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Online MBA in Healthcare Management: Learn How to Navigate a Challenging Field

Heart set on a healthcare MBA? This article walks you through the academic aspects of earning the degree. Find out what sets the UT Tyler program apart from Dr. Tammy Cowart, Graduate Program Director of the College of Business and Technology. The article concludes with three reasons to choose UT Tyler and the benefits of a fully online program.

Demand for health services managers will continue to increase

The growth in healthcare consumption translates to a strong demand for health services managers or healthcare managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job category will add 56,300 positions between 2014 and 2024, so the field offers opportunities for advancement into leadership roles.

Challenges specific to healthcare management include having to keep up with changes in healthcare laws and regulations.

How Is a Healthcare MBA Different From a Standard MBA?

In a nutshell, you’ll gain the same solid foundation in business fundamentals as a standard MBA along with the specialized knowledge required for a career in healthcare management.

In the UT Tyler Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Online, you’ll take nine core courses that cover general management and three concentration courses focused on healthcare. This adds up to a total of 36 credit hours for 12 courses.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online MBA in Healthcare Management?

Students average 18 to 24 months at UT Tyler. You can finish in as few as 12 months or take as long as five years. If you take one course per seven-week term, you’ll finish in two years. UT Tyler’s fully online program means you can pace yourself and take only as many courses at a time as will work for your schedule.

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Q&A with Dr. Tammy Cowart, Graduate Program Director, UT Tyler College of Business and Technology

How does UT Tyler’s Healthcare MBA help students prepare for healthcare management careers?
With this particular program, it’s important for students to understand that this is an MBA. It is a master’s in business administration, and so it’s distinguished from, for example, a master’s in healthcare administration or something along that line.

So students get the traditional MBA curriculum. They get accounting and finance and operations management and leadership, just like you would in a traditional MBA program. But … the examples that we use in class and the case studies tend to have a healthcare focus, so that the learning is more relevant to students in the healthcare field or those who are wanting to transition into healthcare.

In this particular degree … [the additional electives] are all geared toward healthcare. So we offer Introduction to the American Healthcare System, Healthcare Marketing, and also a special topics course in Healthcare Management.

In addition, many of our faculty have expertise in healthcare. Two of our marketing professors, [Dr.] Kerri Camp and [Dr.] Barbara Wooldridge, are writing a new healthcare marketing textbook.

Can you speak about the program’s regional focus and how it prepares candidates for healthcare management opportunities in Texas?
Our well-qualified faculty are from all over the nation and, in fact, all over the world. They are sensitive to the needs of our students, the majority of whom are from Texas and West Louisiana, and this leads to our students being very well-prepared.

How does the online program compare with the on-campus version for career resources?
All of the career resources are available to all of our students regardless of the [method of] delivery of the MBA program.

Why should a student pick UT Tyler over other schools for a healthcare MBA?
I think the primary reason is our faculty, really. The same faculty who teach in our face-to-face MBA program teach in our accelerated online program. So students [who take our online MBA program] are not getting adjunct professors; they’re getting full-time, tenured faculty members who have taught in the field, who have experience in the field.

Also, I think it’s important to know that you’re part of the University of Texas System, one of the highest ranked in the world; Governor Abbott actually tweeted about it. The UT System placed in the top five of the world’s most innovative universities. And so I think the prestige that comes from being part of that system is important when it’s on your resume and on your diploma. I think the quality is excellent.

And … the flip side of that is that even though we’re part of this very large system, as director of the graduate program, I consistently hear from students that we provide, at every level, tremendous service to our students; our staff care about the success of our students, and so do our faculty. Our faculty and our staff want our students to succeed. So in addition to having this really prestigious system behind your degree, students will find that they are dealing with faculty and staff that want them to succeed. And I think that’s extremely important.

I have students who come up to me at graduation and say, “I don’t know how I would have made it through this if I didn’t have the faculty and the staff who were there and answered my questions and helped me all along the way.” It is a consistent theme in feedback that we get from students.

Is there anything else about UT Tyler’s healthcare MBA that stands out to you?
I would reiterate that what distinguishes our program from a lot of others out there is the service and the interest that we have in the success of our students. Students will find … that we do care. We care.

We provide, at every level, tremendous service to our students; our staff care about the success of our students, and so do our faculty. Our faculty and our staff want our students to succeed
Dr. Tammy Cowart, Graduate Program Director, UT Tyler College of Business and Technology

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Why Should I Choose UT Tyler for My Healthcare MBA?

1. Earn your degree from a well-regarded program.

UT Tyler’s online healthcare MBA ranks among the top 25 programs in the country. The program’s regional focus is a plus if you want to be a healthcare manager in Texas. You’ll also benefit from association with the reputed UT System, which made Business Insider’s top 10 list of the world’s most innovative universities.

2. The school’s AACSB accreditation can help you land a better job.

UT Tyler’s College of Business and Technology is AACSB-accredited. AACSB is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. To receive accreditation, a university’s curriculum, faculty and teaching methods must meet stringent AACSB standards.

What does this mean for you? When you enter the job market with your freshly minted MBA, you’ll stand out to companies that value the accreditation.

3. You could save up to $5,000 off the total program cost.

UT Tyler’s corporate partner discount applies exclusively to the online MBA in Healthcare Management. Call 877-588-3286 or complete this short form to find out if your employer is a participating partner.

What Are Some Benefits of a Fully Online MBA?

You can keep working while you earn your degree.
Can’t put your career on hold for a full-time MBA? An online program may be the answer. It can benefit those who already work in healthcare but need the advanced degree to qualify for an internal promotion. Similarly, if you are your family’s primary earner and can’t quit your job to study full time, an online program can accommodate your schedule.

You can complete program requirements on your own schedule.
The UT Tyler online program is asynchronous — you can view instructional videos and work on assignments whenever you want. This is perfect if you’re an early bird or night owl.

Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require students to show up online at specific times, which could strain an already-packed schedule.

Online collaboration skills can give you an edge in the job market.
The group projects in your MBA coursework will require collaboration with classmates whom you may never meet in person. How will these virtual partnerships help when you’re looking for jobs?

Employers value the skills you’ll gain through online collaboration to manage business operations that require far-flung teams to work together. What are some managerial positions that fit this model? Think product manager for an international pharmaceutical company. Or biz dev manager of a multi-city team in the States.

Nurse Bailey Bonds With Online Cohort, Earns Healthcare MBA

“In the majority of the classes, there’s some element of group work, where you have opportunity to create a project or work on a paper … do that with members of your class. Those opportunities can be really fulfilling and can be really challenging.

In some of those, we’ve been able to do some online video conferencing to talk with fellow students and work on those projects. Or just as simple as picking up the phone and talking to each other.”

–Laura Bailey, MBA, BSN, RN, UT Tyler Online Class of 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

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This article is third in a three-part series on UT Tyler’s Online MBA in Healthcare Management. Be sure to check out the first two articles:

1. An MBA in Healthcare Management: A Step in the Right Direction
Get details on career opportunities, job outlook and salary information. This article also touches on job prospects for healthcare managers in Texas.
2. Invest in Your Future: Online MBA in Healthcare Management
Find information on completion time, tuition and associated costs, as well as ways to pay for the degree.


Sources:

U.S. BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Health Service Managers

UT Tyler: College of Business and Technology

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

UT Tyler: Financial Aid

Business Insider: The 2016 ranking of the 10 most innovative universities in the world


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