Master’s Degrees in Informatics Resource Guide

MastersInInformatics is an information hub for students interested in master’s degrees in informatics. Informatics pertains to creating, tracking, collecting, and processing data — studying natural and virtual systems that can accumulate this information. While informatics is closely tied to information systems and computer science, it has a wide range of applications including bioinformatics, business informatics, health informatics, lab informatics, nursing informatics, and more.

In general, informatics is an area of developing technology that focuses on using computer applications and design concepts to improve the human experience. It’s defined as the science of information, the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems. Informatics is used in many different settings, including social organizations, especially those concentrating on human biology.

Northcentral University
MBA: Mgmt Info Systems
Northcentral University » NCU is a very popular school for online education among working professionals or those with family obligations and offers an MBA in Computer Science and in Information Systems Management. These programs are designed to be completed entirely online with a pace that is comfortable to you.
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Walden University
BSN to MSN: Informatics
RN to MSN: Informatics
Walden University » At Walden University, students in the MS in Health Informatics, BSN to MSN - Informatics, and RN to MSN - Informatics programs are on the cutting-edge of healthcare issues. Courses teach the skills of improving the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of diseases; reducing costs; increasing access; and effectively using electronic data to improve the efficiency of healthcare services.
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For even more medical informatics degrees, click here...

What are Master of Informatics Degrees?

Informatics master’s degrees can be pursued from a variety of angles. Depending on the work a student wishes to do after graduating, the courses taken may vary greatly between students. One of the most common Master of Informatics degree is in health care, as it focuses on biology. Health informatics is the convergence of information science, computer science and health care. Graduates of this degree are prepared to lead organizations as they develop and implement clear health informatics strategies to improve patient care and ensure access to information. This degree specialization also allows you to gain insight into the resources and methods required to optimize the use of information technology in the areas of nursing, clinical care, pharmacy, public health and medical research. You can also find programs available in computation informatics. Computer science oriented informatics is also popular and focuses on broad instructions in theories and applicable concepts behind informatics. Overall, informatics programs are deeply interdisciplinary and are taught by faculty coming from many areas of study such as computer science, psychology, anthropology, education, organizational science, new media arts, and others.

Though the concentrations in informatics are varied, the common thread that links them all is that you will learn how to develop technological and organizational solutions. You may take courses in database management, prototype design development, project management, system analysis and system designs, and study the structure, algorithms, behavior, and interactions of natural and artificial systems that store, process, access and communicate information. When searching for a Master of informatics degree you should look for programs with lots of classes in your area of interest. Most programs take two years to complete, although credit hours depend on your interest and program.

What are the Prerequisites for a Master of Informatics?

To enter into a Master of informatics program you must have a desire to learn about technology, have interests in software, hardware, computer engineering, information management, or the intersection of computer science with another discipline, and have decent math and science skills. You must hold a bachelor’s degree in order to enter into a Master of informatics degree program. Some programs require you to have a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, information systems, or management of information systems. Other programs don’t necessarily require an undergraduate degree in informatics or computer programming though, but will be helpful if you have taken courses in computer science and math or have some related work experience.

You also may be asked to submit your scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Most schools also require letters of recommendation and a personal statement with a distinctive focus on your professional and academic pursuit in informatics. Programs accept a student who have thought through their career options and know what they want to accomplish with their master’s degree, therefore making your personal statement direct and to the point is advised. Often along with the personal statement you can send a resume with your achievements and work experiences.

If you wish to enter the field of health informatics, you may be required to have an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree in a health care field. For example, a Bachelor of Science in nursing may be required to enter a master’s in nursing informatics degree program. Courses in computer programming or computer science may also be required to begin your master’s degree program. It’s important to know your school’s prerequisites before applying to programs.

Degree Concentrations for Master of Informatics Degrees:

The general track of the informatics concentration allows students to pursue a broad-based program of inquiry into the design, development, application and implications of information and communication technologies, exploring the nature of the relationship between technology design and practice, especially in emerging research areas such as ubiquitous computing. Informatics covers such a wide range of study though that most Master of Informatics degree programs have you choose a concentration, track, or specialization before entering the program. This narrows the study of informatics down so it’s more focused on a specific career you want in the future. Some examples of master’s concentrations and tracks of informatics include:

  • Software engineering
  • Interactive & collaborative technology
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Computer-supported collaborative work
  • Computer-enabled social relationships
  • Educational & assistive technologies
  • Information retrieval & management
  • Programming languages
  • Security & privacy
  • Environmental informatics
  • Ubiquitous computing

There are also more specific degrees, such as informatics in computer science, information science, informatics engineering, informatics technology, biodiversity informatics, business informatics, community informatics, development informatics, disease informatics, education informatics, health informatics, social informatics, technical informatics, music informatics, and many others. Wikipedia offers a full listing of specific informatics areas of study.

Prospective Careers with Master of Informatics Degree

As a master’s graduate in informatics you will be able to design and coordinate the implementation of software systems within your specific specialization. In an array of advanced positions you can interact with customers, listen to programmers and other technical personnel, assess and discuss the quality of designs, devise the best implementation techniques in a given situation, do quality control and adapt to changing requirements.

Health informatics: With a specialization in health informatics your doors are open to both healthcare and IT or software development within the healthcare field. You can act as a bridge between technology and the world of medicine, and work to integrate the two disciplines. With knowledge in medical data management, patient care, and information technology systems, you can work as a chief information officer, information technology vice president, director of clinical informatics, informatics researcher, project manager, and more for an array of different healthcare facilities and organizations including:

  • Hospitals
  • Health Systems
  • Ambulatory Care sites
  • Long Term Care facilities
  • Home Health Care
  • Mental and Behavioral Healthcare Facilities
  • Medical Groups and Physician organizations
  • Government Agencies
  • Insurance Companies-CIO/Data Analysts/Sales
  • Managed Care Plans
  • Health Care Related Software Companies
  • Health Care Consulting Firms
  • Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Health Care Associations
  • Academia/Education
  • Start-up companies in health care IT

Computation Informatics (Technology): Since the IT/informatics field is growing and changing, it’s predicted that in the next 5 years there will be 3.2 million available positions for IT professionals. Businesses and computer technology databases are constantly improving and expanding their services. They need people to research, conceptualize, build, develop and create, market, maintain, respond, and manage their programs and processes. With a general Master of Informatics degree, you can do any of those things for a company. Some current career options with a general informatics master’s degree in technology and computation include:

  • Biology/chemistry informaticist
  • Business technology analyst
  • Database developer/manager
  • Digital artist
  • Digital library specialist
  • E-commerce specialist
  • Human-computer interface designer
  • Information architect
  • Interaction designer
  • IT consultant
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Network manager
  • Software developer
  • Stage and lighting designer
  • System administrator
  • Technical writer
  • Technology management
  • Technology support/customer service
  • Usability tester
  • Web designer/webmaster

Further Resources for Master of Informatics:

  • National Center for Research Resources—Informatics Centers: The NCRR supports 11 different research centers in the area of informatics, which produces and distributes software for data analysis or simulation and modeling of biological systems. Through this you can find different resources and contact information for informatics career centers.
  • American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA): The purpose of ANIA is to provide education, networking, and information resources that enrich and strengthen the roles in the field of nursing informatics.
  • Informatics Europe: This is the European informatics website for “Informatics Europe,” the association of computer science departments and research laboratories in Europe and neighboring areas. The website has helpful information if you’re considering going abroad for your informatics degree, or if you plan to work abroad after acquiring your informatics degree. It has research guides as well as job openings, and informatics news and events.
  • Software History Center – Software Industry Special Interest Group: This organization is dedicated to preserving the history of the software industry, one of the largest and most influential industries in the world today. They had the first usage of informatics in the US, and report a detailed history of informatics on their website.

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