With the advancement of new technology and methodologies, the healthcare sector is growing incredibly fast. This has resulted in an increase in demand for healthcare professionals by opening up countless opportunities.
Two major career roads for advancement in the healthcare sector are Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Administration (MHA). Both degree programs prepare their students with valuable skills. Yet, the course programs for both degrees concentrate on different issues. One must keep in mind a range of key factors while deciding which degree program to choose among MPH and MHA.
A Masters of Public Health (MPH) focuses on research, education, and policy advocacy for the welfare of the public in a population. It focuses on examining and tracking diseases that may occur instead of treating patients in a healthcare facility. An MPH can play a role in the prevention of any pandemic.
A Masters in Health Administration (MHA) is appropriate for students who have an interest in management. An MHA program focuses on training individuals for efficient administration in a healthcare setting. The main focus of an MHA degree program is to develop leadership and management skills. MHA professionals enhance the quality of care that a patient receives in a healthcare system.
Are you confused about choosing between the two fields? A few pointers below for MPH VS MHA will help you decide which program is best suitable for you.
Although the eligibility criteria for getting admission in MPH or MHA program are different for every university, an individual’s educational achievement plays a vital role in the selection process.
Following are some requirements for a master’s in public health:
- An above-average academic record. A GPA of 3.00 to 3.50 is necessary for the undergraduate degree program
- The student will have to present their GRE score
- Proficiency in English tests such as are important such as IELTS (score greater than 6.5) or TOEFL (above 90)
- Certifications related to the healthcare field will also be a plus point
Some prerequisites for the MHA program are:
- A student must hold a bachelor’s degree in relevant fields such as health maintenance, management, or administration
- An undergraduate degree in business administration is also acceptable
- Some universities require students to have prior experience in the field of healthcare
MHA degree mainly focuses on healthcare and leadership challenges. The MHA degree program includes subjects such as healthcare management, healthcare analytics, and financial management. Students also take courses on organizational behavior, marketing, human resource management, and economics.
On the other hand, the MPH degree program curriculum comprises coursework covering biological sciences, biostatistics, and public health policy. Environmental health, epidemiology, social and behavioral determinants of health are also a part of this program. Through these courses, MPH graduates can have a proper understanding of healthcare issues in the context of the public at large.
Students looking for career opportunities that focus on a broad spectrum of healthcare leadership roles choose the MHA degree program. However, students with a deep interest in the science curriculum and the spread and control of disease prefer MPH.
DEGREE COMPLETION TIME
The timeline for completing an MPH varies from one student group to another. Full-time students pursuing a master’s in this field require two to three years to complete their degree. However, this is not the case with part-time students. These students have part-time job responsibilities, therefore, take relatively more time to finish the MPH program.
Full-time MHA students also finish their degree within a period of two to three years, just like an MPH. However, MHA programs usually offer an internship opportunity for these students in their third year. This internship experience allows them to practice theoretical knowledge and enter into the world of practical training a lot faster. In contrast to full-time students, the MHA program offers some relaxation to part-time students. They can take up to three to four years to complete their masters. These students can adjust their workload and balance life by taking up an online MHA program.
Work opportunities for MPH and MHA graduates are different. If you are an MPH graduate, you can either work in the government or private sector. Federal or regional offices, naval organizations, public or private clinics will be your targets to search for a job. No matter which organization you are part of, MPH graduates have to work collaboratively with the team and staff. Their key responsibility is to form strategies for educating people and implement them. They also guide individuals on necessary precautions one must take to avoid pandemics and harmful viruses. You will also be able to work in areas of healthcare and medical research, and epidemiology opening up even more exciting job prospects.
Whereas an MHA graduate solely works with healthcare organizations. They mostly play the role of administrators and look after the managerial responsibilities. They work in different departments such as human resource management, public relations campaign, marketing, and accounts.
The demand for leaders in the public health sector is ever-increasing. Good leaders and skilled managers are responsible for saving millions of dollars in their healthcare organization and enhancing the quality of service and results. According to the BLS survey, the employment rate of healthcare managers is more likely to grow by 32% from 2019 to 2029. Thus, the salaries of such top-level leaders are highly competitive, easily going above six digits per year.
MPH graduates may not have high remunerations initially compared to MHA graduates, but they have ample career opportunities that come with perks, especially if they land a government job. Nonetheless, one must be mindful that salaries depend on location, experience, and assigned tasks.
It is evident that both degrees have their individual worth and sense of personal satisfaction. Choosing one over the other might seem like a difficult task. If you are having a hard time selecting a program that matches your goals, here’s a tip! Make a mental note about your interests and passion. If you like research work, educating people, and spreading awareness about various diseases, an MPH is your pick. If working in the management and administration of health-related institutions piques your interest, then enroll in that MHA program already!