Health/Health Care Administration/Management  Interviews


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dotWhat to Expect

A program in health-care administration is like business school with a health-care focus.

Stephanie Argentine was primarily interested in health administration, but she took an indirect route. She chose an MBA program at the University of Buffalo. Her undergraduate degree was in speech pathology.

Argentine notes that though many people pursuing a master's in health administration have bachelor's degrees in fields like nursing or health sciences, a health background is not essential.

"A health-related bachelor's degree is a nice addition to a resume if the person has a sincere interest in that area, but it is not a requirement for success in health administration," she says.

Working in teams on class projects is very common in her program, she says. Many professors assign a few students to work on one project idea. This way, students learn how to interact, communicate, analyze and solve problems as a team.

Some people choose administration as their undergraduate degree, but since master's programs in health administration teach you business skills, this is not necessary. "I know some of my classmates who were undergraduate business majors regretted the redundancy of their coursework," says Argentine. "There is plenty of time to specialize at the graduate level."

Anita Marciniak took the master's program in health administration at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

She says she averaged about 20 hours of homework per week for two classes, which included reading, working on class projects or studying for tests.

How to Prepare

Marciniak recommends that students coming into the program have basic computer knowledge. In addition, a background in business and marketing can be helpful.

She also advises students not to fall behind in weekly assignments. "This is not a walk in the park, and you must be ready to make a significant commitment of time and energy. The key is to be focused on your goals and committed to attaining them," she says.

"None of the work is particularly difficult, but there is a lot of it," says Argentine. "The name of the game is time management. This is how real-world business is as well. Your daily tasks are not in the nature of solving global warming or creating world peace, but in a multitude of tasks which all require your attention."