IS WORK EXPERIENCE NECESSARY BEFORE APPLYING TO A MHA PROGRAM?
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There are many ways in which relevant work experience can benefit you when apply to a Master's in Healthcare Administration degree program. Not only can professional experience in healthcare or a related industry give you the hands-on experience necessary for career advancement, it could also be the difference between gaining admission into a competitive program or choosing to undergo a less-than-reputable path.
Work Experience While Studying for a Bachelor's Degree
Even if you are spending 35 to 40 hours per week on your studies, you may still seek acceptable work experience. While it is not necessarily a requirement for completion of a healthcare administration degree program, many educational institutions offer students the opportunity to complete an internship while they study. Internships that will benefit a major in healthcare administration may not be centered in the healthcare industry. In other words, you may find roles in human resources, information technology, accounting and other types of business roles as well. These positions will provide you with an overall view of the professional world before you finish the degree program and help you to decide whether an advanced degree is right for you.
Related: Top 15 Cheap Healthcare Administration Master's Degree Online Programs
In order to find the right listing for your background and goals, you may inquire at your university's Student Affairs department or search online databases that feature these opportunities. Not only is there a chance that you could be paid for your on-the-job experience, you could also receive a job offer for a permanent position after you graduate.
Professional Options for Bachelor's Degree Graduates
If you wish to enter a professional studies program such as a Master's in Healthcare Administration degree program, professional experience is a must. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, typical entry-level education for medical and health services managers is a bachelor's degree, and many employers require applicants to have some work experience. While requirements will vary depending on the educational institution, most schools require graduates to have at least two to three years of relevant work experience. Make sure you understand the requirements before you decide between a Master of Healthcare Administration degree and a Master of Business Administration in Health Management degree.
There are a number of areas in which you can apply to gain experience in either healthcare administration or general business. Look for entry-level administration roles available through research facilities, hospitals, advocate groups, public health agencies, long-term care facilities, networks and health insurers. If you find a position outside of the healthcare industry that is of interest to you, make sure that it connects in some way, shape or form to your healthcare goals. For instance, if you wish to run a marketing department for a health network, seeking work experience in marketing within a different industry will show you are still committed to your path.
It can be difficult to gain admittance into a health administration program if you do not have a strong academic history or have no experience in a related role. Since the demand for healthcare administrators is increasing, more students are looking to enroll in these degree programs. Ensuring that you have two to three years of practical experience in addition to a strong educational background will increase your chances of acceptance into a Master's in Healthcare Administration degree program.
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