What is a Health Informatics Degree?

People with health informatics degrees are in high demand in the medical industry because they possess skill sets that combine leadership, health care and information technology, including both computer and information sciences. Due to this intersection, health informatics is an inherently broad field, and many professionals undergo substantial specialization even after graduating with a necessary degree.

What is Health Informatics?

The medical industry is increasingly reliant on technology, and the marriage between health care and technology is not necessarily seamless. Therefore, a person with a health informatics degree focuses on blending health care and technology in a way that maximizes the benefit of the union.

Within the industry, health informatics goes by a wide range of names, including health information systems and clinical informatics. Often, the specific name used provides clues about the focus of the health informatics specialist within that context. A person who specializes in nursing informatics, for instance, focuses on how technology and health care intersect specifically within the nursing domain.

What is a Health Informatics Degree?

The most common degree in Health Informatics is a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. It is a degree from an accredited educational institution that indicates that the graduate has achieved expertise in the fundamentals of health information systems. A B.S. in Health Informatics is generally the least amount of education necessary to hold an entry-level position within the field. Many professionals will increase their career potential by eventually achieving a Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Informatics or even a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Informatics.

What is a Health Informatics Certificate?

Some academic institutions offer certification in Health Informatics. Certification should not be confused with an associate degree. Certification is a distinction that indicates that the professional has a working understanding of health information systems. Students can achieve certification while working toward their B.S., which may be necessary for a work assignment. Additionally, professionals in the health industry may achieve this certification as a way to expand their capabilities and resume.

What Careers Require or Benefit from this Degree?

Any healthcare position that emphasizes information technology (IT) skills can benefit from a health informatics (HI) degree. An IT-oriented healthcare position may not necessarily require an HI degree, but a person with an HI degree can transition into nearly any position within that domain. It is worth noting that there are two distinct subfields within the health informatics field. One subfield is IT-centric, such as an IT specialist who works for a hospital and must speak the healthcare language. The other domain is healthcare-centric, such as a head nurse who chooses the technology for her department and integrates it into usage.

What are the Areas of Study?

The student achieves a foundation of general education along with leadership and management. In the healthcare domain, the educational focus is on medical terminology, healthcare data, health information technology, legal and ethical considerations within the medical industry and so forth. In the information technology domain, the educational focus is on IT fundamentals, databases, project management and so on.


Health informatics is an exciting field of study on the leading edge of the industry. Professionals with these skills are in high demand and will remain so for the foreseeable future. A health informatics degree is a strong choice for students because it provides a versatile platform that allows them to easily transition into their specialty of choice once they have real-world experience.