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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

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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 February 16, 2015 by

Want a Job after Graduation? 5 College Courses You Shouldn’t Miss

Cindy Bates photo

Cindy Bates

Despite the fact that we all have our particular degree requirements during our respective times at college, it is always helpful to be anticipating skills that are marketable in the workforce. Aside from offering the chance to take sunrise yoga as an activity course, this stipulation in the design of college degree programs exists to also allow students to vary their interests and their skill set in order to be more desirable as a new piece of meat in the job market. Yet, there are those college courses that everyone should take—not only to make oneself more attractive to a possible employer, but also to gain life skills that are essential to functioning in life: (more…)

Posted October 16, 2014 by

How to Find the Best Career Path

Direction sign and board with career choice way

Direction sign and board with career choice way. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Finding the dream job has never been easy. While some people strike it lucky from the very first try, others struggle for years to find the best career path that would suit both their interests and their financial expectations. If you want to belong to the first category, you should know there are several things you can do about it and a series of factors to consider. (more…)

Posted August 14, 2014 by

College Graduates, Are You Keeping a Record of Accomplishments on Your Jobs? 4 Reasons It’s Important for Your Career

While on their jobs, college graduates should consider keeping a record of their accomplishments.  Learn four reasons why doing so is important for their careers in the following post.

Do you keep an active list of career accomplishments, responsibilities and results? Do you obsess over quantifying your contributions at work? You should, because your career, someday, may depend on it…

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Posted June 20, 2014 by

Recent College Graduates, Are You Keeping Track of Accomplishments on Your Jobs? Why It is a Good Idea

On their jobs, recent college graduates might want to consider keeping up with their career accomplishments.  Learn some reasons why in the following post.

Every professional should keep an up-to-date list of his or her accomplishments, responsibilities and results. Academic advisors sometimes call this a “brag sheet,” and they draw from it when writing recommendations for students. Keeping a list of your professional accomplishments serves a similar purpose. This list acts as a repository that you can

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Posted April 11, 2014 by

Top 5 Entry Level Jobs with the Best Salaries

College grads looking for entry level jobs with high pay might want to consider the top five positions, according to the following post.

Following, we would like to present you with a list we have compiled of the top 5 highest paid entry level jobs in the US. All of the following positions are suitable for someone who has obtained a Bachelor’s degree in the…

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Posted January 14, 2014 by

Can You Expect to Find Recent Graduate Jobs in the Tech Industry in 2014?

If you’re searching for recent graduate jobs in technology this year, don’t be surprised if it takes a little time based on information in the following post.

What do tech giants like Electronic Arts, Cisco and IBM have in common?  During the tech boom of the early 21st century, it was high hopes and continuous revenue streams.  But, lately, tech giants and a number of previously-burgeoning startups are experiencing ebbing numbers and waning momentum. 2013 numbers are weak, some weaker than

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Posted April 12, 2013 by

What Exactly Does New Fed Data Show About Pay for Low-Skill …

The following post lists 10 of the most common entry level jobs in the United States and what they say about employment.

Seven of the 10 largest occupations in the U.S. pay well below the national average annual pay of $45000, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, once you find out which jobs we’re …

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What Exactly Does New Fed Data Show About Pay for Low-Skill …

Posted April 03, 2013 by

Stay in School…No Really, Stay in School

College student thinking about what course to take

College student thinking about what course to take. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The collegiate degree is the new high school diploma. What does that mean? That means that employers who used to be happy with a simple high school diploma are now requiring candidates—even those for low paid entry level positions—to have a college degree. This means that college isn’t really optional anymore.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you don’t still have a lot of wiggle room when choosing your field of study. Most employers, with the exceptions of a few highly specialized industries like medicine, engineering and teaching, do not really care what kind of degree you have, as long as you have one. So why not consider one of the following degree programs? (more…)

Posted April 26, 2012 by

54% of Employers Plan to Hire Recent College Grads

The college graduating class of 2012 is heading into a better job market than alumni of the previous three years, according to a new study. More than half of employers (54 percent) reported they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2012, up from 46 percent in 2011, 44 percent in 2010 and 43 percent in 2009. The national survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 2,000 hiring managers across industries and company sizes.

Brent Rasmussen of Careerbuilder“This is the first time since the recession that we’re seeing a majority of employers planning to add recent college graduates to their employee roster,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. “Companies across industries are placing a strong emphasis on recruiting fresh talent for technology-related roles and positions designed to drive revenue – and they’re willing to pay more for high-skill, educated labor.”

How much will college grads likely earn?

Of those who plan to hire recent college graduates, 29 percent expect to offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2011. While employers were most likely to report that they would pay between $30,000 and $40,000, a significant portion will extend offers exceeding $50,000. (more…)