The skills gap is undeniable in the current job market. With the majority of employers vying for talent, it’s no surprise to find similar results in healthcare. JP Morgan released a report in May 2014 that found both healthcare and technology make up 45 percent of the one million middle skill job openings in New York City.

Each industry is expected to grow 15 percent over five years. This rapid growth indicates that the skills gap could potentially grow bigger.

How can you avoid falling into the skills gap? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

What is the skills gap?

A skills gap means a difference exists between the skills needed for a job and the actual skills possessed by an employee or job candidate. Falling into this gap means scouring job boards for months on end and waiting for the phone to ring.

The healthcare industry is experiencing a surge in IT needs because as a non-tech industry, they are trying to keep up with recent advances and implementing new innovations. Health IT has plenty of jobs to fill but several empty handed job seekers.

Employers are looking for hands-on experience and proper education or training, which can be difficult to find in an industry like health IT because it combines two complex fields that demand specialization and unique skill sets.

What are some of the most in-demand skills right now?

Project Management:

The need for project managers is on the rise. With new systems, continuous technological advancements and application development, project managers who can facilitate large scale implementation and integration projects are very desirable. Strong project managers can bridge their business and technology acumen and possess several years of experience. The 2014 HIT salary report found the average health IT project manager has 11 years of experience.

Big Data:

The amount of data being collected in the healthcare industry is staggering. Can you help make sense of it all?

If you answered yes, then pursue data analytics. Health IT professionals are tasked with analyzing and improving data management to help minimize cost and maximize revenue. Additionally, the trends in healthcare and technology need to be monitored to help companies adapt to maintain a high level of quality patient care and improve information security.


2015 Redspin report found hacking attacks factored in 9 of the 10 largest breach incidents of the year, which led to the compromise of 98 percent of all patient records breached in 2015. These massive breaches can result in identity theft and HIPPA violations. With these being top priorities in health IT, companies of all sizes are in need of information security analysts.

How can I become competitive?

The answer is simple — education and training.Education is becoming cheaper and more available. In 2015, the U.S. government launched the TechHire Initiative to build accelerated learning programs and encourage innovative hiring practices.

Certifications are a great way for job seekers to learn specialized skills and stay competitive. The best method for starting is to pick a path, earn certification, and pursue advancement.

For example, PMP certifications show the candidate has strong project management skills and is ready to lead large scale projects. CISSP is valuable for information security professionals. While it requires several years of experience, intense study, and successful completion of exams, it’s a valuable tool that can make you competitive in today’s job market.

The projections for the future of health IT are promising — several job openings, great benefits, and considerable compensation. Combined with the rapid advancement of technology and the ever-growing, in-demand industry of healthcare, know one thing — health IT professionals have the ability to close the gap.

What are you doing to avoid the health IT skills gap?



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Tim Cannon is the vice president of product management and marketing at,, aa free job search resource that provides health IT professionals access to nearly 2,000 industry health IT job at home or on the go. Connect with Tim and on LinkedIn.

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