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The term "informatics" is used to describe information processing and the creation of information systems. Informatics jobs can be divided into three broad categories: research, processes analysis and system design or architecture. These jobs can be found in most industrialized nations but typically are concentrated in urban centers. People with informatics jobs typically work in is either a classroom or an office, complete with at least one computer, a telephone and related technology.
Informatics jobs increased in the early 21st century and can be expected to continue growing at an above-average rate. This work is used as a basis for computer system designs, user interfaces and automated processes. In addition to contributions to the field of system design, informatics research explores the impact of technology on human behavior and thinking.
In order to qualify for informatics jobs, post-secondary education in information systems, informatics or information studies is required. These programs are available at the graduate level, with completion of a recognized undergraduate degree a prerequisite for admission. Potential students will need to research in order to identify schools that offer any of these programs, because those schools are so small in number.
Process analysis is a generic term used to describe business process evaluation, re-engineering and procedural review. A process is the set of individual steps or tasks that must be completed in a specific order to meet a target or goal. Process analysis involves a detailed review of the current process, evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness and the identification of bottlenecks. This type of analysis can be used for processes that are completely automated and those that require human intervention.
Informatics jobs related to system design are independent from the tasks and responsibilities of a computer systems designer. This type of informatics job focuses on the theories and concepts used as building blocks in the industry standard system development and architecture processes. Through the work of the informatics professional, these standard processes are changed to accommodate more scenarios and streamline the overall process.
Research is a primary focus for many informatics jobs. This type of work can be divided into two categories: systems and humans. Systems research involves the review of new methodologies and investigation of challenges in system development. The impact of technological developments on human social interaction and behavior is a growing field of informatics, and it is one that has a huge impact on the workplace and systems design.
@everetra - I interviewed for a position years ago for a clinic that had openings for clinical informatics jobs.
They needed a clinical systems analyst. It was considered a plus if I had healthcare experience, which I didn’t have, but mainly I was going to work with their medical systems to clean up data and resolve a bunch of data integrity issues.
I never got the position, but I wish I had. Personally, I think that working in the healthcare field and also in information technology is a the best of both worlds.
Both of these professions are poised for growth in the next few years as baby boomers retire and information technology continues to be used to help reduce operating costs in business.
When people think of informatics jobs they think of IT. However, like the article says it can actually apply across a variety of industries.
There are for example nursing informatics jobs. My daughter was considering majoring in Nursing in college, and when she explored her options she found that there were these kinds of informatics jobs.
Basically in nursing informatics, you work with electronic medical systems. You are responsible for ensuring that all of the patient information that is entered into the system is correct, and sometimes you work as a coordinator between IT and the general staff to ensure smooth transition into new information systems.
It’s not all computer work however. You also manage processes, train
other nurses and do some administrative stuff as well.
I guess that’s why it’s more of an “informatics” type of position rather than something strictly IT.
I think it’s ideal for someone who wants to go into the healthcare field and yet has a passion for technology and streamlining business processes to make companies run more efficiently.
@indemnifyme - That is an interesting thought -- I suppose librarians do process information.
I think the research portion of informatics jobs sounds the most interesting. Especially research into how technology affects human social interaction an behavior.
I can definitely see that things like cell phones and instant messaging have had a big impact on social interaction. When I was in high school most people didn't have cell phones, but during my freshman year of college cell phones and texting got a lot more popular. It definitely had a big affect on dating. For instance, you could wait "by the phone" for someone to call you anywhere!
That's kind of a silly example, but I'm sure technology has impacted our social interactions in a lot of other ways too.
It sounds like the job of a librarian is related to the field of informatics. I was looking into a graduate degree in library science awhile ago, and librarians don't deal with just books these days!
One school I was looking at had a library science degree with a concentration in information systems. A lot of others mention digital information systems as well.
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