Health Information Exchange Featured Article

July 27, 2012

Jobs Picture Gloomy? Not for Healthcare IT Workers!

Though healthcare employment is projected to outpace every other economic sector until 2020, and growth in many areas remains flat, healthcare IT job openings soared by 18 percent from first quarter to second quarter, according to HEALTHeCAREERS Network.

The survey conducted by the website found that IT employment “continues to demonstrate slow, steady growth, especially among HIT analysts as providers look to evaluate potential implementations such as electronic health records.” And if you’re a systems/network engineer, you probably already know they’re beating down your door.

Other areas that experienced growth were analyst/systems (30 percent), IT management (12 percent), health information administrator (nine percent), and systems/network engineer (eight percent). But systems/network engineers grew the most, a staggering 190 percent.

Texas, Florida and California are the top three states looking for healthcare employees.

Healthcare IT is where the real money – and jobs – are right now.   “Our IT needs have steadily increased as we move to automate our processes and convert to electronic medical records,” the report states.

Most sought after in the second quarter were analyst/systems (30 percent), IT management (12 percent), health information administrator (nine percent), and systems/network engineer (8 percent).

Healthcare IT employment is growing steadily, even though the numbers are not as strong for healthcare IT as for healthcare practitioners. But with the HITECH Act and as hospitals move toward ICD-10 and Meaningful Use deadlines, HIT jobs will continue to grow, the survey notes.

And the proliferation of diverse electronic health record and operating systems that continue to confound businesses, while frustrating for them, means only good news for HIT employees. 

“The fact that HIT analysts are the number one job posted under healthcare IT indicates that many providers are still evaluating potential technology implementations and sorting through the different options available,” the report reveals.

Ironically, although a recent survey found that diagnostic imaging use was declining, the survey found that its employment data “supports industry evidence that the use of advanced diagnostic imaging tools is on the rise,” as are jobs for those in this discipline, due to new technologies.

Over the last 12 months, the healthcare sector has gained 360,000 jobs.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that healthcare gained 61,000 jobs in February alone, according to Stephanie Bouchard. She adds that BLS’ employment projections say total employment is expected to grow by 14.3 percent through 2020, resulting in 20.5 million jobs, with healthcare and social assistance seeing the most gain with 5.6 million jobs.

Edited by Brooke Neuman