA graduate programmes are offered within medical schools, however these tend to take a more traditional, theoretical approach, whereas courses offered by colleges or institutes of allied health may allow more opportunities for practical work experience.
However, an online course reflects the best of all worlds, in that it places great value on ongoing work experience, whilst offering academic and technical advancement. This combination of knowledge of the developing healthcare environment through continued work, and consistent up-to-date study means that distance-learning MHA graduates are highly valued, and noted for their ability to meet organizational goals and solve complex problems, using a combination of current and relevant experience and well-learnt theory.