Health informatics is a burgeoning professional field with career opportunities ranging from clinical informatics to health information management. Technology is transforming the modern concept of healthcare and the master’s in health informatics can give you access to advanced career options in healthcare. Whether it’s skill building in statistical modeling or health information security, a graduate degree in health informatics can lead to success throughout the healthcare industry.
Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factorsData Sources:
Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.
1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.
2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.Notes:
To generate this year’s list of the best online master’s in health informatics programs, we examined data from the U.S. Department of Education, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and information from each individual academic program. Schools and universities on this list are all fully accredited.
|Rank||School Logo||School Name||Location||Tuition||Financial Aid||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate||# of Online Programs||Credit for Experience||Placement Services||Counseling Services||University Information|
|1||Park University||Parkville, Missouri||$8,025||49%||85%||27%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Park University's Master of Health Care Informatics resides in the School of Business' College of Management. It's designed to give a broad leadership and business perspective to the health care field. Students interested in health care information systems may specialize in the Management Information Systems track which requires 36 hours of coursework. Students must select 24 credits of core coursework which includes courses such as Management of Health, Health Care Economics & Policy, Health Care Operations Management and Legal & Ethical Issues in Health Care Administration. Additionally, there are 12 credits (4 courses) of required information systems concentration courses: Information Security & Risk Management, Management Information Systems, Database Management Systems and Data Analysis & Business Analytics. To complete the program, all students must complete a capstone course in Health Care Strategic Management & Marketing. The program sees the management approach as creating a cadre of future health care leaders with a mind for strategic leadership.School website
|2||Arkansas Tech University||Russellville, Arkansas||$4,932||40%||64%||47%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Arkansas Tech University's Master of Science in Health Informatics program provides students with a foundation in leadership and policy along with elements of ensuring security and privacy in health care information. The degree is designed with a multidisciplinary approach to provide a holistic set of skills and knowledge where graduates can find positions such as public health analytists, health information trainers, health care technology consultants or chief information officers. The program requires the completion of 35 semester hours of coursework. Examples of core courses includes Emerging Trends in Health Information, Security & Privacy in Health Informatics, Leadership in Health Informatics, Database Systems and Health Care Policy. Students may choose elective coursework that is geared specifically toward their career goals (e.g. Information Systems Resource Management, Emerging Trends in IT and Developing and Administering Websites). Applicants to the program must have completed an introductory course in healthcare informatics and a computer programming courses or equivalent experience.School website
|3||Independence University||Salt Lake City, Utah||$15,616||79%||-||100%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Independence University's Master of Science in Health Care Administration not only provides students with the foundations to become a leader within the health sector, but could also appeal to students interested in health care information systems. The program is ideal for students wishing to enter health care management. Through a focus on both the business and medical knowledge in the program, students will graduate with a broad foundation that can lead to positions including policy analyst, human resource manager in a health care setting, medical group manager or director of operations or communications. The entire program requires 57.5 credits and can take as few as 15 months to complete. The program has a prescriptive curriculum making it an accelerated learning process in a completely online format. Courses include Health Care Economics & Policy Analysis, Issues in Managed Care, Health Care Information Systems and Legal Considerations in Health Care Delivery. Students must also complete a final project or thesis to graduate.School website
|4||Dakota State University||Madison, South Dakota||$5,483||61%||83%||43%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Dakota State University's Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management poises students to be at the center of the "paperless revolution" in health care. Graduates go on to a variety of careers including researchers, health care data analysts, clinical informatics, or IT systems analysts in a health care setting. Dakota State University touts a strong reputation in the technology field where students will be provided a foundation in security, data management, data privacy, analytics and application development. Incoming students should have the essential Information Systems knowledge, essential health care knowledge and fundamental statistics through either undergraduate coursework or verifiable professional experience. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours of coursework and can be completed 100% online either full or part time. Full-time students can earn their degree in as few as 4 or 5 semesters.School website
|5||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Weatherford, Oklahoma||$5,316||65%||91%||38%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Southwestern Oklahoma State University's M.S. in Health Care Informatics & Information Management is built on the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education's standards. Because the program is newer, it will be seeking accreditation soon. To complete the program, students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework which can be done completely online. Among the core courses are Corporate Compliance & Quality Data Management in Health Care, Legal & Privacy Issues in Health Informatics, Health Care Decision Support Systems and Health Care Strategic Planning. Students can choose between a thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis requires a graduate research proposal prior to conducting the research. This is an ideal option for students interested in a research career track. For the non-thesis option, students complete a professional practice experience and a final capstone project as a summation of the skills and knowledge learned through the coursework and practicum.School website
|6||Michigan Technological University||Houghton, Michigan||$17,384||92%||76%||67%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Michigan Technological University's M.S. in Medical Informatics seeks to prepare students for one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S. through a completely online program. The program is designed to prepare students with a foundation in evidence-based medicine, health care security, disease management and complex medical decision-making. The program offers 3 specializations (Health Care Information Security and Privacy, Health Care Data Informatics and Visualization and Imaging Informatics) and 3 completion tracks (thesis, report and coursework options). Each option requires a different path toward graduation. The thesis option, or Plan A, is ideal for students interested in research and requires a minimal amount of coursework (20 credits), however it requires an extensive amount of thesis research (equal to 6-10 credits). The report option, or Plan B, straddles the thesis and coursework options requiring 24 credits of coursework and the completion of a 2-6 credit project report. Finally the coursework option, or Plan C, is a more traditional degree for those interested in the professional career in informatics. Plan C requires 30 credits of coursework. Examples of core courses that are consistent for each track includes Introduction to Medical Informatics, Security & Privacy, Systems Analysis & Design and Population Health Management & Monitoring.School website
|7||Northern Kentucky University||Highland Heights, Kentucky||$10,008||61%||91%||40%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Northern Kentucky University's Master of Science in Health Informatics program provides students with a foundation in research methods, information governance and policy and data analysis techniques. The program seeks to prepare its graduates with an understanding of how Informatics is at the center of information systems changes by focusing on data visualization, mHealth, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours which are offered both on campus and online with a variety of course and program start times throughout the year. Examples of core courses includes Technical Foundations of Health Informatics, Information Technology Project Management and Evidence-Based Health Care Methods. Students may also choose from one of 3 specializations (Health Care Data Analytics, Health Care Process Management and Health Care Cybersecurity) from which they will choose 3 courses (9 credit hours) of elective courses. To complete the program, students must complete a final capstone project which includes work/project experience and a synthesis paper. Additionally, students must maintain an electronic portfolio throughout the program that reflects growth and development throughout the coursework.School website
|8||University of Mississippi||University, Mississippi||$7,644||65%||78%||64%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
University of Mississippi's Master of Health Informatics and Information Management offers a completely online program designed for students interested in management, health care and technology. The program has a strong focus on business administration, preparing graduates for leadership positions within the field. The skills and knowledge gained from the program can lead students to a variety of areas within health care including facility reimbursement, health care evaluation, medical research and quality assurance. The program offers 2 tracks: health informatics for those wishing to design and implement health care information systems and health information management which emphasizes health care management and administration. Students who complete the Health Information Management Track become eligible for the Registered Health Information Administrator national certification exam. The curriculum requires the completion of 41 credit hours which can take 2 years to complete if enrolled full-time for fall, spring and summer courses. Example courses include Health Information & Computer Science, Management of Health Information Services & Systems and Health Care Performance Improvement Strategies. The program touts a high student and employer satisfaction rate from the 2015-2016 outcomes assessment report with 100% employment rate of graduates, 100% employer satisfaction rate and 100% graduate satisfaction rate with 80% of graduates directly working in the field.School website
|9||Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville||Edwardsville, Illinois||$6,312||46%||89%||53%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville's M.S. in Health Informatics program strives to prepare its students for innovative leadership roles within health informatics so as to improve health care technology systems and structures. Because of the broad nature of the field, faculty have backgrounds and expertise in a variety of fields including business, health care, education and engineering. The program requires the completion of 14 online courses to graduate including Social, Ethical & Legal Issues in an Informative Age, Managing Quality & Safety in Health Care, Introduction to Epidemiology and Database Design. Students must complete a capstone project to graduate. The master's degree program is currently in the candidacy stages of accreditation and is awaiting review from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.School website
|10||Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, Louisiana||$6,593||75%||63%||57%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
Louisiana Tech University's Master of Health Informatics program strives to prepare confident and innovative professionals who will engage in a variety of information systems and technologies in a diverse set of healthcare environments. The program is offered completely online and uses a variety of communications formats including online lectures, email, electronic bulletin boards and a digital drop box system. The program requires the completion of 45 credit hours of coursework. Examples of courses include Health Care Compliance, Database Architecture, Project Management, Leadership in Health Care and Evaluation of Information Systems. Students must also complete a final capstone project that summarizes and showcases the knowledge built through the program and how it can be applied in a real-world setting. Students interested in pursuing research opportunities are encouraged to contact appropriate faculty who work in the desired research areas. The program also encourages participation in related professional associations such as The American Health Information Management Association and The American Medical Informatics Association because of the potential for career growth through networking and personal connections with others in the field.School website
|11||National University||La Jolla, California||$11,232||4%||-||50%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
National University is responding to the growing and evolving field of where health care and information communication technologies meet by offering the online Master of Science in Health Informatics. The program exists at the nexus of National's Center for Technology and Health Sciences, the School of Health and Human Services, the School of Engineering and Computing and the School of Business Management. With coursework that spans a variety of fields, students receive a comprehensive foundation in health informatics. The core requirements include 11 courses (total of 49.5 credits) including the U.S. Health Care System, Biostatistics, Quality Appraisal & Evaluation and Health Information Exchange. An additional course (4.5 credits) is also required. Examples of elective courses include Leading Change & Adaptation, Health Care Accounting/Finance and Healthcare Leadership. To graduate, students must also complete a final capstone demonstrating the effective application of health informatics in a real-world setting.School website
|12||University of Cincinnati-Main Campus||Cincinnati, Ohio||$12,790||58%||76%||72%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Cincinnati's online Master's of Health Informatics program gives students the opportunity to enter into a fast-growing field through a flexible part-time program. Students can complete the program completely online within 2 years. While the degree may appeal to people with an IT or health care background, neither are required for admissions. The curriculum requires the completion of 36 credit hours. The coursework takes an interdisciplinary approach by focusing on topics such as information technology, health care, analytics and leadership development. Examples of courses include The Health Care & Public Health Landscape, Health Information Legislations, and Privacy & Security. For an additional 9 credits, students may also choose to earn a Health Information Security Certification which opens up even more career opportunities because of the increased need for data security and safety.School website
|13||University of Central Florida||Orlando, Florida||$6,916||43%||50%||73%||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
University of Central Florida's online Health Care Informatics, Professional Science Masters program not only focuses on clinical elements of information management, but also on management and business. The program requires 38 credits of required coursework and 3 credit hours of foundational courses. The foundational courses include Survey of Health Information Management, Foundation of Health Services Administration and Medical Terminology for Informatics Professionals. The program also suggests completing foundational statistics and general-level writing courses prior to beginning the program. Some examples of required courses (of the 10 total) include Biostatistics and Decision Analysis, Project Management in Health Care Informatics, Privacy & Security in Health Care Informatics and Health Care Data Architecture & Modeling. Students must also complete a capstone project that showcases knowledge gained in the program. In addition to the capstone, students must find an internship that puts coursework skills into action. Faculty work with students to identify an internship that could provide full-time work opportunities and job growth. The program touts that internship to full-time job placement has been successful for 93% of their graduates.School website
|14||University of Kansas||Lawrence, Kansas||$9,480||62%||93%||62%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Kansas' Master of Science in Health Informatics not only focuses on the important skills necessary to analyze, design, implement and evaluate health information systems, but also focuses on health policy, organizational change and project management. By focusing on organization and policy, graduates gain a macro-level perspective of the field giving them a more holistic view of how their work fits into a system and, thus, are well-positioned for entry and mid-level positions with opportunities for growth within their career. The curriculum (with a requirement of 40 credit hours to complete), is divided into 3 cores: informatics, leadership and a specific discipline (clinical, health policy and management or public health). The health informatics core includes courses such as Transforming Health Care through Use of Information Systems and Technology and Knowledge Management in Health Care. The leadership core includes courses such as The Social Context for Health Care Policy, Evaluation and Analysis for Healthcare Effectiveness, Ethics and Governance and Health Law. The program also requires a practicum to graduate in order to demonstrate the effective application of skills and knowledge gained in the coursework.School website
|15||University of South Florida-Main Campus||Tampa, Florida||$8,350||69%||47%||71%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of South Florida's M.S. in Health Informatics aims to help transform the field of health care by preparing skilled health data management professionals. This 100% online program offers what it describes as multi-platform online learning experiences. The curriculum is delivered through mediums such as live chat rooms, online whiteboards, social networking and instructor-hosted discussion boards. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, typically in health care as physicians, medical students, nurses or pharmacists, but can also have an IT background with an interest in health care. The program requires the completion of 32 credit hours. Examples of core and required courses includes Integrated Electronic Medical Records, Health Data Management, Legal Aspects of Health Information Systems, E-Medicine Business Models and Managerial Communications. Graduates often pursue positions as information officers, health data resource managers, IT consultants with clinics or hospitals or compliance officers.School website
|16||East Carolina University||Greenville, North Carolina||$4,656||42%||70%||61%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
East Carolina University sees its Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management as a degree to support a multitude of professional backgrounds. Whether a student is a health care professional such as a nurse or a physician or in the field of data analysis or information technology, the program will be relevant. Both the Health Informatics and Information Management concentrations require 39 semester hours (36 core credits and 3 concentration credits) of coursework to complete and focus on topics such as eHealth Care Information Systems, Health Data Structures, Health Information Privacy & Security, Electronic Health Records and Evaluations Methods in Health Informatics. To graduate, Health Informatics students must also complete 120 contact hours of a related internship. Students within the Information Management concentration may, instead, complete a comprehensive thesis that demonstrates their research skills as opposed to the internship.School website
|17||University of Illinois at Chicago||Chicago, Illinois||$13,263||69%||74%||62%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Master of Science in Health Informatics sees its role as preparing professionals to advance the field of health care information while also helping to improve patient safety. The program does this by providing a foundation in the intersection of IT/computer science and health care and the health care system. This approach can be useful to anyone working in the health field including nurses, physicians, pharmacists or applied health professionals. The curriculum has a strong focus in organizational change leadership, project management, data mining and analysis, strategic planning and programming. This fully online program consists of 38 credit hours of coursework (which is a total of 13 courses). Prerequisite courses (that may be waived depending on the experience of the applicant) include Medical Terminology for Health Information Management and Fundamentals of Health Information Management. Examples of core courses include Ethics & Legal Issues in Health Informatics, Management of Health Care Communications Systems and Social & Organizational Issues in Health Informatics.School website
|18||University of South Carolina-Columbia||Columbia, South Carolina||$12,398||59%||68%||74%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of South Carolina recognizes the ever-evolving state of health information, requiring the transition from paper to electronic. In response, the Master of Health Information Technology Online program was created to prepare health information practitioners who could work in a variety of settings including health IT, government agencies, third party payers and as researchers. The curriculum is designed to provide students with not only the technical IT knowledge, but also the foundations in health care systems management. To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework in classes such as Approaches & Concepts for Health Administration, Telecommunications for Health Information Systems, Health Database Systems and Health IT & Clinical Transformation. The program maintains small class sizes, with an average of 20 students for online courses.School website
|19||Rutgers University-New Brunswick||New Brunswick, New Jersey||$16,536||46%||57%||86%||1||No||Yes||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The Rutgers University M.S. in Biomedical Informatics was created to respond to the growing demand for well-trained biomedical informatics professionals. The program has specialization options in clinical informatics, bioinformatics, consumer/patient care informatics and hospital management informatics depending on the desired career track. To graduate, students complete 36 credits. Although full-time students may finish in as few as 18 months, completion usually takes up to 2 years. Part-time students may take 3 to 5 years to complete the program. The 18 credits that make up the core biometric coursework includes classes such as Health Care Information Systems, Biomedical Modeling & Decision Making Systems and Disease Processes Systems. Each track includes 2 courses (6 credits) of specialization-specific courses. For example, the consumer/patient care track requires the courses Electronic Health Records and Healthcare Information Processing Using XML, and the hospital management track requires Health Care Data Management and Health Care Finance. Graduates of the program often go on to work in health care facilities, labs, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and private and governmental agencies.School website
|20||The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston||Houston, Texas||$7,061||-||-||-||1||No||No||Yes||Tweet this Share this||
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's School of Biomedical Informatics offers a fully online Master's in Biomedical Informatics within the applied biomedical informatics track. This program focuses on the implementation, maintenance and evaluation of electronic health records giving students the necessary skills to work in the growing field of health information management. The curriculum provides a holistic perspective of health information by learning about the U.S. health care system and healthcare legislation while also focusing on elements of health information security protocols, health data science and project management. The program requires 39 semester credit hours which may be completed 100% online. Examples of courses include the U.S. Health Care System, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Informatics, Systems Analysis & Project Management and Health Information Visualization & Visual Analytics. All students must complete a practicum to graduate which is a hands-on precepted biomedical informatics experience. Students work with a faculty adviser to develop a proposal for the practicum and then finalize their degree with a capstone report to evaluate the knowledge and skills gained during the experience.School website
Health informatics is an emerging interdisciplinary field integrating the study of analytics and information technology, clinical health practice and biomedical science. The master’s in health informatics emphasizes a multifaceted curriculum in health data analytics and research, security and privacy, information technology and administrative practices. This program builds student skills in areas ranging from natural language processing to consumer health informatics. Additional skills taught during an online master’s program in health informatics include:
In both degree options, students master all fundamentals of working in health informatics. Both degree options include coursework in information technology related to healthcare, healthcare management and planning. However, an MBA in health informatics also includes core business classes focusing on finance, accounting, statistics and business management. Individuals wishing to advance their careers in the technical or administrative side of healthcare may benefit from an MBA in health informatics.
Coursework varies by individual program, but graduate degrees in health informatics cover major concepts in health informatics applications, databases, data regulations and security practices. Below is a list of common coursework students may encounter in a Master of Science of Health Informatics program.
This course emphasizes the fundamentals of information security and examines strategic approaches and industry requirements for maintaining data privacy and restricting data access. Students learn about the latest in information security hardware and software, as well as using those tools to ensure data integrity.
This class covers database systems in healthcare settings, including their design, development and implementation. Instruction introduces students to regulations, data compliance and relational database use.
This course provides students with knowledge about basic research methodology in the field of health care and medicine. Major areas of study include bioinformatics, the proper collection and storage of health informatics data and regulated analysis and use of that information.
This course serves as a major overview of the health informatics field, including the study of computer and data use in medicine and healthcare. Students gain an understanding of healthcare data literacy, current data regulations and standards, software applications and health informatics research methodologies.
This class focuses on the principles and practices of public health surveillance, including epidemiology. Students gain practical skills in maintaining patient information through databases and using computer information systems to address issues in public health.
Through this class, students are exposed to health information system’s regulatory, legal and ethical issues. The course emphasizes ethical decision-making in terms of using computer technology for health care services delivery, as well as risk-management strategies to mitigate liability.
Depending on the health informatics program, you might be required to complete a capstone project, thesis or internship. Internships take place in your local community with a partner health organization where you participate in hands-on health informatics projects. Capstone courses are oriented around a research project in a personal or professional area of interest, while the thesis is a long-form research paper that investigates an issue or problem in the health informatics field.
Because of its relatively young age, health informatics is still taking shape as an industry. That means students have the opportunity to specialize their skill sets in a number of arenas, such as health technology or nursing. Before selecting a graduate program, students should consider their career paths to ensure the curriculum matches their academic and skill development needs. Below is a list of potential educational concentrations available in online master’s of health informatics programs.
This specialization covers the fundamental principles and practices of information technology use throughout healthcare, covering topics such as organizational systems, project management and vendor relationships.Health information administration
Students develop knowledge of health informatics administrative and management practices in healthcare service delivery and introduces subject such as information system acquisition processes and consumer e-health expectations.Nursing informatics
This specialization is designed for registered nurses seeking to build skills in information and knowledge management practices and improve the quality of clinical healthcare practices through the integration of technology.Health informatics cybersecurity
In this specialization, students explore the relationship between health information, privacy and computer security, developing knowledge of privacy regulations and security practices in areas such as telemedicine and electronic health records.
The transmission, security and use of information technology in medicine and healthcare has transformed patient care. That change has put a greater emphasis on using data to make clinical decisions and administer and manage healthcare service delivery. With a master’s in health informatics, graduates can make a difference in their chosen specialty, regardless if they have a background in medicine or information technology. Below is a list of potential career paths in health information and healthcare open to those with a health informatics master’s degree.
Clinical applications analysts are specialists that manage the transmission of information between healthcare providers and health information systems (e.g. electronic health records).Data scientist
Data scientists study and analyze large data sets from clinical trials, medical research and other sources to discover patterns and create data-driven analyses in areas such as genomics or disease modeling.Electronic medical record specialist
Electronic medical record specialists handle day-to-day health information, such as patient conditions and treatment, and enter that information into health informatics software for use in patient care or insurance billing.Health informatic director
A senior-level position responsible for managing a health organization’s information systems, handling technology issues and creating health information policies.Healthcare IT project manager
Health IT project managers handle the end-to-end information technology systems and services for healthcare organizations (e.g. hospitals, managed care networks), overseeing technology selection, installation and training.Health researcher
Health researchers conduct use data-driven approaches to technology use in health care in order to discover ways to improve patient care practices.Nursing informatics specialist
Nursing informatics specialists are registered nurses who have specialized skills in managing health information and data systems and work in cross-functional teams to leverage technology to improve patient care plans.
As students plot their career goals, they should also consider joining professional associations and organizations in health data and informatics. These associations manage industry certifications, host annual conferences, provide professional training and development programs, offer scholarships and grants and operate networking events via state, regional and local affiliates.
The AHIMA is a certification organization that provides multiple certification programs in health informatics, training and education platforms and mentoring programs.
The AMIA is a professional organization for individuals in the health information industry that offers educational programs, publishes a journal, hosts conferences and more.
The ANA is an association dedicated to advancing the practice of nursing informatics through education programs, research and policy.
HIMSS is a global nonprofit organization for information and technology professionals that offers multiple certification programs in health information and technology and provides scholarships.
Below are some of the careers that may be open to graduates with a master’s degree in health informatics. Students should note that some of these positions may require additional licensure, certification or experience, depending on the career, employer and job requirements.
|Career||Lowest 10% Earned Annually||Median Annual Salary||Highest 10% Earned Annually||Job Growth 2016-2026|
|Medical Records & Health Information Technicians||Less than $25,810||$39,180||More than $64,610||+13%|
|Medical & Health Services Manager||Less than $58,350||$98,350||More than $176,130||+20%|
|Computer & Information Research Scientist||Less than $65,540||$114,520||More than $176,780||+19%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
During the past twenty years, health informatics has emerged as a new discipline as technology integration becomes more prevalent throughout healthcare. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law in 2009 and formalized the use of health information technology in the United States healthcare system. Since that time, the industry has started to mature and has launched a new category of careers that didn’t exist a decade ago. Because of the relatively young age of these roles, employment data is still emerging. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports health information technicians are expected to see 13 percent job growth between 2016 and 2026. Overall, anecdotal information from AHIMA and other health informatics associations points to a rapidly growing industry.
Along with career advancement, a master’s degree can also pave the way to higher career earnings. According to data from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in the space earn a median salary of $55,000 while those with a graduate degree earn 45% more annually ($80,000).
Accreditation is an indication of an academic program’s overall quality as it demonstrates the curriculum, instruction and faculty meet nationally recognized standards. It’s first important to distinguish between health information management (HIM) and health informatics (HI). Health information management deals with managing and processing personal health information in healthcare organizations. Health informatics (HI) deals with applied practices to develop information technology systems to advance medicine and medical care.
In health information management, the primary accrediting body is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). For health information management (HIM) professionals, attending an accredited program is required to sit for certification examinations with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and other groups. However, health informatics (HI) programs are not required to be accredited at the academic program level.
There is more than one way to pay for a master’s in health informatics degree. The list below shows some options available to master’s students:
Most colleges and health informatics departments/programs provide scholarship opportunities for students. For example, the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions sponsors scholarships for health informatics students.
Health informatics associations offer a wide variety of health informatics to students in graduate school. For example, the Health Information and Management Systems Society provides multiple scholarships nationally and through local chapters.
If you’re pursuing clinical informatics, you may qualify for a clinical informatics fellowship sponsored by the American Medical Informatics Association.
You should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for federal financial aid.