How to Earn a Healthcare Analytics Degree?

This article contains important information about healthcare analytics degrees and how you can earn one. We will provide you with information about solid online healthcare analytics degrees that you may want to earn to enjoy an exciting career in healthcare analytics.

What Is a Healthcare Analytics Degree?

A bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare analytics is a program that will prepare you with the skills that you need to be able to acquire, interpret and communicate regarding healthcare data that can be used to shape and improve healthcare organizations and the healthcare industry overall.

Students in healthcare analytics programs are prepared to take middle and upper management positions in healthcare companies and organizations that require them to do in depth analysis of large quantities of administrative, financial and clinical data.

A healthcare analyst with this advanced degree will have the skills that are needed to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret and transform healthcare data into consistent, timely and accurate information.

Why Earn a Healthcare Analytics Degree?

The amount of patient data that is available for analysis in healthcare organizations is staggering. It is estimated by industry experts that the amount of data available to healthcare organizations will reach 25,000 petabytes by 2020. This is a staggering amount of information that contains critical knowledge about how to improve patient care at a lower cost.

Data is growing at such a pace because the demand for healthcare services is increasing so quickly as our US population grows older. As technology improves, there is much greater need for many types of healthcare services. All of this produces large amounts of healthcare data that must be sorted through.

The healthcare industry today is under intense pressure to use such data to provide better healthcare services at a lower price point. At the same time, the advance of technology means that healthcare organizations continue to accumulate large amounts of data at their disposal that can be used to increase efficiency and patient care – if it is properly analyzed and acted upon.

This is the basis of healthcare analytics as practiced by healthcare analysts in many types of healthcare organizations today. Healthcare analysts use healthcare analytics to carefully study and compile large amounts of medical data. Healthcare analysts must both compile and maintain what is referred to often as ‘big data’, which offers crucial insights into how to boost quality of care and to reduce costs.

By earning a degree in healthcare analytics, you will be able to tap into the greatly increasing need for expert health care analysts to make the most of this growing pile of data to improve healthcare outcomes and to lower costs. You will be responsible for not only making sense of large amounts of data to better guide the healthcare organization in how it takes care of patients.

You also will need to ensure that all of the data and patient records is secure as well. By earning your healthcare analytics degree, you will need to stay informed about all new and proposed laws regarding health data, and to understand new trends in managing all of this data.

Strong Salary and Job Growth Potential

Because healthcare data analysts are so important today, you can expect to make a very good income and have plenty of jobs to choose from. Specifically, it is estimated that healthcare analysts will see 17% job growth in this and in related fields by 2024, which is much faster than average.

The median salary for these types of workers will vary based upon if you have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but the median pay as of 2016 was $96,540. Those with a bachelor’s degree may earn less, possibly in the range of $57,000 per year.

Choosing Your Healthcare Analytics Degree Path

By earning your degree in healthcare analytics, you have the choice of earning one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in data management, data analytics and/or healthcare analytics
  • Master’s degree in healthcare analytics

Which you choose will depend upon how far along you are in your career in this field, and whether you have significant amounts of healthcare experience.

Online Bachelor’s Degree Options

For professionals with less experience in the field of healthcare but are experience in information technology, you may want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Data Management and Data Analytics from Western Governor’s University. This is a general data management and data analytics bachelor’s degree that can be applied to the healthcare field quite easily.

This online, three or four year program will give you the industry certifications, cutting edge knowledge and skills so that you can succeed in healthcare analytics and data analytics.

You will learn to hone these following skills in this bachelor’s degree program:

  • How to acquire, analyze and present healthcare data to support rational decision making
  • How to protect sensitive data and network information from any unauthorized access
  • Apply data collection and analysis methods in the healthcare field by using the latest tools, technologies and scripting
  • Learn how to identify complex patterns in healthcare information datasets

This WGU degree also contains a capstone project that will allow you to demonstrate what you have learned in data management and apply it to a healthcare setting.

Some of the required classes in this program include:

  • IT Foundations
  • IT Applications
  • Networks
  • Web Development Foundations
  • Scripting and Programming Foundations
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • Data Structures
  • Spreadsheets

Online Master’s Degree Options

For more experienced professionals, and those who wish to hone their healthcare analytics skills specifically in the healthcare field, we recommend the Master of Science in Health and Life Science Analytics degree from National University. This is designed to provide you with a highly rigorous and practical master’s learning experience by applying statistical methods to provide solutions to life science and health analytics programs.

The primary goal of this two year program online is to ready you for a career in healthcare analytics or possibly in the pharmaceutical industry. To fully address the complex issues of health and life science data analytics, the curriculum is designed to feature advanced analytic courses that are relevant to both the healthcare and clinical areas.

Vital topics in this program include the following:

  • Analytical and predictive models in the healthcare industry
  • Acquisition of data
  • Data mining
  • Healthcare management and information systems
  • Health management and epidemiology
  • Clinical trials
  • Health outcomes research
  • Clinical research analytics

This program consists of a total of 58.5 credits, and may be completed entirely online.

Accreditation

If you are considering a program in healthcare analytics, it is recommended to verify if the program has been properly accredited by a respected organization in the field. The most well known and respected accreditation body in the field of healthcare analytics is the American Health Information Management Association of AHIMA.

Summary

The field of healthcare analytics is growing quickly, as is the general field of healthcare across the country. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s in healthcare and/or data analytics will ensure that you are armed with the critical skills to enjoy a very dynamic career with good earning potential.

References

Robert Sanchez
Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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