- Online Master's Degrees in Health Informatics
Integrating coursework in healthcare operations, business analytics and information technology (IT), online master's programs in health informatics prepare graduates to excel in a field that offers competitive salaries and opportunities to impact patients' lives and communities.
Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics
Offered by the renowned Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, the online HealthInformatics@GW program provides students with the opportunity to become innovative problem solvers who have the skills to improve health care systems, patient outcomes and overall public health through the use of data and technology.
Admissions requirements vary by program but typically include:
- Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Essay or statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation
- Application and official transcripts
- TOEFL scores for students educated in non-English speaking countries
Relevant professional experience may also be required depending upon program focus or track chosen. For example, some programs are designed specifically for experienced healthcare professionals and require one to three years of related experience.
Programs that admit students without a healthcare or IT background may require the completion of certain prerequisite courses.
Core courses vary by program but commonly cover: the US healthcare system; healthcare leadership, ethics, innovation and entrepreneurship; an introduction to the clinical environment; IT project management; information management retrieval, and design; decision science; and healthcare analytics.
Specializations vary widely by school, but some of the most common include:
- Nursing informatics
- Clinical informatics
- Public health informatics
- Organization informatics
- Social informatics
- Biomedical informatics
To meet students' varied career objectives and backgrounds, some programs also offer tracks in applied informatics, research and other areas.
In addition to online coursework, some programs require completion of a capstone project or on-campus immersion experiences.
Choosing the Best Online Master's in Health Informatics Program
When comparing programs, applicants should consider the characteristics that set apart the best online health informatics programs.
- Accredited: Program and university accreditation ensures that the program meets rigorous standards and that its degrees will be recognized by current and prospective employers. In the health informatics field, program accreditation by Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is the recognized standard of excellence.
- Rankings: Applicants may find that rankings can be useful, if not definitive, tools for understanding the relative strengths of a program. In reviewing rankings, applicants should note whether the ranking is for the school as a whole or for the individual program. Some rankings specifically rate online programs. While many online programs are identical to on-campus counterparts, some are not, and the on-campus ranking may not apply.
- Platform: An effective technology platform and engaging learning format are essential to the online graduate school experience. When evaluating a program, applicants should consider whether it offers:
- The flexibility to earn a graduate healthcare degree while maintaining career and family commitments.
- Innovative technology that connects students and faculty through live classes, social media and online collaboration tools.
- On-campus visits where students gain hands-on experience working with expert faculty who are active in the field.
2U-Powered Health Informatics Programs
2U partners with top universities to offer their degree programs online, including master's programs in health informatics. Students in 2U partner programs benefit from the highest-quality online learning platform available, with access to an online campus from anywhere they have an Internet connection. University faculty lead all academic issues related to programs, including instruction and curriculum development. 2U-powered programs feature:
created by faculty and available 24/7.
in a collaborative online classroom.
between students and universities.
at field placements or immersions.
from application through graduation.
Career Trends and Jobs Outlook
From advances in mobile technology and cloud computing to the impact of the Affordable Care Act, converging trends are leading to continued employment demand, competitive salaries, and career growth for health informatics graduates.
According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) 2015 compensation survey, healthcare information technology (HIT) professionals earned an average annual salary of $111,387.52 and a median salary of $90,000. In the last year, 77.4% of the survey respondents reported receiving a salary increase; 47.3% reported receiving a bonus.
Common management-level positions and average salaries* in the health informatics field include:
- Health Informatics Director: $66,000
- Health Informatics Consultant: $112,000
- Chief Medical Information Officer: $253,000
- Director of Nursing Informatics: $102,000
- RN, Informatics: $82,000
- Senior Healthcare Informatics Analyst: $90,000
*As reported on Indeed.com as of July 2016.