Have you considered an online degree? Maybe you're even pursuing one right now. What's the value of an online degree like an MBA? These degrees are not inexpensive. You may easily spend over $150,000 for an Executive MBA (or EMBA if you prefer). An MPH may still end up costing $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the school. Can you calculate an ROI (return on investment) on your education? (it should be ROE = return on education)
I personally think the value of an online degree ultimately depends on several different factors:
- The type of degree
- Why you're getting that degree
- Where you go to school
- How you plan to leverage your degree
- MPH (master of public health)
- MMM (master of medical management)
- MBA (master of business administration)
My personal opinion is this: if you want to pursue an MPH, as long as you get your degree from an institution that is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), you will probably be OK with an online program. By the way, you will NOT find schools like Strayer University, Walden University, Benedictine University, Capella University, Kaplan University, or University of Phoenix on that CEPH list of accredited schools. (to clarify: Some of these schools may not offer an MPH, but if you type "online MPH" into search engines like Google and Yahoo, you will see some of these schools featured even though they do not offer an MPH degree. Some of these universities are accredited by other organizations, so I am not suggesting that these are not accredited universities. For example, the University of Phoenix is accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree.)
Many health care professionals pursue an MPH while they are working full-time, so they end up taking courses part-time. Others get an MPH by taking one intense full-time year of study. Some may take a year off from residency.
If you already have an advanced degree, then the MPH will add some value, but it won't be your primary degree, so you need to answer the next critical question: "how do you plan to leverage your MPH degree?" Do you really need an MPH or are you looking for something that will improve your qualifications for some type of position or career opportunity?
A distance learning MPH is a great option because it offers flexibility and you still have the opportunity to learn, interact with students, and write your papers. Most MPH programs are not filled with exams and quizzes. Instead, you're expected to generate papers, have facilitated group discussions, and work on some team projects. You can do all of this online.
Well, I've run out of time. Tomorrow (or the next day), I'll address my thoughts on two other degrees that often interest physicians: MMM and MBA.