As more and more people begin to retire, it becomes important for doctors and hospitals to have ongoing access to all of the health information pertaining to their potential patients. Since most of this information is stored on computer, it has become important for specialists to control the information. These professionals are sometimes called medical records technicians, but the term “health informatics” is becoming popular to express the complexity and sophistication of this work. Degree-holders in health informatics are responsible for entering, maintaining, accessing and disseminating health data across multiple platforms and organizations around the country.
How Much Do Health Informatics Specialists Get Paid With a Degree?
Because the healthcare field is growing, specialists with the necessary skills can expect to receive very competitive salary and benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is not unusual for professionals in the field to receive more than $35,000 a year. Since health informatics professionals work exclusively in healthcare, they are also likely to receive benefits including healthcare and retirement. The job outlook for these professionals is growing faster than average and job growth is not expected to slow before 2020. This is because healthcare organizations as a whole are growing. Compensation can be much higher than average for health informatics professionals who constantly upgrade their skills.
What Careers Are Available for a Health Informatics Major With a Degree?
Health informatics is a specialized field: There is little mystery about what the average career path will look like. Degree-holders work in clinics, hospitals or doctors’ offices to maintain critical health information records. They spend most of their time accessing, organizing and optimizing these files using special software. This job requires focus, critical thinking and the ability to take on complex projects in a conscientious manner. Any errors or omissions that might be introduced by mistake can have very serious consequences for the patients involved, so health informatics majors typically continue their education with job training after graduation. Transitioning from this position to other healthcare roles is possible with experience.
Why is Distance Learning a Good Choice for Health Informatics Study?
Distance learning is especially helpful in any field that involves using computers and information technology. Health informatics is no exception. By interacting with a core group of others students online, you will learn to deal with the common problems and issues that face you on the job while getting comprehensive background information about the medical workplace. A successful healthcare informatics major will graduate from his or her program with a strong background in medical computer software. This is much easier to obtain as a distance learning student than it would be in a traditional setting. Likewise, you will be able to forge deeper relationships with your peers and professors than you might at a traditional school. This helps with the professional networking required for finding ideal jobs.
Tuition, Scholarships, and Other Issues Related to Distance Learning in Health Informatics
Health informatics is generally looked upon as a healthcare field rather than a technology field. For this reason, tuition tends to be rather more affordable than in other degree fields. An annual tuition of $10,000 to $20,000 is reasonable for distance learning in this area. While scholarships are relatively rare, it may be possible for you to benefit from an internship or similar program at a local hospital or clinic. If you do, you will find that this makes it much easier for you to obtain a salaried position after you graduate.