Health IT Tops Jobs List For College Grads

Health IT jobs are expected to grow by 20%, or about 35,100 new jobs, for the decade 2008-2018, according to a UC San Diego study.

By Nicole Lewis InformationWeek
May 23, 2011 01:30 PM

A career in health information technology (IT) is the hottest vocation for college graduates in this challenging economy, according to a study from the University of California San Diego Extension.

The study, released last week, shows that health IT ranks first among the top ten careers listed and is described as a profession in which technicians update and organize medical information electronically. The report credits the federal government's health IT initiatives that have spurred the adoption of advanced technology systems that manage and use health information. As healthcare delivery organizations embark on transferring patient records from paper-based systems to digitized medical records, the shift has fueled a demand for health information technicians who can oversee the growth of a comprehensive database of medical records during the next decade.

Among the technology trends we will see are the expansion of electronic health records (EHR) to include patient data from various sources such as integrating text, voice, images, and handwritten notes. To support this shift, the healthcare industry will need technicians for emerging jobs such as healthcare integration engineer, healthcare systems analyst, clinical IT consultant, and technology support specialist, the report said.

"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," Mark Cafferty, San Diego Workforce Partnership president and CEO, said in a statement.

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