In my previous post about Where will 50,000 come from?, the need for more skilled health IT workers was discussed as well as where these individuals might be found. Here we are, just past mid-2010 and there are many health system CIOs, vendors and consulting firms looking to hire qualified IT leaders and staff. Many of these positions have been open for awhile with IT projects, EMR rollouts and meaningful use demands hanging on the edge, in need of leaders and staff. Even those lucky health systems, with inpatient EMR/CPOE systems, are looking to fill key roles in the growing ambulatory and ancillary areas, customer service/help desk and Business Intelligence.
Healthcare IT job postings have grown in the last year
As of July 2010, the job posting sites for health IT are bursting with openings, for example Indeed.com has over 6,000 job postings for healthcare information technology positions, and has seen a 30% increase in HIT job postings in the last year. ANIA-CARING – Nursing Informatics Organization, has over 800 job postings for nursing and clinical informatics specialists. Other healthcare association sites, such as HIMSS and ACHE, allow non-members to view all job openings and they have many HIT job postings.
Many individuals looking for work
Unfortunately, many individuals looking to break into healthcare IT are not having much luck. It is frustrating for them not to find an entry point. There is stiff competition from IT professionals with healthcare backgrounds. As I have learned from talking to CIOs and other healthcare IT professionals, not all of them started their careers in healthcare or even healthcare IT. They had entry points, mentors, networking opportunities or luck on their side.
In fact, one of the leading health system CIOs in the Midwest started as an analyst in the health system, after leaving a large retailer’s IT department. It helps to have transferable skills and key attributes such as clinical expertise or some type of unique technology background. Having an outstanding resume and impeccable interview skills will also help a job seeker in this competitive environment.
Closing the gap
How can individuals from other industries or within healthcare move into health IT positions? What skills do they need? What are employers looking for? Reading and research about the industry you want to enter is important, check out some articles on the topic at About.com, join associations in the field, talk to people in HIT positions.
For anyone interested on entering the health IT industry, you may want to check out my recent webinar on the subject located at http://healthinformatics.uic.edu/health-care-it-industry-career-strategies/.
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