An online information technology degree lends itself to a number of career paths, but have you ever considered using it to get a job in health care? The industry is expected to see tremendous growth over the next decade as baby boomers continue to age and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act gives more people access to insurance. Health informatics is a part of this growing field and can lead to an exciting career in information technology.
Health care is going digital
If they have not done so already, many hospitals and physician's offices are making the switch to electronic health record systems, which digitize medical data. There's a financial incentive to make the transition to EHRs, which means there's also a need for IT professionals. Doctors, nurses and other medical employees rely on a smoothly running IT infrastructure in order to do their jobs.
Employment is increasing
In addition to the implementation of EHRs, government initiatives combined with an aging population are leading to increased demand in the field of health care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for health information technicians is projected to grow by 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average of 14 percent.
An opportunity to work in health care
If you have always wanted to work in health care but are wary of interacting directly with patients, being an IT professional can be a great compromise. People with degrees in health informatics are able to use their skills to make health care facilities more efficient, and may work directly with doctors and nurses to train them on new EHR programs.
Western Governors University is a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. Find out more about WGU's Degree Progams in IT