Before you make the personal investment to continue your education and apply to a graduate MHA degree program, one of the decisions you must weigh is whether a traditional master’s program or if an online MHA degree is right for you.
There are many factors to consider – some obvious, some perhaps less so. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 advantages an online MHA degree offers.
1. The Flexibility of Self-Paced Learning
For the most part, an online MHA program allows you to study when it’s best for you: when you have the time, when you feel most productive, when work and family obligations aren’t weighing on you.
Online learning is comprised of on-demand video lessons, curated readings, and detailed assignments to strengthen your critical thinking.
The online masters degree format gives students control over the pace and timing of their studies. This enables students to give proper attention to learning, whether it’s after the house quiets down on a mid-week evening or early in the morning before the day kicks in.
Cost, of course, is always going to be a factor when making your decision to apply – and online programs can offer a great value when compared to some traditional graduate degree programs.
This is especially true when you factor in the cost of commuting, parking and expenses for books and other materials that can be avoided, let alone the costs involved if you were to relocate to attend a full-time, on-campus program.
3. Keep Your Job While Growing Into Your Next One
A master’s degree in health administration is designed to prepare you to be a leader in your field. While there’s no getting around the fact that an MHA requires a serious commitment of time and mental energy, an online MHA program allows you to work at your own pace while you continue your full-time employment.
Working full-time while achieving an advanced degree in healthcare administraion offers multiple benefits:
you continue gaining professional work experience
you continue earning financial dividends
you can apply and test new knowledge in the workplace immediately
Additionally, in the eyes of your employer, it paints you as an ambitious professional seriously interested in career advancement.
Online MHA programs circumvent the cost and hassle of traditional MHA programs by delivering the value of an advanced healthcare degree to busy professionals through modern technology.
With Online Learning students save time and never worry about fighting traffic or bad weather or unreliable public transport to get to their class on time.
With a responsive faculty, a close cohort of students, and on-demand resources online MHA degree programs give students the mentorship and tools they need to succeed.
5. All the Comforts of Home
OK, maybe you don’t want to get too comfortable in that overstuffed chair or soft leather couch, but there’s something to be said about being able to engage in your classwork in the familiar confines of your home office or personal study area – and, yes, even peruse those PowerPoints in your PJs, if you’re so inclined.
Because every student has different learning preferences, the flexibility of being able to control your learning environment offers online MHA students a valuable advantage over traditional MHA students. Online learning works for many different types of students. Need to focus? Work from a library. Are you 45 minutes ahead of schedule? Duck into a coffee shop and complete another module. Is it raining? Snuggle up next to your pet.
6. Interact With Your Instructors Online
With direct access to your advisors, you can get quick responses to your questions or other feedback via email, and converse directly through video chat or during classroom discussions.
Approaching your instructors with real-world situations provides you and your classmates with meaningful insights, advice, and mentorship from a trustworthy, industry professional that is sometimes difficult to find in on-campus MHA classrooms.
If your professional goals include: moving to a new healthcare organization, starting a private practice, or transitioning to a new department, your instructors are invaluable resources.
7. Interact With Your Classmates
Through chatrooms and group projects, you’ll get to know your fellow students – working together, analyzing the course content and learning from the perspectives and thought processes of others.
In some ways it is easier to confront a challenge you're facing at work by talking with a classmate. Chances are they've experienced a similar workplace situation. At the very least, they can offer fresh perspective from outside your healthcare organization.
8. A Broad Cross-Section of Students
Without the geographic constraints of a traditional campus setting, an online master’s degree program opens itself to a more widely diverse student population.
Your online classmates may be attending from across the country or even another part of the world. This diversity can bring not only interesting experiences and viewpoints to topical discussions, but networking opportunities that would otherwise be impossible.
9. Improve and Employ Technical and Virtual Communication Skills
Online courses require, at minimum, a basic understanding of computer functionality and proficiency with communication technology and learning systems.
For some students, online learning will be second nature and, in fact, the preferred format for interaction and studying; for others, it may mean upping their game in terms of being comfortable with the online setting and tools involved – but that requirement will also mean developing another valuable skill in the process.
From the advances being made in healthcare informatics to the influx of private practices, healthcare organizations and practictioners alike are not exempt from an increasingly digital age. Online learning provides a welcoming atmosphere where students sharpen their virtual communication and collobaration skills by working alongside professiors and classmates.
10. An e-Document Library at Your Fingertips
Online MHA courses typically have live discussions, transcripts, documents and other learning materials recorded and archived so that they are readily available for downloading, re-viewing, note-taking or printing at any time.
This anytime access to learning materials means studying, referencing, and applying new knowledge to real-life situations is easier than ever.
The Executive Master of Health Administration program at the Sol Price School of Public Policy is structured to deliver most of the instruction online, supplemented by two, five-day residence sessions on the main USC campus.
For more details about USC's Online Executive MHA, watch our video series at your own pace.
When you're ready to take the first step towards advancing your healthcare career, Pre-Qualify your application and find out if you're likely to be accepted by our admissions committee.