UC offers new accelerated program combining IT and health care

Announced last month and beginning in the fall of 2014, the University of Cincinnati will debut an innovative, accelerated program that combines a bachelor of science in Information Technology, a master’s of science in Health Informatics and five semesters of co-op experience in just five years.
In addition to allowing students a quicker, cheaper and more efficient route to graduating at the master’s level, the program also seeks to address specific workforce needs in health care and prepare students to contribute immediately upon graduation.
“Health care is transforming before our eyes, and part of what we’re hoping is that we can train more individuals that understand technical and health aspects of the industry at an advanced level,” says Victoria Wangia, associate professor of analytical and diagnostic sciences in UC’s College of Allied Health Sciences and program director of the new health/IT master’s.
The new program represents an interdisciplinary partnership between UC’s College of Allied Health Sciences, which houses the master’s degree, and the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, which houses bachelor’s degree in IT.
“We make it a priority to understand what the market needs in terms of workforce,” Wangia says. “We need more IT practitioners who really understand health care, not only locally, but nationally. So we thought about ways we could form relationships with existing programs and work collaboratively to address what’s going on in the workforce.”
Students will develop expertise in one of three Information Technology tracks: Networking/Systems, Software Application Development or Cybersecurity. In the program’s third year, students will take master’s level classes that introduce the health care landscape, including health care data, laws and analytics. Students will ultimately gain the tools and skills necessary to integrate advanced digital technologies into the field of health care and use electronic data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery.
“The accelerated program really takes IT students to another level,” says Hazem Said, head of the School of Information Technology. “This program provides students with the unique set of skills required for this very specialized, well-paying industry.”
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