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MBA in Healthcare vs MPH Public Health

January 11, 2021 5:48 pm0 commentsViews: 2872

When you are thinking about a master’s degree, it is common to weigh degrees that are different in scope. If you are interested in health care, you may be thinking about getting an MBA in healthcare or an MPH, which specializes in public health. Which degree you choose will hinge upon your career goals and interests.

To help you make the correct career decision, below are more details about the MBA in Healthcare and the MPH.

What Is an MBA in Healthcare?

For many professionals who work in or have an interest in healthcare, many will choose to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in healthcare. Some professionals with a business background decide to earn an MBA in healthcare because they want to attain a business leadership role in a healthcare facility or healthcare related company, such as an insurance or pharmaceutical company.

Other professionals may have a healthcare clinical background, such as a nurse or physician. They may want to transition away from the clinical setting that involves long hours and night shifts, and move into a business administrative or managerial role.

To emphasize, an MBA in healthcare is usually the best choice for a professional who wants a career centered on the business and administration side of healthcare.

Jobs Available for MBA in Healthcare Graduates

The business healthcare field generally is a highly attractive one; millions of new healthcare jobs will be added to the US economy in the next decade. These jobs and workers need smart, savvy and talented healthcare business professionals to lead their organizations.

For example, many healthcare in MBA graduates decide to become a healthcare administrator, or healthcare executive. Healthcare administrators play a vital job in coordinating, planning and directing medical and healthcare services. They often work in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and nursing homes.

Healthcare administrators are very important in boosting the efficiency and quality of delivering healthcare services, and must ensure that staff and the facility are completely up to date and compliant with federal rules.

Hot Job Tip

One of the growing areas for healthcare administrators with a healthcare MBA to work is in outpatient services and health practitioner offices. A major trend that has been developing for the past decade is a shift from hospital inpatient services to outpatient services.

This is happening because inpatient services are traditionally very expensive. Given the demand for more efficient healthcare services and lower costs, many procedures that once were done in a hospital are being done in outpatient care centers.

Plus, major improvements in medical technology are enabling outpatient care centers and doctors’ offices to be able to do more complex procedures. Therefore, healthcare administrators with an MBA should have an inside track on upper management and administration jobs in outpatient care services.

Healthcare administrators of all stripes generally make good money, with a median salary of $96,540 being common as of May 2016.

MBA in Healthcare Online Degree Options

For professionals who want to work in the business side of healthcare administration and management, an MBA in healthcare could be the best fit. Jump to 50 Best MBA Degrees Online for 2017 many in healthcare management and administration.

Our research has concluded that the following online MBA in healthcare is worth considering:

Drexel University

The online MBA offered at Drexel University is an accelerated program that can be completed in 18 to 24 months. It is an AACSB-accredited program that features the intensity, quality and rigor of the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University. The MBA program is rated as among the top 15 online programs according to the Financial Times.

Drexel University’s top tier business administration faculty will help you to master all of the fundamentals of the healthcare business. You also will identify and hone your leadership strengths, and will learn how to think strategically about healthcare business problems with quantitative data.

The online MBA curriculum at Drexel University is comprehensive and stresses advanced business practices, in addition to leadership, ethics, modern technology, and various industry perspectives.

The healthcare concentration has been made for business and healthcare professionals who want to learn how to manage delivery systems. It also is well suited for managers in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. All of the classes in this concentration are designed to instruct you in the economic, regulatory, political and technological forces that are influencing the global healthcare industry.

In addition to your MBA core classes in finance, accounting, leadership and IT subjects, you also will take the following healthcare focused courses:

  • BUSN 651 Healthcare Business Practice I: Foundations
  • BUSN 652 Healthcare Business Practice II
  • BUSN 653 Healthcare Business Practice III

What Is a Master of Public Health?

A Master of Public Health or MPH is a graduate degree that helps students and professionals to advance in the public health field. Public health is the art and science of preventing diseases, helping people to live longer, and promoting good health practices through educational efforts and good societal choices.

Public health focuses on broad community efforts to promote good health through concerted efforts to protect the health of vulnerable populations. These types of populations might include the working poor in a rural or urban community.

Earning an MPH degree will develop your skills to become a public health leader. You will learn to manage, develop and reorient health services to fight community health problems and inequalities.

Jobs Available for MPH Graduates

An MPH degree is intended to provide you with skills in public health so that you can transition into these types of jobs:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Health educator
  • Occupational health manager
  • Health and safety engineer
  • Environmental scientist

Earning a public health degree is the best choice for you if you are interested in the public health side of healthcare, rather than the business side. Also, note that working in public health means that you will be generally focusing on community level interactions, rather than individual, patient interactions.

Hot Job Tip

An area of substantial job growth today in public health is that of health educator. A health educator is a public health professional who teaches community members about behaviors that lead to better health.

Health educators develop new plans and strategies to boost the health of individuals and entire communities. Health educators may work out in the community, or may be on staff in a healthcare facility. The health educator profession is a hot job growth track because health care prevention strategies are recognized today as the best way to keep people in good health and reduce health care costs.

The National Prevention Strategy as laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that good health outcomes can be assured by stopping diseases before they stop. This is done by making sure air and water are clean, and our foods, job sites and outdoor spaces are healthy.

The increased focus on preventative healthcare means health educators will see more job demand in the near future: a growth rate in this field of 32% is anticipated by 2029, and the median wage is $104,280 per year.

MPH Online Degree Options

Our research concluded that this online MPH program is of high quality:

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins U offers a very high quality online Master of Public Health that can be completed in either 11 months, or in two to three years, depending upon your schedule and needs.

According to the JHU website, the student demographics are as follows:

  • 50% doctors and medical students
  • 10% nurses dentists, and pharmacists
  • 40% educators, administrators, lawyers and researchers

The typical online MPH student takes one to three courses per semester. The program has pre-recorded lectures for the most part, so you can learn on your own time table. Each class has hard deadlines for class assignments, but it is up to you when to complete them.

Approximately 80% of this program may be completed online in your home. The last 20% is completed on campus, which adds up to four weeks of on campus time over the two or three year period.

Your core classes are in these areas:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Health Management
  • Public Health Practice
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Education


An MBA in healthcare and an MPH degree are both excellent educational options. If you think that you want to work in the healthcare business and healthcare administration, the MBA is probably the best choice. But professionals who want to work on preventative healthcare and community health would be better off with an MPH.