Is It Worth Getting a Masters in Health Informatics? [2020 Guide]

Is it worth getting a masters in Health Informatics?

Masters in Health Informatics

With job demand on the rise, it can be a profitable venture for future industry professionals.

But you’ll need to make sure that you choose the right degree program to maximize the benefits of your education.

Is it Worth Getting a Masters in Health Informatics?

data analyst working on his computer

Yes, a masters in health informatics is worth it. With an average salary of $72,000 (PayScale), a health informatics degree can help you launch a career in the Health Informatics industry. Common healthcare informatics careers include administrators, data analysts, project managers, IT consultants and computer system specialists.

You aren’t limited to a specific type of degree, either. There are several options for graduate students who want to study healthcare informatics, including:

  • Master of Health Informatics (MHI)
  • Master of Science (MS) in Health Informatics
  • Master of Health Science (MHS) in Health Informatics
  • Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) with an Informatics concentration
  • Master of Healthcare Management (MHM) with an Informatics concentration

As you might imagine, there’s a lot of crossover between these degrees. They teach many of the same subjects, including finance, information technology and data analytics, and they can have the same degree requirements in terms of internships and residencies.

Ultimately, the decision will be yours. Which degree programs are offered by your favorite schools? How many credits will you need to graduate? What’s their admission process like? What’s their acceptance rate?

Ask yourself these questions while comparing and contrasting colleges to figure out which one has the best healthcare informatics program for you.

Health Informatics Careers & Salaries

Health Informatics Careers & Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations will grow by 14 percent in the next decade. More than 1.9 million jobs will be added to the economy, including healthcare-based administrative jobs in records, finances, supply chains and information systems.

The field of informatics is buzzing with opportunity. Here are just a few careers that you might consider after getting your master’s degree:

Careers Median Annual Wage
System Integration Engineer $138,000
Information Technology Consultant $94,000
Clinical Informatics Specialist $88,000
Application Support Analyst $68,000
System Administrator $68,000
Data Analyst $65,000
Information Systems Analyst $64,000
Oracle Database Administrator $64,000
Revenue Cycle Analyst $63,000
Health Information Management Supervisor $54,000

As you can see, there’s a wide range of salaries depending on your chosen profession. Other factors that can impact salary include your company, location, credentials, years of experience and overall job demand.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Masters in Health Informatics?

project manager having a meeting with his colleagues

There are many potential career paths for students who are interested in health informatics. This is one of the reasons why a masters in healthcare informatics worth it; you can take your degree and become everything from a freelance software engineer to a corporate project manager.

As for the most common jobs in healthcare informatics, here are a few that you’ll probably see over and over again on job boards:

  • Informaticists. Also known as “informatics specialists” or “information systems specialists,” these are the experts that track, collect, analyze, organize and distribute clinical data for healthcare companies.
  • Administrators. Since informatics is usually regarded as a sub-specialty of healthcare administration or healthcare management, there can be a lot of overlap between these jobs.
  • Information technology professionals. These tend to be the highest-paying careers in health informatics. They can involve everything from software development to network management.
  • Consultants. Rather than working for a single clinic or hospital, healthcare informatics consultants lend their skills to different organizations.
  • Data analysts. Analysts have very similar jobs to informaticists, but instead of being solely devoted to information systems, they might also work with papers and people.

Keep in mind, however, that these are just the most common jobs. There are many other options for healthcare informatics professionals, including ones in computers, finance, business, insurance and customer support.

Is Health Informatics a Good Career Choice?

administrator working in his office

Is a masters in health informatics worth it? This is a common question for students who are interested in the data-driven side of the healthcare industry.

Fortunately, it has a good answer: Health informatics is on the rise, and master’s degree holders often have an edge over other job applicants.

The world grows more digital by the day. Healthcare businesses are adapting to that fact, so there’s an increasing demand for online networks and information systems, which translates to more jobs for qualified applicants.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than 1.9 million healthcare jobs added to the industry in the next decade. That’s a 14 percent growth rate, and that’s much higher than the national average for all occupations.

A graduate degree can’t guarantee you a job. However, it can prepare you for work in specialized positions or leadership roles, and it can give your resume a boost when it’s being compared to others.

What Is a Masters in Health Informatics?

project manager and staff collaborating on a project

A master’s degree in health informatics is a graduate-level degree. It’s available in many forms, including a master of science (MS), master of health informatics (MHI) and a concentration for a master of healthcare administration (MHA) or master of healthcare management (MHM).

Subjects can vary, but you’ll usually learn about business, finance, policy, technology and information systems. Data analytics is another big theme. You might also be asked to take math classes to prepare you for work with things like statistics and insurance claims.

If you’re aiming for a supervisory position with a title like “manager” or “director,” you might want to look into some leadership electives as well.

How Much Is the Salary of Health Informatics?

data analysts working together in the office

PayScale indicates that the average salary for a master’s degree holder in healthcare informatics is $72,000 per year. However, some jobs can reach higher than $100,000 per year while others can be as low as $50,000 per year.

The best-paying jobs are usually related to information technology (IT). You can make serious money as a software developer, database administrator, network architect or system integration engineer.

You might also be interested in becoming an informaticist. This is the title given to informatics specialists who use their computer skills to collect and organize healthcare data in its many forms. With salaries in the $80,000 – $90,000 range, it can be a pretty lucrative job.

At the end of the day, however, your paycheck will depend on what you want to do and where you want to work. Salaries are just as diverse as job opportunities in the field of healthcare informatics.

Should I Choose an Online Health Informatics Master’s Degree?

office administrator working on her desk

Is an online masters in healthcare informatics worth it? Is it the same as a regular degree? Will it hold equal weight with a degree that was earned on campus?

If you choose the right degree program, the answer is yes.

Here’s what to look for in an online grad school:

  • Accreditation. An accredited college is one that meets the standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Always look for accredited colleges when seeking a degree of any type, including an online degree.
  • Accessibility. Some online programs have flexible, self-paced classes that can be completed on your own schedule. Others have real-time lectures to facilitate participation and engagement. Which kind sounds right for you?
  • Quality. Many online programs are just digital versions of the programs offered on campus. They have the same teachers and textbooks, and in most cases, your transcript won’t even say that you earned the credits virtually. These are usually the best online degree programs.

Another thing to note is that some online programs aren’t 100 percent online. They might have face-to-face requirements for exams, practicums, internships or capstone projects. Make sure to do some research on your school’s expectations before applying.

What Does a Masters of Health Informatics Degree Cost?

Masters of Health Informatics Degree student studying online

Per credit, the cost of a graduate degree is usually higher than an undergraduate degree. However, the specifics will depend on a number of factors:

  • What does the school charge for tuition?
  • How many credits are required for their master’s in healthcare informatics?
  • Do they offer any deals for banded tuition or accelerated semesters?
  • Will you be enrolled part-time or full-time?

A master’s degree in health informatics can require anywhere between 15 – 50 credits, so you’ll need to do the math after looking at prices per credit.

What are the Requirements for a MHI?

Masters of Health Informatics Degree student searching online

Are you ready for grad school? You might need to meet certain requirements before you’re considered a viable candidate for admission. Every university is different, but here are the most common things that students are asked for:

  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of intent

The good news is that a health informatics degree doesn’t usually have special admissions criteria. Even if you majored in an unrelated field on the baccalaureate level, you can still pursue an MHI.

Getting Your Health Informatics Degree Online

data analyst working on her laptop

Is a masters in health informatics worth it? While no one can answer that question but you, it’s definitely a degree with a lot of benefits.

It has real-world applications in multiple industries, and it offers big paychecks with specialized, in-demand jobs. If you have a passion for healthcare and a knack for information systems, this could be the degree for you.

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Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
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