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Health IT offers career growth opportunities, according to new survey

The first of its kind survey about health IT professionals—an evolving field that links information technology, communications, and health care to improve the quality and safety of patient care—addresses new data correlating education and experience with salary and job satisfaction in the field. 

The survey, from Bisk Education, a leader in online education, and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine at University of South Florida, conducted in collaboration with HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), a global organization dedicated to better health care through information technology, provides information about:

  • Growth in health IT
  • The relationship between education and salary
  • How credentials can boost salaries
  • Job stability
  • Years of experience
  • Job opportunities
  • Overall job satisfaction

“We are excited and honored to collaborate with USF Health and HIMSS on this very important health IT survey,” says Mike Bisk, president of Bisk Education. “This new data proves the value that continued education has on a health IT professional’s career. We look forward to continued growth of this profession.”

The survey is vital for both health IT professionals and those considering a career in the field. The profession is so new that reliable statistics are few and far between. The survey, which will be conducted annually, aims to become the known source of information on the field.

The inaugural survey includes information from 404 respondents with 51 data points from seven countries and 42 U.S. states.

Key survey findings include:

  • Salary findings: When it comes to evaluating salaries, there are quite a few variables such as educational requirements, years of experience, the job description/title (respondents report an eye-opening 303 unique job titles), and location. Annual salaries of more than $130,000 are reported by the largest population of health IT professionals surveyed. The majority of respondents report earning annual salaries greater than $80,000.
  • Job satisfaction: According to the survey, 140 people are very satisfied with their career in health informatics, compared to only 18 who describe themselves as very dissatisfied. The findings show a correlation between level of education and job satisfaction. Respondents with advanced degrees (master’s and doctorate) are more likely to be very satisfied (89 people) or at least somewhat satisfied (55 people) with their career choice, compared to people who are very dissatisfied (only four people).
  • Advanced degrees = higher pay: The more you know, the more you can command in salary, according to the survey. Findings show that additional credentials such as certifications roughly double the chances of professionals earning an annual salary greater than $130,000. While 43 respondents with credentials (29 percent) say they make more than $130,000 annually, only 28 people (12 percent) without credentials report making more than $130,000 annually. Women are leading in this realm with 232 reporting they have additional credentials, compared to 150 male survey respondents.
  • Diversity in job titles: Of the 404 survey respondents, 303 report having a unique job title. The potential exists to categorically break down job titles and discover how the different categories correlate with income and education. However, there is a larger narrative here concerning the profession’s many niches which require professionals with a wide range of skills and backgrounds.
  • Women are leading the way: 204 women responded (nearly 54 percent) compared to 172 men (46 percent).
  • New opportunities and stability: The findings show more than 100 respondents with more than 10 years of experience in the health informatics field. According to the data, experienced health IT professionals tend to have long, stable careers, with 160 respondents reporting having worked in their current role from six to 10 years.
  • Florida is a hotbed for health informatics: Health informatics is booming in Florida, according to the survey results. More than 100 respondents are from Florida. Every major region of the United States has a show of strong participation with hotspots in Indiana, Washington state, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico. Professionals from seven countries and 42 U.S. states responded.
  • The future looks bright: That optimism comes directly from health IT professionals currently working in the field. They overwhelmingly foresee career growth over the next five years. According to survey results, 337 respondents believe the career will continue to grow, compared to only 41 people who don’t agree.

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