The Value of a Graduate Degree in HEOR, Informatics, & Healthcare – Is It Right For You?

In the health economics and outcomes research field (HEOR), it is very common to have at least one, and possibly two advanced degrees.  Your peers likely have a master’s degree (in public health, data analytics, health services research, or business) or a PhD, as well as a professional degree (MD, PharmD). Increasingly, residencies and fellowships (such as from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy) are strong players in the training arena, providing individuals with hands-on practical plus mentored experience in their desired workplace.

wordle If you’re in the market for an advanced degree, what type of degree do you get, and where do you get it from?

The options are broad.  In terms of types of degrees, you have the choice between MS, MPH, MBA, PhD, DPh, MD, PharmD, MSN, and more.  Areas of focus span health economics, health policy, medical informatics, data analytics, health services research, pharmacy administration, outcomes research, epidemiology, applied economics, and more.

Do you select an in-person, online, or a combination program?  Will an executive (weekend)-type program suffice for your needs?

With the expansion of online graduate school options, one doesn’t need to live in the area where you are enrolled, allowing access to programs, professors, and opportunities never before dreamed possible.

You may be doing an ROI analysis.  How much are graduate degrees worth in our field?  Based on our 2015 Global Salary Survey for HEOR & Market Access, additional degrees were associated with higher salaries. Similarly, bonuses and promotions are higher for those holding an advanced degree.  The median annual base salary (no benefits, bonuses, etc.) for individuals with a BA/BS was $125-$150k, while those with a MS/MPH/MBA could typically expect about $25K more in annual salary.  An individual with a PharmD or a PhD degree typically earned $150-$175K, while an MD earned $175-200K as a base. The overall median salary was $125-150K, regardless of degree, across 475 respondents.  Additional data, cross-tabulated by job title, geography, job sector, and more are available in the final report here.

So, are you in the market for an advanced degree?

I hope so!  At HealthEconomics.Com, we’ve had a 21 year history of supporting graduate education in the field of health economics and outcomes research.  I’ve personally mentored dozens of students, helping match them to specific graduate programs. I am honored to have served on thesis and dissertation committees; we currently provide internship opportunities to graduate students here at the company.  I serve on the American Foundation of Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) Board of Grants, where a group of us are responsible for awarding scholarship dollars to graduate students.  The website, HealthEconomics.Com, has been used as a training ground for students in Mozambique to Iraq in times of war so that individuals could continue their studies when it was too unsafe to travel.  We sent hundreds of academic books over to Africa to a student hoping to bring health economics to his country in Zimbabwe.  At every level of our organization, we support graduate education and training so that our field continues to make strong, scholarly, and important contributions to the betterment of society and improved health.

That’s why we are taking the next step and sponsoring the first-ever online, virtual Graduate, Residency/Fellowship & Professional School Fair, exclusively for Health Economics, Outcomes Research, Health Services & Policy, Epidemiology, Pharmacy Administration, and Informatics (whew! and related fields!).  The event will be held on September 23, 2015 from 12 noon – 3 pm (EDT).  Register here.

If you are a prospective student, looking to find the best graduate schools for you, please sign up.  This online Graduate and Professional School Fair will connect you with dozens of graduate schools, preceptors, and employers with educational opportunities – all from the comfort of your home, office, smartphone or tablet!

As an attendee, you will have the ability to explore educational opportunities around the globe.  Choose which graduate schools and residency/fellowship locations you want to interact with, then engage one-on-one in text-based conversations directly with an admissions advisor or representative.  You can share your background, experience, educational interests, resume, and also ask questions.  Learn about the:

  • types of programs offered;
  • admission requirements;
  • fellowship/residency opportunities;
  • types of jobs you can expect to get after graduation; and,
  • school and community information.

Maximize your time in the event by getting in line to chat with representatives from more than one graduate school or preceptor at a time.

If you are a University or Admissions Advisor, join the program and create a virtual exhibit booth, showcasing your school, graduate programs, provide downloads of admissions criteria, and more.  Connect with top students and advertise your programs.  Showcase your Alumni and Professors – they can be in the “virtual booth” with you, chatting with students!

If you are a Recruiter seeking Residents, Fellows, or New Graduatesjoin the Grad School Fair to promote your open positions and demonstrate your commitment to education!

Who should attend:

  • Students seeking graduate school training or residency/fellowship opportunities
  • Professionals who are ready to begin advance their careers with additional education and training
  • Professionals seeking to learn more about the various global opportunities
  • Universities and Educational Groups seeking students
  • Employers seeking newly-trained residents, fellows, and graduate students.


I really hope you join us on September 23, 12 noon-3pm…just register now, and on that date, log in from anywhere and start planning for your future!  If you’re a university program, make sure to sign up to exhibit and recruit.  You will be so pleased you did it, so you can connect with literally hundreds of potential students at one time, in a very cost- and time-effective way.

Graduate School Fair - HEOR


Patti Peeples, R.Ph., Ph.D.

Dr. Patti Peeples is a respected health economist, pharmacist, and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in the pharma and healthcare communications industries. She writes. A lot. And she likes to start new things. The author of over 200 publications and creator of two successful business, Dr. Peeples was at the forefront of the health outcomes and market access movement in the United States. She is considered a pioneer in using the internet and digital media for communication and marketing in the health economics field.

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