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Why Specialize Your EMBA: Healthcare

Why Specialize Your EMBA: Healthcare main image

To specialize or not to specialize, that’s the question. When you ask career advisors what they think about job specialization, chances are you’ll get a variety of responses and no clear consensus. The same is true when it comes to specializing in your Executive MBA studies.

Specialization offers obvious benefits such as becoming an expert in a chosen field, commanding a higher pay scale and focusing more time on perfecting your chosen skill as opposed to learning a bit about everything.

Yet, you’ll also hear warnings that specialization cuts you off from a wider range of opportunities, makes you less marketable to other sectors, and keeps you from learning about the bigger picture of business.

The question of whether an EMBA specialization is a good idea becomes much less debated when the focus is on an industry going strong and shows clear signs of continued growth. It’s this line of thinking that’s prompted some of the best business schools to offer Executive MBA programs that target the largest areas of business worldwide.

Look at a Forbes, Inc. or Fidelity industry ranking, and three segments consistently show up: Healthcare, Energy and Technology. These three industries are experiencing the strongest growth, and so it’s no surprise multiple programs dedicated to these EMBA specializations are now on offer.

In this, the first of three articles, we will look at five of the EMBAs on offer for executives currently in or hoping to move into the healthcare sector.

The Healthcare Industry

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of medical and health services is expected to see at least 23 percent growth over the next ten years. Health Carousel’s research has found the healthcare profession is set to become the largest and fastest-growing sector in the US economy. Add to that a steadily aging global population that includes a huge number of “Baby Boomers” who are reaching their senior years, it’s clear to see healthcare will continue to be one of the world’s most significant industries.   

University of Toronto – Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and Life Sciences

The newest program dedicated to the over 7 trillion dollar a year sector of Healthcare is the University of Toronto, Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and Life Sciences. The program was announced in the Fall of 2017 and the first cohort begins in October 2018 with enrollment exceeding projections by over 33 percent.

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs and Academic Director, Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences emphasizes, “This industry is one of the largest, if not the largest in the world, and yet it is not run exceptionally well anywhere; therefore, we felt it was important to make our program global.

“This industry isn’t just one country focused and neither is our Executive MBA. Participants will study in Toronto as well as in Singapore and in the Silicon Valley; each a place that represents the latest advances in medicine.” 

The learning timeline fits easily into a busy executive’s schedule thanks to the program’s flexible planning. Golden points out, “The 18-month schedule has been designed for personal and professional flexibility. The content will be delivered using a blended delivery model that weaves together in-class and on-site learning, with online support. Approximately 75 percent of sessions will be conducted face-to-face in the classroom and in the field.

“Interestingly,” says Golden, “this incoming class is equally split 50 percent women and 50 percent men and the average age, 42 years old, is higher than our other EMBA programs. 34 percent of the cohort already have a medical degree, 10 percent have PHD’s and another 10 percent have a master’s degree. The students are a highly accomplished mix of leaders coming from corporations, hospitals, clinics, research and even government.”

In addition to the University of Toronto, Rotman’s program, there are a number of other Executive MBA offerings with a healthcare focus or elective, including:

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Haslam College of Business, Executive MBA for Healthcare Leadership 

An 11-month program which includes an Organizational Action Project to help you develop healthcare business solutions for an issue specific to your organization, and a Healthcare Policy Immersion in Washington, D.C. 

University of Auburn - Physicians Executive Master of Business Administration

Designed for physicians who want to better manage their practices and would like to assume a leadership position in healthcare. The 21-month program combines online lectures, five on-campus residencies, and two travel study experiences. 

The Yale School of Management – Executive MBA:  Leadership in Healthcare focus

The two-year Yale Executive MBA offers the opportunity to choose from three focus areas which will comprise 25 percent of your studies: Healthcare, Asset Management or Sustainability. The program is offered in a flexible weekend format and uses a Leadership Development Program, raw cases and team projects as part of their curriculum.   

Brown University – Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership

An intensive 16-month program designed for healthcare professionals to become visionary leaders. Throughout the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership (EMHL) program, students carry out an independent project called The Critical Challenge Project where they identify a critical challenge related to healthcare. Throughout EMHL, participants work collaboratively with a variety of people to develop possible solutions to his or her challenge.

Up next in the EMBA Specializations series: Energy EMBAs.

Written by Dawn Bournand

Dawn Z Bournand is associate director of the Executive MBA department at QS and handles editorial content for the department which includes serving as editor-in-chief of the QS TopExecutive Guide. Along with two of her QS colleagues, she recently wrote the book, QS TopExecutive Passport - Your essential document for entry into the world of Executive MBAs.  One of her favorite parts of the job is serving as an MBA/EMBA expert on webinars and panels, at conferences and in the media.

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