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Overview of Master’s Degree Program in Health Sciences with a Focus on Informatics

Majors Overview November 13, 2017

This article talks about master’s degree programs in health sciences with an informatics focus and their education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master’s Programs in Health Sciences Focusing on Informatics

Schools typically offer master’s degree options in health science informatics or health informatics as Master of Science (M.S.) programs. Students delve into the interrelation of healthcare delivery and information technology, hone their communication skills and gain expertise in managing healthcare delivery methods. Tracks such as research or business management may be available along with thesis options or capstone projects.

Education Requirements

Program coursework is a combination of computer science, information technology, and healthcare, and the program consequently attracts students from various backgrounds, including nurses, doctors, IT professionals, pharmacists, and networking administrators. Regardless of the background, admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, apart from letters of recommendation, work experience in the healthcare industry, and a personal statement.

Coursework

Coursework delves into the employment of statistical methods and computers toward manipulating and managing information. Program graduates obtain the skills and knowledge necessary for excelling in the analysis, design, and implementation of information systems. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Healthcare information systems
•Healthcare leadership
•Legal issues in health informatics
•Healthcare data
•Healthcare IT administration

Career Options

Students enrolled in a master’s degree program in informatics can seek jobs that involve the use of their knowledge of information technology and recent regulations for processing, maintaining and securing healthcare records. They might later seek entry-level careers in the research field or opt for continuing education via a doctoral program.

Employers of these professionals are mainly outpatient centers, hospitals, and physician’s offices. Program graduates may also choose from possible job positions such as:

•Practice Administrator
•Health information manager
•Medical records manager

Job and Wage Outlook

The medical and health services management field – including health information and medical records managers and practice administrators – is expected to see 20% job growth, over the 2016-2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2016, professionals in the field brought in an average annual wage of $96,540 (BLS).

Continuing Education Options

After they complete the master’s degree program, students may opt for continuing education by enrolling in a Ph.D. program. Various doctoral degrees in health information are available through universities. While degree names may vary, the common focus of most programs are on improving patient management and healthcare systems through the use of informatics and technology. Examples of Ph.D. degrees in Health Informatics are usually available as a Ph.D. in Personal Health Informatics or a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics.

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