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Posted October 27, 2016 by

Health care hiring experts reveal keys to success: What you need in an analytics and data career

Female hospital administrator working at a modern medical center

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Analytics, big data, data mining, and data science. Those are not just buzz words, but job titles for some of the hottest jobs of the future. And actually, the present. Especially in health care careers, where professionals throughout the world are using a variety of analytics and data to help cure diseases and solve business problems.

How so?

The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. used data mining to model patient populations and define chronic disease groups, which ended up improving their ability to help diabetic patients manage and reduce complications of their disease. Health care providers are using predictive analytics to find factors associated with high-cost patients. They can detect insurance fraud and even forecast medical outcomes. Analytics and data continually make more impact in health care. And so do the job opportunities. But for recent college grads, understanding the job titles and career paths of analytics and big data careers can be confusing.

“The good news is that opportunity is abundant,” says Kevin Purcell, Ph.D., a Professor in the analytics program at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Harrisburg, PA. “As with any new field, sometimes deciphering job titles is the first hurdle.”

Purcell breaks down these potential job titles and what the job entails:

  • Data analysts: Responsible for gleaning information from data using various software packages and their knowledge of SQL on databases. This is often combined with intermediate level statistics.
  • Data scientists: Responsible for gleaning information from data, but at a larger scale and also often tasked with more open questions. The skill also demands more advanced statistical knowledge such as machine learning as well as programming skills to better manipulate data to his or her own will.
  • Data engineers: Typically software engineers that focus on building robust data pipelines that clean, transform and aggregate messy and unorganized data into usable data sources.
  • Big data architects: Develop plans for integrating, structuring, and maintaining a company’s data sources often employing big data technology such as Hadoop

Chris Lee is the Manager of Performance Measurement at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in Orange, California. He sees two key skills that are crucial to success working in analytics and data in the health care industry. Those skills are analytical and technical skills – combined with interpersonal skills. Sure, it’s important to have advanced Excel skills, knowledge of databases, strong data mining and presentation skills. However, the most technical people need interpersonal skills to work with others, including non-technical co-workers.

“The main thing I’ve learned in the field that students can’t learn in the classroom is the interpersonal aspect of working with people who request data,” says Lee. “The people you will work with in the real world have all sorts of personalities and traits. Great interpersonal skills will help one foster relationships and make the data analysis portion of the job much easier when you can clearly define and understand the data elements that the requester is asking for. Most successful analysts have that right balance that enables him or her to interact with the data requester to generate/create the correct data analysis.”

Purcell agrees: “It is imperative for both data analysts and data scientists to be competent communicators,” he says. “Data storytelling is an indispensable skill needed to communicate technical findings to non-technical audiences with a focus how the findings can impact the business or organization.”

Purcell says employers look for other core skills such as intellectual curiosity, analytical thinking, and knowledge of software tools such as R, Python, a high-level programming language (Java or C++), and GUI-based visualization.

Kevin Huggins, Ph.D., also a Professor in the analytics program at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, says getting hands-on, real-life experience is crucial to launching one’s entry-level analytics and data career.

“Nothing can replace practical experience,” says Huggins. “Internships are excellent options, but sometimes not available to everyone. Since most platforms are open, contributing to open competitions or open-source collaborations can provide experience where professional opportunities are scarce.”

Carolyn Thompson, Managing Principal, Merito Group, LLC, a talent acquisition and consulting firm, says the single most requested skill set in healthcare analytics that employers seek is revenue cycle experience. “Because of the complex nature of payment and provider relationships, this is an area where the demand is literally never fully met,” says Thompson. “These people have strong Excel skills, good business judgment and can do modeling and forecasting around all the various aspects of healthcare revenue.”

Andrew S. Miller, President & CEO of BrainWorks, a leader in big data recruitment, says employers want recent college graduates who are trained in statistics, math, quantitative analysis, using programs, and algorithms. But ultimately, recent college grads also have to be able to communicate and present the data.

“The ability to take your finding and present to key business stakeholders is critical,” says Miller. “Employers want a person who can not only massage and manipulate data, but interpret the data into insights and meaningful conclusions. If they can’t convey the information in a way that makes sense or sells management or what action to take, their value to the employer becomes limited.”

Analytics and big data jobs are hot and in demand. Especially in the health care industry. Use these tips to advance your career and land that first job or internship.

Want to learn more about the latest in analytics and data careers? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted June 17, 2015 by

Data Scientist, Social Media Manager, Civil Engineer, Computer Systems Analyst and Physical Therapist Among Most Promising Careers for Millennials

The Millennial generation – the largest generation in the workforce — has been tagged with negative workplace stereotypes that they’re narcissistic, obstinate and lacking initiative. Yet smart companies know that unless they start hiring these young employees soon, their future is bleak.

Steven-Rothberg-high-res-close-08-13-2013That realization shows in suddenly robust hiring of Millennials. “This is the strongest year of employment growth for this generation since 2007,” says Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter.

“We’re getting close to where we’re seeing equilibrium,” Rothberg adds. “Where just about every college educated young adult that wants to be employed, can easily be employed.” (more…)

Posted March 03, 2015 by

4 Engineering Degrees for the Technically Minded Individual

Portrait of a smiling engineer in a construction site

Portrait of a smiling engineer in a construction site. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

College students who want to get on the fast track to success would do well to consider majoring in engineering. People who graduate with engineering degrees will find that they never have trouble finding work, and engineering is one of the most lucrative fields as well. There are lots of different choices when it comes to engineering majors, and it can be difficult to decide which one is the best. Here is a look at four of the top engineering majors that students should consider. (more…)

Posted July 08, 2014 by

How to Launch a Successful Career in IT

Monica Wells

Monica Wells

From mobile operation systems and online search engines to financial networks and data repositories, Information Technology has lured its way to become an important part of our daily lives. There’s no denying it – the demand for IT products and services is on the rise, and so is the demand for specialists in the field. The Bureau of labor Statistics predicts, for instance, that the job market for software engineers is by 2018 going to grow by a striking figure of 32%!

It might sound like a piece of cake, but a successful career in IT does not come that easily. Here are some tips for those interested in entering the IT sector. (more…)

Posted December 27, 2012 by

15 Tech Companies’ Software Engineer Salary Revealed; Glassdoor Report

CollegeRecruiter.comThese days, college students studying to become software engineers are likely to find good paying jobs in the future.  See which companies are offering high salaries, and learn more in the following post.

It pays to be a software engineer these days, literally.

In fact, job growth for software engineers is projected to be 30% from 2010-2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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15 Tech Companies’ Software Engineer Salary Revealed; Glassdoor Report