Health informatics is the integration of health care and information science. The field is concerned with the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information like patient records, diagnoses, procedures, and billing codes. At the master’s degree level, students will learn how to analyze health data, develop programs for information databases, and conduct research. They will also learn about the security standards that govern health care information.
Why a Master’s Degree?
While an associate or bachelor’s degree in health informatics or a related field can help you establish yourself as a professional within the field of health information, a master’s degree is necessary for setting the foundation for a career in management. Graduates from master’s programs will be able to pursue jobs in supervisory and leadership positions for health care organizations. They may also have the opportunity to help develop health care policy. In addition, master’s degrees give students the computer science they need to design databases and adhere to the strict standards of information security, which can help them pursue careers in information science.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
The exact admission requirements for master’s degree programs in health informatics vary. However, it is typical for universities to request students to show proof of the following:
- Bachelor’s degree in health informatics or a related field.
- GPA of at least 3.0.
- Work experience in a health information or related business field.
- Passing GRE scores.
Inside a Health Informatics Master’s Degree Program
Students who enroll in health informatics programs typically take classes over the function of health care information systems. They also learn about data structures and databases. Some programs may include course work over technical writing and health care ethics as well. The best programs will require students to complete research courses in data analysis and statistics in addition to their health classes.
While enrolled in such courses, students will learn how to develop data systems. They will also explore different strategies for storing data and analyzing computer systems. By the end of the program, they should have the skills necessary for managing health care information systems in a secure and efficient manner.
What’s Next for Health Informatics Master’s Degree Holders?
Once students have earned master’s degrees in health informatics, they can advance into management positions in the field of health information. In a managerial position, they will supervise medical record and health information technicians. They will also coordinate plans for maintaining patient records and billing information without compromising confidentiality.
The most comprehensive master’s degree programs will also give students the opportunity to pursue careers in computer systems analysis and database management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer systems analysts earn around $77,740 annually. The career field is growing quickly, with a projected 22% increase in available jobs by 2020. Meanwhile, database managers earn around $73,490 annually, according to the BLS, with career growth projected to be 31% by 2020.