This article talks about different master’s degree programs in informatics and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.
Information on Informatics Programs
Few schools, if any, offer master’s programs in general informatics; however, informatics degrees in areas related to health, including biomedical informatics and public health, are awarded by some. While coursework varies in the two programs, both commonly teach students to gather, analyze and organize data through a variety of techniques. A thesis based on original research is usually a requirement. Master of Public Health Informatics degree programs are available in some schools through online formats. Coursework may also involve field experience. Students take 3-5 years to complete most programs.
A management or a technology track is available to students with professional degrees in healthcare. Through master’s programs in biomedical informatics, students are imparted the knowledge and skills needed to work in research. Two years of work experience is usually a requirement for these programs.
Master’s Programs in Public Health Informatics
Students enrolled in a graduate degree program in public health informatics learn about analyzing and organizing data that impacts business decisions and public policies. Geographic information systems, advanced data mining techniques, and database design are in the coursework. A research-based dissertation supervised by an assigned faculty member is usually a requirement.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, in addition to submitting scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Public health concepts
•Public health management
•Public health data mining applications
•Web-based information systems
Program graduates can seek careers with healthcare providers, government agencies, or pharmaceutical companies. They may choose from possible job positions such as:
•Information technology consultant
Master’s Programs in Biomedical Informatics
A biomedical informatics master’s degree program cover courses in subject areas such as ethics, statistics, and computer science. Students enrolled in graduate biomedical informatics education become adept at designing computational methods and algorithms to tackle issues in chemistry, biology, and general health. Significant participation in research projects is a requirement for students enrolled in most master’s programs.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, in addition to submitting an admissions essay along with an application. A few programs awarding master’s degrees in biomedical informatics have applicants seek admission to some programs to meet with former alumni or admissions counselors.
Coursework covers various subject areas including decision sciences, mathematics, and political science. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Computational structures in biology
•Clinical information systems
•Machine learning and experimental design
Program graduates can choose from possible job positions such as:
•Information systems consultant
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, operations research analysts can expect a job growth of 27%. During the same period, epidemiologists are expected to see a job growth of 10% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, research analysts brought in an average annual wage of $72,100, while epidemiologists banked $65,270 per annum on average.
Program graduates can seek employment as teachers at 2-year colleges; professors at most 4-year schools are required to hold doctoral degrees. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, postsecondary teachers are expected to witness a 19% job growth. In May 2012, these postsecondary health specialties teachers brought in an average annual wage of $68,970 (BLS).