Montana is growing, and its demographics are changing: baby boomers represent an important sector of Montana's population and as they retire in waves, the demand for skilled, educated workers in every field continues to rise.
Health care may be the sector which will experience the highest growth in this demand, with an average opening of an astounding 1,300 jobs annually in the field within a state which boasts just over a million inhabitants (source).
This means that, in order to attract students from around the state and the nation, health wages are on the rise.
If you are an experienced health professional and are looking to take the next step in your career, Montana might be one of the best states in the nation to do so. And a Master's of Health Administration with a Montana university might be your best first step.
Healthcare Administration Program Cost in Montana
We selected a few different schools that offer a healthcare administration degree in the state of Montana. They might be online or require on-campus but we're aiming to highlight degree costs and concepts help in your decision making process.
Montana State University Billings
MSU Billings offers a competitive MHA program which offers online courses in addition to on-campus classes in order to provide students with the flexibility necessary to work while they study.
The university forms part of the regional educational endeavor known as the Western Regional Graduate Program, an extensive networking base of alumni and faculty in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. If you are a resident of any of these states, you qualify for in-state tuition for the MHA program at MSU Billings thanks to the WICHE program. Be sure to keep this in mind while assessing total costs.
Students who qualify for resident tuition pay $466 for 1 credit of online coursework
While non-residents pay $705 for the same. But for a 12-credit course load, resident students pay $3,320, while non-residents pay $6,181.
Given the region's rural nature, MSU Billings' MHA program places a special focus on rural-frontier healthcare delivery, in an effort to make sure the future leaders of the industry are prepared to help those who have been most marginalized.
While the majority of the coursework can be completed online in 8-week courses, students are required to attend two-day Professional Seminars on the campus during each semester, a Capstone project which requires faculty guidance, and an Internship - this last one may be waived for working professionals.
The degree plan comprises a total of 51 credit hours, and is generally completed between 20 and 24 months
Courses are priced on a weighted scale: the more courses a student takes, the less each course will cost, and full-time students will pay the least per course.
Keep in mind that graduate assistantships and graduate scholarships exist to help students offset the cost of their education.
The George Washington University’s (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs for healthcare professionals, including a BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.
Click for program information.
Common Master's in Health Care Administration Degree Concepts
MHAs are multidisciplinary degree plans which give students a solid footing in everything from law to epidemiology. Below, we have listed just a few of the courses you are likely to find in any program.
Ultimately, many of the guiding decisions of the industry are made at a policy level. Students learn about the precedents and workings of health policy not only to be able to comply with industry regulations, but also to be able to communicate with policymakers who will have important impacts on their field.
Many MHA programs will include among their electives a course or seminar on global health. Throughout their career, health professionals will have to work with colleagues from around the country and the world. This course offers students an introduction to the world of global health, in order to understand those health issues which humanity collectively faces.
Generally, accredited MHA programs will require students to compose a scholarly research article which addresses an issue of their choosing within the health industry. In Montana, issues such as lack of care in rural areas, drug abuse, and child obesity are particularly pressing issues. Students work together with faculty in order to choose and research a topic, and generally present their completed work before a faculty body.
What Can a Health Administrator Do?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of health care is projected to grow at a rate of twenty percent through 2024.
And as we mentioned above, Montana's changing demographics mean that there is a particularly high demand for managerial health professionals within the state. As of 2017, the state only employed 1,170 such professionals, who enjoyed an average salary of $95,690.
A recent job search found that there is an abundance of job opportunity in Montana hospitals and clinics, with such positions as Health Care Benefits Administrator, Director of Clinic Quality, and Project Manager at different Montana hospitals.
If you are passionate about improving community health and wish to gain a new set of managerial skills, an MHA might be right for you. You may wish to consider any of the educational options listed below.