If you’re a healthcare professional looking to take the next step in your career, chances are you’re honing your business skills to move into a management role. Perhaps you aspire to lead your department, move into project management or pursue a senior corporate role.
So you might be wondering whether a business qualification will be able to give you the specific skills you need for the healthcare industry. This is where Deakin’s Master of Business Administration (Healthcare Management) degree, the MBA(HCM), comes in.
This unique course offers a combination of business and health education to prepare you to manage and lead healthcare services in Australia and overseas – and score that senior role you’ve been eyeing off for years.
Combining business and health
Deakin’s MBA(HCM) is tailored to the issues and challenges of the healthcare industry. You’ll learn about healthy policy and funding contexts in Australia and around the world as well as the business side of things, including finance, marketing and economics.
The course fills in the gaps between your clinical expertise and the specialised business skills you need to succeed in healthcare management, says course director Associate Professor Sandeep Reddy.
‘Most students who take up this course have a health background,’ he says. ‘What happens in their health education and training is they're not exposed to management and business skills, so when it comes to management roles, they find their prior education and training isn't enough.
‘With our course, they’re able to bolster their knowledge of the healthcare system and provide credibility to their CV – not least because it's becoming a lot more common for health leadership positions to require a healthcare management qualification. The common theme among our students is career progression.’
Indeed, most students are working professionals who undertake the course part-time, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists. ‘All of the students who undertake this course are doing it for career progression and to work in the healthcare industry – not elsewhere,’ Associate Professor Reddy says.
Different to a straight MBA
Crucially, Deakin’s MBA(HCM) is not an MBA top-up – it’s a targeted healthcare management qualification.
‘People come to this course to learn business skills, but they really want to know how the business skills can be used in a health context,’ Dr Reddy says. ‘We offer this course not as an MBA. While it does have the MBA tag and some of the same business subjects as the MBA, it's complemented by an equal number of health subjects. We cover health law, healthcare operations, healthcare economics and health research.
‘This combination of health and business makes it different from a regular MBA – and, indeed, it’s why our students choose the course.’
In the real world
For some students, career progression kicks in even before they graduate. One student with a pharmacy background scored a role as a risk and quality analyst with one of Australia’s largest health insurers partway through the course. She says the practical and theoretical knowledge she’s learning in the course are helping her to achieve her career goals.
Another current student is a specialist liver and pancreatic surgeon. She says the combination of business and health units offers her unique and highly relevant learning, and could provide valuable skills and knowledge to take on senior clinical management roles in the future.
For others, the rewards come after graduation. A clinical nurse manager at The Alfred Hospital says he didn’t feel equipped to work as a healthcare leader without undertaking formal business studies. He says Deakin’s MBA(HCM) enhances both his skills and the care he provides to his patients.
And while most students come from traditional health backgrounds, some transition from other industries. One student worked as a business analyst at a leading consulting firm when the opportunity to work on healthcare-related IT projects piqued her interest in healthcare management. Now she combines the skills from her previous career with those she learned during Deakin’s MBA(HCM) in a new role as an electronic medical record analyst at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Are you a healthcare professional inspired to take the next step in your career? Learn more about Deakin’s Master of Business Administration (Healthcare Management).