Types of Health Information Management Degrees

by Jeremy on July 6, 2012

Depending on the level of success that one wants to achieve in the field of health information management, there are a variety of options that one has. One can decide to pursue an associate’s degree and make a very respectable salary upon graduation, or one can pursue a doctoral degree and make hundreds of thousands of dollars in this field. One’s success is truly unlimited with the plethora of opportunities that await someone pursuing a health information management degree.

Associate’s in Health Information Management

The typical associate’s degree program prepares an individual for a career as a medical coder. A coder has the flexibility of choosing his or her own hours. The benefit of completing an associate’s degree program is that it can be completed in less than 2 years if a student decides to pursue courses year-round. One may even be able to graduate early by taking extra credits in a semester. One should also inquire about the offering of specific certifications, such as IT professional or blood technologist specialist.

Bachelor’s in Health Information Management

Most major universities now offer a degree in medical informatics. A health informatics degree can pave the future for any number of careers. One may obtain a four-year degree in health informatics and aspire to become a healthcare lawyer. One may obtain a four-year degree in health informatics and decide that he or she wants to attend medical school. For those who want to start working after obtaining this degree, the typical career paths are IT professional, project manager or even software developer. A growing number of students are pursuing this degree so that they can work for hospital software companies after graduation as developers.

Master’s in Health Information Management

A master’s degree in health information management typically focuses on the creation of integrated health care information, data management and decision support systems for hospitals and other healthcare institutions. Graduates of a master’s in health information management program will be able to thrive and innovate within an increasingly technology-supported and information-driven healthcare system. Graduates will be prepared for responsibilities in numerous areas, including enterprise-wide master patient index systems, health care data security oversight, strategic and operational information resource planning, clinical data analysis,health care data resources administration, medical vocabularies, clinical decision support systems, clinical classification systems, information systems development and the implementation of systems such as electronic health records.

Ph.D. in Health Information Management

With a doctoral degree in health informatics, one may be able to become a professor in a medical school, communications program or other degree program at a university. Some individuals pursue a Ph.D in this field so that they can do research for cutting-edge software development companies. As hospitals continue to have a growing need for individuals who understand information systems, those who have high levels of expertise will be required for positions with high salaries. One who has a Ph.D may be able to make a salary of upwards of $100,000 or more upon graduating from school with this degree.

These are a few of the top career choices that a person has when he or she pursues a health information management degree.

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