Programs may offer tracks such as business management or research, as well as capstone projects or thesis options. Because health informatics combines information technology, computer science and health care, those who enter this program may come from a variety of backgrounds, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, IT professionals and networking administrators. No matter what the background, entrance to the master's program requires a bachelor's degree. Some programs also require work experience in the health care industry, letters of recommendations and a personal statement.
Master's Degree in Health Sciences Informatics
Informatics is the use of computers and statistical methods to manipulate and manage information. Graduate degree program coursework gives students knowledge and skills to excel in information systems design, analysis and implementation. Courses vary between programs but may include topics like:
- Health care data
- Legal issues in health informatics
- Health care information systems
- Health care IT administration
- Health care leadership
Popular Career Options
A master's degree program in informatics prepares students for careers in which they use their knowledge of recent regulations and information technology to process, maintain and secure health care records. They could later enter the research field or continue their education in a doctoral program. Career opportunities are available in hospitals, outpatient centers and physician's offices. Employment options graduates might explore include:
- Health information manager
- Medical records manager
- Practice administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in medical and health services management - including health information and medical records managers and practice administrators - are predicted to increase at a rate of 17% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reports that the median salary for jobs in this field was $94,500 in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Upon completion of the master's degree program, students can enter a Ph.D. program to continue their education. Universities offer a variety of doctoral degrees in health information, and although the degree names vary, most programs focus on using informatics and technology to improve health care systems and patient management. Examples of Ph.D. degrees in health informatics include the Ph.D. in Personal Health Informatics and the Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics.
A master's program in health sciences informatics trains students manage health care information and data in preparation to work as medical records manager, practice administrators and more. Graduates can expect positive job growth in the field and may go on to earn a Ph.D. in the field.