One of the biggest emerging markets for healthcare IT jobs is in the field of data science. In healthcare we often like to call it healthcare analytics or big data or some variation on those, but all of these generally fall under the broad concept of data science. The work available in these areas is absolutely exploding.
If you look at the history of healthcare IT and EHR in particular, it’s no surprise that data science is becoming so popular. First organizations had to move from paper to an electronic world. We could argue about how well we’ve done at this change, but there’s no doubt that meaningful use has driven massive adoption of EHR software. That’s a huge shift from paper to electronic.
Now that much of the healthcare data is electronic we’re starting to ask ourselves “what can we do with all of this data?” This is where data science comes into play.
One challenge that we have is that there are few people who understand both the data science world and the healthcare and medical world. It begs the eternal question: Is it easier to train someone with healthcare experience to learn data science or someone with data science experience about healthcare? Good, bad or otherwise, I’ve personally seen healthcare more interested in the former.
With that in mind, I’m excited by a new Data Science For Dummiesbook which is being released in a few weeks from one of my data science friends, Lillian Pierson. This girl eats, sleeps, and drinks data science. I think she literally frolics with data science for fun. So, I believe the book will be a great intro to data science for those already in healthcare that are interested in how to get the most out of all this data. You can pre-order the book on Amazon if you’re interested in building up your healthcare analytics skills.
I’m certain that more and more jobs are going to be available to people who have skills in data science. A quick search for healthcare analytics jobs on Healthcare IT Central shows how many jobs are already looking for people with analytics skills. One challenge is that these jobs fall under a wide variety of job titles. However, you can be certain that once you’re in a job interview, having skills in data science is going to really set you apart from other candidates without them.