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Herzing Staff

MBA vs. MSHA: Which One is Right for You?

Familiarize yourself with the similarities and key differences of these pathways, and how specific healthcare concentrations can help you ultimately reach your career goals.

Are you looking to advance your healthcare career? As communities continue to feel the effects of the ongoing healthcare crisis, the demand for highly qualified and ambitious individuals is increasingly important, creating opportunities for you and others to make an impact. You can elevate your experience by going back to school and exploring the possibilities of new career opportunities.

With so many pathways available to healthcare students, it can feel overwhelming to try and pinpoint exactly which program is right for you. Two of the most popular degree pathways for those who see themselves as future healthcare leaders are a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science (MS) in Healthcare Administration. Even though these two degrees vary slightly, they could both position you for a long and rewarding career — it depends on where your interests are and how you want to navigate your future.

Familiarize yourself with the similarities and key differences of these pathways, and how specific healthcare concentrations can help you ultimately reach your career goals. 

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

An advanced degree in healthcare management focuses on transforming healthcare workers into strong leaders at the forefront of healthcare reform. Those equipped with an MBA can be a catalyst for positive change within the field by improving healthcare systems from the ground up. In addition to traditional healthcare-related training and education, MBA students focus heavily on developing skills in financial literacy, process improvement, and team management. 

Prospective healthcare managers can earn their MBA in as little as 12 months, streamlining the transition from the classroom to a variety of healthcare settings in which they can work. Some of the most common applications of this rewarding degree include careers as a health information manager, hospital administrator, pharmaceutical project manager, and policy analyst. 

MS in Healthcare Administration

Similar to an MBA, earning your MS in Healthcare Administration will prepare you for a leadership-oriented position, where you’ll play a large role in creating policies to improve healthcare systems. However, healthcare management focuses more on “big picture” needs, involving leadership in healthcare systems and organization-wide initiatives, whereas healthcare administration focuses on the specific individual department, as well as budgets, day-to-day operational oversight, and staffing. 

Examples of applications for an MS in Healthcare Administration include healthcare consultants, directors of nursing, clinical director, data analyst, and finance manager. Program lengths range from 16-32 months, depending on degree choice, and will prepare students for success by providing hands-on experience and opportunities to practice the valuable skills they’ll use every day of their career, including time management, leadership, and organizational skills. 

Most administrative healthcare work is within a hospital setting, but a growing number of professionals are finding work in private clinics, nursing homes, and nurse education centers. Healthcare managers are entrusted to oversee large departments, and sometimes even an entire hospital. These individuals are truly some of the most essential leaders in all of healthcare.

Selecting the Best Path for You

No matter which program you pursue, both can set you up for long-term success in healthcare. Herzing University offers program pathways for those interested in an MBA, as well as an MS in Healthcare Administration.

Take the next step in your educational journey and discover the difference you can make with an advanced education that fits your interests.

Learn More About Our Healthcare Programs


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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