Dakota State University delivers a cheap online Master's in Health Informatics that is approved by the Health Informatics and Management Systems Society. Students should note that due to state regulations, this degree may not be available online in their community. It is a practice-based degree; students should expect to complete a research and a capstone project for graduation. This degree is offered asynchronously and can be completed in as little as two years with full-time study. Program requirements include 33 credit hours and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Healthcare Informatics, Information Systems and Technology, Data Analytics in Healthcare, and Project and Change Management.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Health Informatics Online 2021
The online Master’s in Healthcare Informatics is an incredible opportunity for any student who is hoping to enter into the field. With technology and medicine becoming intertwined at an exponential rate, it’s important that professionals with an understanding of how electronic health records and the technologies that use them work. Now, with the inclusion of healthcare informatics graduate degrees in virtual education, students can continue working while earning an advanced degree in this exciting field.
The demand for healthcare informatics graduates has never been higher. As health data is translated into electronic records, apps in use for both consumers and medical professionals, and a variety of other advancements, it makes sense for schools to provide online offerings. That is why this ranking was created.
Getting an online degree in healthcare informatics shouldn’t be expensive, as this ranking shows. With information pulled from the National Center for Education Statistics, an initial pool of 50 affordable and high-quality programs was created. From there, the final 10 were decided upon and ranked by in-state graduate tuition costs.
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Most Affordable Master’s in Health Informatics Online of 2021
Our Methodology, Explained
Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30% Program Offerings Number of program options 20% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Health Informatics Degree?
Health informatics is a growing field; recent healthcare reform has mandated that all health records must become electronic. This means that there is an influx of career options for professionals who hold a graduate degree in health informatics. Here are just a few of the positions currently available to those with a degree in the field:
- Chief Information Officer
- Health Informatics Director
- IT Systems Analyst
- Electronic Medical Record Keeper
- Health Information Technology Project Manager
- Healthcare Systems Analyst
- IT Administrator
- Health Informatics Consultant
Because health informatics is rapidly changing both inside the field and the fields that it informs, it’s possible that there a variety of other career options available. Positions like freelance health informatics writer, consultants, journalist, and author are viable as a career path going forward.
Many professionals in health informatics also have a background in another profession. The most common is nursing, which has led to the rise in demand for nursing informatics specialists. This is a highly specialized field that continues to grow, enabling more nurses to branch out from clinical work and move into health informatics.
Another thing to keep in mind is that business professionals, engineers, and computer science professionals also can find specialized positions for themselves in health informatics. This often takes on a hybrid role, enabling professionals to combine two fields into one position. Sample positions in this field include Chief Medical Officer, Chief Information Officer, and as a director in a healthcare system.
Whatever path a student chooses, it’s best to have it figured out while in graduate school. This enables a student to earn a concentration or even a certificate in that particular field, giving them a better shot at finding employment in their dream career. While the possibilities are endless, it’s advised that students choose one particular track in health informatics and find career paths suited to that track.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
As with most graduate degrees, health informatics salaries vary wildly. This is due to the immense amount of career options available to them with an online Master’s in Health Informatics. Currently, however, the average salary range for this degree is from $80,000 to $200,000.
The most common position for health informatics professionals is that of a manager or consultant. They generally make a starting salary of $80,000. Health informatics directors, which is a career path that is also open to professionals, often make between $80,000 to $100,000 within a few years of working in the field.
On the higher end of the spectrum, it is possible for ambitious health informatics professionals to become chief medical information officers. These professionals make between $100,000 to $200,000 with added bonuses and other forms of compensation.
As with all salaries, certifications, previous work experience, and accredited programs all play a role in salary negotiations; this also goes for cost-of-living and demand for these professionals in their area. A student will find that they will be able to make enough money no matter where in the country they reside.
What are the Various Disciplines of Health Informatics?
Health informatics is, by nature, an interdisciplinary field. It is a cross between business, healthcare, computer science, engineering, and information technology. These main disciplines inform many of the other disciplines that play a role in the field.
Other disciplines also play a role, including psychology, sociology, and nursing. In fact, many nurses earn a degree in health informatics in order to advance their career goals. Psychology and sociology also play a role because of the interpersonal and translational aspects of the field; health informatics professionals are often relaying information to providers, project managers, administrators, and executives. It’s important they understand how to communicate effectively.
Health informatics professionals also work with the discipline of engineering. Because most of their work includes analyzing and solving problems in the architecture of the information management systems that they are responsible for, a foundation in engineering has proven to be very useful in the field. It’s also integral for those who have the job of actually creating the systems that the healthcare industry uses on a day-to-day basis.
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Is Certification Available for Health Informatics Professionals?
Yes, health informatics certifications are available for professionals in the field. These are obtained through the field’s top associations and societies, which include:
Certifications are earned by submitting proof that a student has successfully completed an accredited graduate program. They are then tasked with completing the exam, which varies on subject and format from organization to organization. Once they earn certification, they will need to retake the test every two years in order to keep their certification in good standing.
A word of note to professionals: earning a certificate while in school for health informatics is not the same thing as earning certification. Certification is obtained after a student has successfully completed their degree through an exam; certificates are offered by schools in partnership with the above organizations. Earning a certificate does offer a pathway to certification, but it is not guaranteed. Therefore, students should focus on earning both in order to benefit from the distinctions that these provide.
While students do not need to earn certification in order to be a professional in health informatics, it is highly encouraged. This is because the specialization certification allows them to be eligible for different careers and may even advance them to mid-level administrative positions. Certification can also lead to networking opportunities as professionals become members of the organization that conferred the distinction.
Is Accreditation Necessary for this Degree?
Accreditation is not necessary for an online Master’s in Health Informatics, but it is highly encouraged, especially by potential employers in the workforce. Companies prefer students who have accredited degrees for numerous reasons. The biggest reason is that students that graduate from accredited programs tends to have a better understanding of how the field actually works.
Attending an accredited program is beneficial for professionals. This is because HIMSS and CAHIIM accreditation can lead to certification options, which can be useful for professionals when interviewing for positions. The certificates, which are voluntary, are a mark of distinction among professionals and are most often already part of the curriculum in online programs.
The most important reason for earning an accredited degree is the fact that students will have a high-quality education that benefits their entire careers. Programs of this nature often reevaluate their programs on an annual basis and update courses as needed while retiring others that no longer serve the field. This is perhaps the best reason why every student should be focused on finding an accredited online degree in the field of health informatics.
Healthcare informatics remains one of the strongest advancements in the field of healthcare. Professionals who are interested in the field will find that while many career options are available at the undergraduate education level, those options increase with a Master’s in Health Informatics.
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