Health IT No. 1 on list of top 10 'hot' careers

Healthcare information technology tops the list of 10 ‘hot careers’ for college graduates in 2011, according to a new study from the University of San Diego Extension.
  
Due to government initiatives in recent years, the study states, the healthcare industry adopted an advanced technology system for managing and utilizing health information, medical establishments have the goal of transferring all healthcare information to an advanced technology-driven database within the next decade.

[See also: Top 7 cities for IT jobs.]

“This fueling a demand for health information technicians who can support medical record reform,” say the authors of the study.

Technicians are needed for emerging jobs such as healthcare integration engineer, healthcare systems analyst, clinical IT consultant, and technology support specialist.

“Jobs and needs in the healthcare information technology field are a critical component of plans for positive change in the healthcare industry,” said Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of the public programs and dean, UC San Diego Extension.

[See also: Healthcare IT talent war is on.]

The study notes that job prospects for the health Information technology industry should be very good, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and are expected to grow faster than average.

“Several factors – a growing industry with vast employment needs, a societal concern with federal backing for broad reform, and a solution incorporating advanced knowledge and skills among workers – combine to form a strong base for workforce development and employment opportunity for the coming decade,” said Mark Cafferty, San Diego Workforce Partnership president and CEO.

“The injection of skilled knowledge workers into the magnet of healthcare information technology will not only provide solutions to immediate needs, but also will serve as a catalyst for new and emerging types of jobs in the coming years as the impact of healthcare IT takes hold,” Cafferty said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical records and health information technicians held about 172,500 jobs in 2008 (about 30 percent of jobs were in hospitals). Jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent, or about 35,100 new jobs, for the decade 2008-2018.

Some of the other top careers listed in the study are also connected to healthcare. See the list on the next page.

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