At perhaps no time in our nation’s history has an industry been more important socially, economically and even politically than healthcare is right now. Healthcare is an important economic engine that drives not only local economies, but sets the tone for national economic growth. As leaders in their local communities and on the national stage, healthcare administrators work in one of the “top jobs” in the United States. For students wanting to join this exciting field, the question often arises whether they should pursue a Bachelor’s in Business Administration prior to their MBA in Healthcare Administration. The short answer is yes, your BA will help prepare you for coursework in your MBA program. It will also give you additional skills throughout your healthcare career.
Finance, Marketing and Economics
Key areas of learning in any MBA program in Healthcare Administration include finance and marketing. These subjects help to prepare an administrator to assume oversight responsibilities as well as generate additional income streams. In addition, you will have classes in micro and macro economics. Understanding economics and economic policy will help you meet the needs of not only of your institution, but will allow you to position your company for profitability and success.
Every well trained healthcare administrator will need to have top notch skills in information technologies (IT). Business administration programs routinely include IT classes, emphasizing fluency not just in business systems but in managing those systems. This academic grounding will prepare a student for the MBA environment and advanced IT training.
As an interdepartmental manager or as the head of a healthcare institution, effective management skills will be part of a healthcare administrator’s daily leadership function. An MBA student taking management classes will find that an introduction to theory, behavior, management and management strategies will provide the academic grounding they need for their MBA program.
Social and Ethical Issues
Nearly every decision a healthcare administrator makes will have to be weighed against social policy questions as well as ethical dilemmas. In your bachelor’s program, you will have an opportunity to begin to understand these core issues.
A healthcare professional is responsible for understanding business law in order to provide leadership as their institution interfaces with larger social systems on both a local and national level. These classes are introduced at the bachelor’s level and are offered again when a student trains in an MBA program.
Finally, core classes in statistics are offered to baccalaureate students to help a student become comfortable reading and interpreting statistical data. An MBA student will need to understand best practice literature in the field. This has implications not only in terms of management, but it is an important benchmark of good healthcare services.
The mission of a healthcare administrator is not just to be a good manager, but to be focused on:
- improvement of health systems
- Students who have grounded their education in a Bachelor’s of Business Administration will find themselves well prepared to advance these skills at the MBA level.