Are you an Allied Health professional? Do you feel that it’s time to make the next leap forward in your career? Hospitals, HMOs, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and other health care agencies are increasingly searching for Allied Health professionals with graduate degrees in health care. Earning a graduate degree in health care can push you up the corporate ladder quickly.
What Graduate Degrees Are Available?
Graduate degrees are usually a Master’s Degree or a Doctorate (PhD) degree. A master’s degree is a graduate degree awarded to students who complete one to three years of concentrated study in a specific field. A master’s level education can mean entry into a profession, the chance for promotion in an existing position, or personal enrichment and achievement. Remember—only three percent of Americans ever earn a Master’s degree, so the letters ‘M.S.’ on a business card command respect. A Doctorate degree requires an additional four or more year of school, and is primarily a research degree requiring intensive study on a specific subject.
Of course, graduate school differs from your undergraduate days. The coursework is significantly more demanding–and more interesting–and the students are more determined and goal-oriented. There are a myriad of programs for grads in health care, as well as continuing education programs for allied health care professionals.
The most common master’s degrees in the field of health care administration and health care management are:
- MHA: Master of Health Administration
- MHA: Master of Health Care Administration
- MHSA: Master of Health Services Administration
- MPH: Master of Public Health
- MBA: Master of Business Administration: Health Sector Concentration
There are many similarities among these graduate degrees in health care, and all can be found among the top health care management programs in the field. It is important to consider the type of career you are interested in, and investigating of the above degrees will best suit your goals. MBA programs tend to provide a general management core followed by courses specializing in health care, while MHA and MHSA programs tend to provide health care content throughout the program. MPH programs tend to have more of a public sector orientation. Joint degrees are often possible, but require additional time and study, but these programs for graduates in health care do exist.
Other Graduate Degrees
But these are not the only graduate degree programs available in the health care industry. Here is a small list of additional—and more specific—programs available.
- Speech Pathology and Audiology—Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences. This graduate degree in health care serves either as professional preparation for clinical certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or as preparation for graduate study leading to the Ph.D. degree.
- Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders. This graduate degree in health care offers students specialization in speech and language pathology, communication science, or audiology.
- Doctor of Audiology. This graduate degree in health care trains future Doctors of Audiology who have a broad range of skills and experiences that will allow them to operate clinically and professionally at an independent and high level.
- Doctor of Physical Therapy. This graduate degree in health care is a clinical entry-level Physical Therapy program.
- Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies. This graduate degree in health care prepares the student to enter clinical practice as a Physician Assistant in a variety of clinical settings. The major aim of the program is to prepare primary care practitioners.
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. This graduate degree in health care in enables the student to develop advanced critical reasoning skills and to prepare the graduate for professional practice in a variety of settings.
Whatever Allied Health career you are interested in, earning an graduate degree in health care will guarantee you success in your profession, giving you greater job security and additional personal and financial satisfaction. If you are an Allied Health professional, consider earning a graduate degree today.