Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

Salaries rising for health IT professionals in analytics and security

Today’s growing economy is forcing healthcare organizations to pay more for top talent. And many hospitals are finding that out the hard way.
By Gus Venditto
08:57 AM

It’s a good time for healthcare IT professionals who have developed their skills. Not only are they in demand by healthcare providers, they are also attractive to employers outside healthcare.

“Salaries are rising,” according to Judy Kirby, president of executive healthcare IT search firm Kirby Partners. She said that the overall economy is heating up and other industries are starting to look at health IT professionals who have skills in key areas like cyber-security and analytics.

“Healthcare was in great shape when the economy tanked in 2009, so a lot of people stayed in healthcare that would have gone into other industries,” Kirby explained. “Now that other industries are growing, you’re seeing pressure on salaries to go up.”

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And while cyber-security and analytics are the two hot areas for healthcare IT spending, these technologies are also important areas for other industries as well.

Many hospitals are finding out the hard way about this competitive pressure. As they begin to recruit for open positions, they’re finding that the internal salary guidelines have not kept up with the times.

Kirby said she has been seeing increases in salaries in all HIT positions over the last few years, but the competition for advanced cyber-security and analytics positions is the fiercest. Kirby said these fields are far from peak levels. In security, for example, she said there are predictions of a million openings worldwide, “everyone needs security now … there’s unprotected data out there.”

IT professionals who are in more traditional areas, like informatics, clinical decision support or infrastructure and want to consider a transition to hotter fields will need to start building their technical and networking skills.

What can you do to prepare yourself to get one of those roles? She recommends advanced education and a relationship with a mentor. Employers want hands-on experience, and transitioning into a hot area is hard when changing organizations.

“I would highly recommend an advanced degree to move up in an organization,” Kirby said. “If you want to switch career paths, you’re going to have to get education or training. Find someone inside your organization who is willing to mentor you. It’s always easier to do it inside than outside.”

Kirby Partners in Booth 2742. 

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.

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