Earning a master’s degree in health science has the potential to open many career avenues for you within the healthcare industry. Master of Health Science (MHS) degree programs cover a range of current healthcare topics and enable you to specialize in a field such as teaching or athletic training. They are designed for clinicians who are seeking to advance their clinical practice through research and education.
What Is an MHS Degree?
Health sciences are a diverse group of applied sciences that focus on health and healthcare. MHS programs cover practical aspects of these applied sciences, preparing students to excel in a variety of roles, from clinical practice to education to administration. While undergraduate health science majors start with a good foundation, on-the-job experience is also key preparation for this graduate degree. MHS programs typically take about two years to complete.
What Are Some Health Science Specializations?
A master’s degree in health science allows you to dive into an area of specialization that you excel in and that excites you. No matter which specialization you choose, you will learn invaluable leadership skills that you can apply to any health sciences job. Options include:
- Health Informatics: As a graduate student specializing in health informatics, you will learn how to use information technology to analyze patient data and manage healthcare records.
- Athletic Training: In a clinical specialization such as athletic training, you can learn and practice advanced concepts such as injury prevention, treating women athletes, and treating athletes with disabilities.
- Executive Leadership: If you’re looking to advance your career into a leadership role, an executive leadership specialization will teach you the skills you need to manage a clinical team, develop strategic plans, make optimal business decisions, and much more.
- Teaching and Learning: If education is your passion, a teaching and learning specialization will teach you how to develop an up-to-date curriculum that will educate the new generation of healthcare specialists.
- Health Administration: In a health administration specialization, you will learn efficient management strategies and gain practical skills to effectively create change in key areas of healthcare organizations, including policy, operations, research, education, and finance.
What Can You Do with a Health Science Degree?
Below, we explore nine popular health science careers.
1. Nursing Home Administrator
If you have a passion for supporting the health and well-being of seniors, a role as a nursing home administrator could be the perfect fit for you. NHAs manage and maintain nursing homes while tending to elderly and disabled residents.
Given the aging U.S. population, there is no shortage of demand for nursing home administrators. NHAs can also work in related settings, such as assisted living facilities and retirement communities. Important skills include leadership, stress management, and communication.
2. Athletic Trainer
If you’re looking to add to your credentials as an athletic trainer, earning a master’s degree in health science will potentially open doors for you. Not only will you expand your knowledge into areas of advanced athletic injury management, but you’ll also be able to work in a variety of settings such as colleges and universities, hospitals, fire departments, and even Olympic sports centers.
Jobs in athletic training are expected to grow at an above-average rate over the next several years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for athletic trainers will grow 19 percent from 2018 to 2028.
3. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Every type of business needs to be inspected and approved for employee safety. That’s where an occupational health and safety specialist comes in. Occupational health and safety specialists are responsible for establishing safety programs, collecting samples of potentially harmful substances onsite, identifying and recording hazards, and organizing and leading training seminars.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for occupational health and safety specialists is expected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028. While you technically only need a bachelor’s degree to step into this role, earning a master’s degree could qualify you for management positions and a potentially larger salary.
4. Healthcare Project Manager
Healthcare project managers play a special role in any hospital or healthcare facility. They’re responsible for overseeing a wide variety of projects, including budgeting, managing teams, communicating projects to other departments, and even building new facilities.
Similar to occupational health and safety specialists, typically only a bachelor’s degree is required for this position. However, earning a master’s degree enables you to deepen your education and gives you a leg up against other candidates applying for the same role.
5. Health Informatics Specialist
If you are interested in the intersection of technology and healthcare, consider a career in health informatics. Health informatics specialists work behind the scenes of healthcare organizations, improving processes and analyzing data and systems to find better ways to deliver care. They may provide training and technical support to staff and help implement record-keeping and information systems.
Pursuing a master’s degree in this field will set you apart from the competition and can prepare you for jobs such as health informatics director, health informatics consultant, chief information officer, and more.
6. Clinical Research Scientist
Clinical research scientists can be found in laboratory settings, analyzing data, experiments, and trials to improve the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and illnesses. They can be employed across a variety of settings, such as government labs, environmental agencies, private food companies, and consumer product companies, to name a few.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8 percent growth in this role from 2018 to 2028. A graduate degree from an accredited university is required.
7. Healthcare Administrator
Healthcare administrators work on the business operations side of healthcare. They wear many hats, including those of healthcare executives and health service managers. Some of their typical job responsibilities include overseeing day-to-day administrative operations, managing budgets, and updating health records.
Healthcare executives typically hold a master’s degree in health sciences, a Master of Health Administration(MHA), or business administration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 18 percent rise in the demand for this role from 2018 to 2028.
Epidemiologists are public health professionals who study illness and disease in humans. They collect and analyze data about the who, what, and where of disease; publish their findings in journals; and relay their findings to the media and policymakers. They may also manage public health programs.
Epidemiologists work everywhere from laboratories and colleges to hospitals and local governments. To become an epidemiologist, you need at least a master’s degree.
9. Health Educator
If you find yourself drawn to the art of education, pursuing a master’s degree in health science can lead to a role as a health educator. Health educators teach people of all ages about wellness, or they may train others in their field of clinical expertise. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, private businesses, and colleges.
You may be asking yourself whether earning your Master of Health Science degree is worth it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in healthcare are expected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029—creating around 2.4 million new jobs. Advancing your degree in health science not only gets your foot in the door for these roles—it also opens areas for advancement and the possibility of higher long-term earning potential.
USAHS’ Master of Health Science program focuses on health education. Prepare to teach clinicians in academic settings and patients in public health settings. The MHS is delivered online, with optional on-campus immersions (scheduled to resume in 2022). The program offers three specializations: Teaching & Learning (with the optional MHS to EdD Bridge program), Professional Practice, and Interprofessional Education. Choose among accelerated and traditionally paced options and earn your advanced degree while keeping your work and life in balance.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Healthcare Occupations,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, Sept. 4 2019: www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm.