The healthcare industry continues to play a significant role in the U.S. economy. By 2028, national healthcare expenditures are projected to skyrocket to over six trillion dollars. This represents nearly twenty percent of GDP. As healthcare organizations struggle with soaring costs and the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re seeking more effective and efficient ways to offer patient care. This means more healthcare managers can utilize the latest technologies and strategies to keep data and staff organized. With an advanced degree like an online MBA with one of the top healthcare specializations, tomorrow’s managers can prepare to be change-makers and leaders in the evolving and high-demand field.
Healthcare managers plan and direct the operations and services of healthcare organizations and departments. They help these firms adopt new policies, government regulations, and healthcare technologies and systems. An Online MBA with a healthcare specialization is designed to give students the in-depth skills and knowledge healthcare managers need to compete in a growing job market.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare managers have many responsibilities. These responsibilities include:
- Representing their organization in meetings with policymakers, investors, and the community
- Training, managing, and scheduling staff members
- Organizing and updating records across their organization
- Monitoring billing, fees, budgets, and financial infrastructures
- Collaborating with technicians, physicians, and nurses to improve patient care
To get your start in this exciting career, consider pursuing an online MBA with an exciting healthcare specialization. While the healthcare landscape is vast, there are specific healthcare specializations you can consider to empower your degree as a distance learner. Here are the top ten online MBA concentrations in healthcare currently available.
Health Care Business
An online MBA in healthcare business program strives to unify business concepts across siloed business disciplines, allowing distance learners to engage in decision-making from a comprehensive perspective. It is a great healthcare specialization to pursue. Included in this type of program is group projects. They stimulate peer interaction and build a learning community among MBA students. These projects mirror real-world business environments, where professionals frequently work in teams to solve issues.
A program may include 30-45 core credits and typically nine credits of specialized coursework. Many online courses are asynchronous, meaning students are not required to log in at a particular time. Synchronous meetings are sometimes made available for students who prefer higher levels of engagement. Specialized courses in the healthcare business can include
- introduction to health systems
- health service organizations
- healthcare delivery centered on trends, problems, and issues
- application of economics to markets and government in healthcare
Health Care Marketing
An online Master of Business Administration in healthcare marketing program provides the preparation and knowledge required for marketing leaders in not-for-profit, governmental, and business institutions in the healthcare sector.
For decades, the MBA has been recognized as the key to success in large and small organizations. The MBA is a broad-based, general business degree program that integrates and incorporates the study of organizations’ operational, organizational, and financial management. MBA graduates with a degree in healthcare marketing gain a strategic view of their organizations while often using teamwork to problem solve while promoting their organization effectively. A healthcare marketing specialization is perfect for students interested in the healthcare industry. These professionals provide business knowledge and capabilities specific to healthcare products and services.
Health Economics, Policy, and Administration
Whichever career track working professionals in healthcare are on, they can position themselves for the promotions they desire with an online MBA in health economics, policy, and administration. Health economics is as relevant today as it ever has been in business leadership. The cost of healthcare, public policy, aging populations, and healthcare access are among the many issues online MBA students consider within the curriculum.
Because business students can become some of the next generation’s health economics leaders, they need the analytical skills and critical thinking to navigate the evolving industry. Nurses often search for tools that center on practical and ethical ways to manage and distribute scarce health care resources to maximize outcomes and value. Distance learners who choose an online MBA specializing in health economics, policy, and administration can move into careers as
- public health professionals,
- healthcare executives,
- medical physicians,
- purchasing agents,
- data analysts,
- and more.
Whatever their career track, online MBA students use economic concepts to understand how organizational decisions made at levels of business and government affect health care cost, access, and quality.
Healthcare isn’t the only leading business sector. Big Data is another leading sector. The marriage of the two is health informatics, an exciting healthcare specialization. An online MBA in Health Informatics offers specialized training in the informatics aspects of health, social and behavioral science, and information science and technology, as delineated in the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
This stellar business degree emphasizes health information science and technology. It’s focus is to train the workforce in meeting the expanding need for healthcare experts. After completing this program, graduate students demonstrate a basic understanding of health informatics methods and social and behavioral science theories. They can also demonstrate advanced knowledge of these concepts, methods, and tools with a perspective on the current challenges of health informatics.
An online MBA in health informatics gives students the chance to demonstrate their mastery of computerized tools of information technology and science applied to health. The curriculum includes lessons on integrating social, behavioral, information science, and technology concepts and methods. MBA students also learn the intricacies of evaluating, designing, and implementing solutions to health informatics issues.
A healthcare analytics-focused online MBA develops a graduate student’s analytical skills and creative abilities. This program helps students learn to understand data and use it to make sound predictions and explain how it affects the bottom line. This program results in graduates who are prepared for today’s industry issues and trained as forerunners in tomorrow’s workplace.
Teamwork, regular discussions, and collaboration provide vital network building and engagement at the center of every online MBA in healthcare analytics. This healthcare specialization is popular with clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals. It prepares graduates to lead change within their organizations. The field of healthcare analytics is dynamic. It constantly evolves with issues disproportionately influencing the healthcare industry, including the COVID-19 pandemic. This MBA program aims to produce graduates with the skills to support the healthcare industry, manage big data, and make sound decisions based on that information.
One of the most popular healthcare specializations to pursue is healthcare management. Since today’s global marketplace is evolving, online MBA students seeking a degree in healthcare management learn to stay a step ahead. They also learn to truly lead wherever they set their sights in the business world.
Distance learners gain the same skills full-time on-campus MBA students do. Online MBA students do so from anywhere they need to be at any time of day. This flexibility is helpful to the current healthcare professionals working full-time. Many of the nation’s best business schools feature many start dates each year; from there, the pacing is up to the student. Some online MBAs in healthcare management allow students to complete the program in less than a year or take up to five or more years to complete.
The curriculum within this program reveals different leadership theories and models. In addition to the various theories and models, an online MBA examines leadership from a practical perspective. Across theories, there are standard and effective leadership practices. These practices represent a foundation for exemplary leadership. When business students master these practices, they will effectively lead healthcare departments, teams, and organizations. An online MBA in healthcare management is a wise choice for tomorrow’s healthcare business leader.
Innovative HealthCare Leadership
Graduate students enrolled in an online MBA in innovative healthcare leadership learn and apply the design thinking system to the healthcare industry. They also can develop an understanding of the psychological principles that include innovative thinking, human behavior, and problem-solving.
Leading innovation requires healthcare business leaders to lead by example. This starts by them gaining empathy and asking the right questions rather than making unilateral decisions. Students explore healthcare innovations like those developed in response to COVID-19.
Upon completing an online MBA in innovative healthcare leadership, graduates can evaluate the strategic reasons for incorporating human-centered design within their organization’s existing practices. They can also implement the phases of the design thinking process as they analyze how human-centered methods create transformational opportunities. An innovative healthcare leadership curriculum cultivates effective strategies for building a commitment to innovative practices by identifying influences for change and anticipating resistors. This program has it all.
Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing
A pharmaceutical & healthcare marketing online MBA is designed to accelerate business professionals’ careers by enhancing their marketing knowledge through academic study and applied experience in the healthcare industry. This high-powered MBA is not just an MBA with a specialization. It’s a program designed for professionals ready to accelerate their careers in biotech, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical device, healthcare, and more.
Graduates who pursue a pharmaceutical & healthcare marketing online MBA are primed to secure middle- to senior-level management positions. These professionals shine as
- healthcare marketers,
- pharmaceutical marketers,
- market researchers,
- clinical researchers,
- product managers, and
- pharmaceutical salespeople.
Master’s students obtaining a pharmaceutical & healthcare marketing online MBA study strategic approaches to the complicated business and marketing-related issues in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. They also learn to provide alternative strategies and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of those approaches. This online MBA is a great choice.
An online MBA for physicians is designed for physicians prepared to improve the clinical outcomes, financial performance, and staff and patient experiences in healthcare organizations. Some of the best business schools in the nation that offer this type of program work with organizations like
- the Physicians Foundation,
- the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and
- the American College of Surgeons.
These schools feature a proven track record of bringing new science of medicine and management to physicians.
An online MBA for physicians offers a rigorous, hybrid curriculum with balanced onsite/online coursework. Practicums are designed to fit within healthcare providers’ schedules and the critical responsibilities of practicing MDs, DPMs, DOs, DMDs, and DDSs. These programs are often structured as accelerated 12-or-16-month programs with some residential sessions. Off-campus time is spent taking webinars, preparing individual studies, and engaging in distance blended learning. After graduation, they have the skills to create and lead management initiatives that improve patient care indicators, improve fiscal insight, and empower organizational strength.
An online MBA with a public health concentration fuses business with public health management. Enrolled students gain solid strategic business skills centered on public health. A public health concentration is perfect for those interested in or involved in the Healthcare, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, and Occupational Health industries.
The MBA program provides students with an overview of how the healthcare system in the United States works. Students learn about federal, state, and local administration of healthcare services and the implementation process. This all-star curriculum covers the fundamentals of probability theory, univariate statistics, supervised and machine learning, and statistical computing/programming/visualization. Students apply what they learn in class to real-life health examples like clinical trials, health policy, infectious disease, and data collected from national databases. Enrolled students can expect traditional and experiential learning applied to real-life population health data that equips them with statistical tools to answer pressing population health problems. This online MBA in healthcare has a lot going for it.
Now that you know which specializations in healthcare are some of the nation’s best, it’s time to consider action plans for digging deeper into the process as you consider an online MBA. Here are a few steps to take in your journey:
Begin By Asking Yourself: What Am I Passionate About?
Many aspects of a career affect how you feel about it. There are the day-to-day responsibilities, the needed hours, the salary, the level of autonomy, and job security. But a passion for the job should be high on the list. If you don’t have passion, will you spend the time, energy, and money needed to earn an advanced degree?
Talk to Folks in Healthcare
Do your homework. Look up BLS stats for the jobs you want. Read blogs about and by the people who have the jobs you’re considering. Then take it a step further by talking to them. Researching the areas you’re interested in means taking your research beyond the internet. Going and talking to people will get you a real feel for what they do.
Learn Degree Requirements
There are many educational options within healthcare. These include certificates, undergraduate or trade degrees, and advanced degrees like an online MBA. These programs are featured at career schools, brick-and-mortar colleges, and online universities. When researching a desired career, explore all educational requirements. Find out if you need a certificate, a bachelor’s, or more. This will save time and hassle in the future. Good luck!