UNCG to offer online certificate in health care IT management

UNCG will begin offering a graduate certificate in health information technology that will allow students to master the competencies needed for jobs in one of the nation’s fastest growing professions.

“Depending on who you ask, there is a shortage of between 50,000 and 100,000 trained health care information technology professionals in the United States that needs to be filled over the next five years,” said Dr. Eric W. Ford, the Forsyth Medical Center Distinguished Professor at UNCG. “In addition, it’s one of the fastest growing professions, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”

The online certificate program in the Bryan School of Business and Economics is designed to meet the needs of two groups: people with clinical experience seeking to move into other aspects of health care delivery, and individuals without clinical training who want to make the transition into the health care industry. For example, there is great need for nurses knowledgeable about health care information technology in order to implement the electronic health records requirements mandated by the federal government. Having health care information technology competencies and experience will be an essential skill set for effective managers in both hospital and clinical settings.

“It’s an opportunity to work in a sector of the economy where you make other people’s lives better,” Ford said, noting it’s also a sector that is recession resistant. “The hospital never closes, so there are always jobs available.”

“Health care organizations often provide tuition support for educational programs such as the certificate to fill the need for HIT expertise,” added Dr. Lakshmi Iyer, director of graduate programs for the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management. “In addition, certificate holders can apply some of the credits earned to a master’s degree in business, information technology or nursing offered by UNCG. It is a great way to advance one’s education and create future opportunities.”

The 12-credit hour certificate, which will launch in the fall of 2011, is a flexible, online program that could be completed in one calendar year. Applicants are not required to have taken the GMAT or the GRE for acceptance into the program. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in information technology management can apply the certificate credits.

For more information, visit //www.uncg.edu/bae/online/certificates.html or contact Dr. Eric Ford at ewford@uncg.edu.


IT Management