If you’re an experienced business professional looking to transition into an innovative and growing industry, you may want to consider getting a Master’s in Health Informatics. The field of health informatics combines healthcare, business, and information technology (IT) expertise to help improve the quality of patient care. As a result, many of the people who transition into it formerly held positions such as IT technician, business analyst, operations manager, compliance coordinator, and security specialist.
Health informatics is a rising field with ample opportunity for employment. According to a 2014 report by Burning Glass Technologies, there is an increasing shortage of qualified health informatics workers in the U.S.1 Between 2014-2024, the demand for medical and health services managers (under which health informatics falls) is expected to grow by 17 percent, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.2 In addition, the average health informatics salary is relatively high; as of May 2016, the median annual wage medical and health services managers was $96,540.2
If you’re looking to successfully change careers from a business operations focus to health informatics, here’s what you need to know.
Considering a Career in Health Informatics
Health informatics is an interdisciplinary field that combines business, research, computer science, IT, and healthcare. Some people who enroll in a Master’s in Health Informatics program are looking to change careers, and those who come from a business background tend to be very successful.
What can help make you a successful health informatics graduate student?
- An understanding of business, operations, and technology based on experience
- Consulting skills (that is, being able to help the end user get the information they need)
- Knowing how to bring people and processes together, either through technology or by more traditional means
While a healthcare background can also be helpful, enrolling in the right advanced degree program can help you get up-to-speed on that front.
Gaining Healthcare Experience
If you don’t have a healthcare background, getting a master’s in health informatics can provide the knowledge and skillset you need to succeed in this industry. Often broad in scope, health informatics degree programs can provide exposure to both the health care and technology aspects of the field. Most include courses in healthcare policy, business intelligence, information technology, communications, and systems management as it relates to health informatics and current trends in healthcare as part of their core curriculum. More specialized topics—such as hospital administration, healthcare financial management, and global health management—are usually covered in elective classes.
Positioning Yourself for Success
The University of Scranton’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) curriculum is designed to prepare you for a successful career. In addition to providing an integrative approach to patient care, the program provides you with leadership, business, communication, computer science, and health care systems knowledge so you may excel in the health informatics industry. While the program is taught entirely online, the faculty at The University of Scranton works to ensure you have the support you need to master all aspects of the MSHI coursework. To learn more or speak with a Program Manager, call 866-373-9547.
- “Missed opportunities? The labor market in health informatics, 2014.” Burning-glass.com. http://burning-glass.com/research/health-informatics-2014/ (accessed February 6, 2017).
- “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and health services managers.” BLS.gov. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (accessed February 6, 2017).