IT and Healthcare – Where the Jobs Are!
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT job market added 62,500 jobs in 2012, a good start, but not yet a number that returns the sector to its pre-recession highs.
But for those of us staffing IT professionals for the healthcare industry, we have seen an exceptionally robust demand for IT talent over the last three/four years. In 2012, IT jobs in healthcare and healthcare insurance lead the way as the fastest growing segments of the IT marketplace. 2013 is shaping up to look the same.
Part of the reason for healthcare-related IT growth is driven by an overall growth in healthcare services in general—the growing patient population fueled by our aging baby boomers. Overall healthcare employment rose by 338,000 jobs in 2012, and is expected to surpass that number in 2013. According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies one in nine Americans will be working in a healthcare related job by the year 2020.
IT growth is also being fueled by changes directly impact the healthcare industry. Two of the primary drivers of growth in healthcare IT have been the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the 2010 Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare). The Recovery Act set new technology standards for medical providers, requiring that hospitals, clinics and insurers adapt standardized electronic systems for storing and sharing patient health records. The new ICD-10 billing and coding standards are being implemented now.
In similar fashion, the Affordable Care Act has created a whole new set of IT jobs stemming from the state-based online health insurance marketplaces that must be operable by January, 2014.
By all counts, the basic infrastructure that needs to be in place just to meet the new service needs of the millions of new patients/consumers who will be entering the healthcare marketplace between 2013 and 2020 ensures strong growth in the IT job market for several years to come.
As healthcare providers have been turning more and more to new forms of virtual care as a way to lower their operating costs, IT professionals have been expanding the quantity and quality of ways patients and providers can interface virtually. In the last two years, those interfaces have had to accommodate an increasingly mobile population of healthcare customers, requiring constant changes in mobile friendly interfaces.
Other IT projects have been focused on improving clinical data searches, business intelligence, and the development of systems to allow various software, apps, databases and clinical hardware to share and exchange information. Big data has definitely been a trend alive and well in healthcare IT.
With some variation between surveys, IT salaries have been slated to grow somewhere between 1-5% over the next 12 months, with the bulk of the higher percentage increases being earned by the IT professionals who are involved with healthcare.
For more information about jobs in IT, healthcare, insurance and financial markets in particular, contact firstname.lastname@example.org—please include IT jobs in the subject line.