I’m trying to land a job in healthcare administration. I have my master’s degree, but I have only 2 years of professional experience. The jobs I have seen ask for 5+ years of experience, is experience weighted more than my masters? Is it about paying dues before landing a job? Or am I looking at the wrong places?

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I would say it’s both the degree and experience. The experience speaks to what you have accomplished in previous roles and what you can add/do for a perspective employer. Do you have experience outside of HC, that gives you transferable skills? Be sure to highlight those. Also consider taking a role to get into an organization and then promoting from within. My first role after my MBA was not a Management level role. However, it gave me the opportunity to learn the organization, network and learn the systems. Then when an opportunity came, I was poised to take it.

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The landscape has changed drastically since the pandemic concerning jobs. Everyone has stated great answers. Experience and education really do go hand and hand. I have my MBA and MHA. I have been told no for jobs I definitely qualified for but sometimes you are blocked and it’s divine intervention. Interviewed for my dream job a couple of weeks ago and will start next week. Don’t sale yourself short. Apply and if you don’t get it that’s okay. It’s still good interview practices and you can see what kind of questions different companies focus on.

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Based on conversations with recruiters and HR managers, experience is king more often than not. If you think about it, most times, hiring managers have a lot to consider when bringing on a new employee. Having experience may reduce the risk of a new hire not working out. Because in the manager's eyes, an experienced hire is already vetted and has skin (years) in the game. According to an experienced employee's track record, they will more likely stay in the role to make it advantageous for the company to bring them on.

A new hire with less than five years' experience can be considered riskier for the company, and hard to argue he/she stays for very long, which is costly for any company. The trade-off for most with a graduate degree with no experience is they take entry-level roles and build their skills and reputation in a company boosting their chances for visibility and advancement.

Depending on your expectations, landing an entry-level role won't be difficult. However, you have to consider the stats. Consider all the new graduates from all the schools that offer BHAs/MHAs. They are your direct competition. Not just the new hires but the graduates already in entry-level roles in the companies waiting their turn for opportunities.

So, in my opinion, paying your dues is necessary to advance one's career objectives, but there are several other variables to consider when determining your goals.

I'd still apply. I've applied to many jobs where my skills/experience/education level was lower than what was technically required in the job description, and ended up not only getting interviews, but offers from a few.

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