- What are the entrance requirements to the Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange Certificate Program?
All program participants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The minimum GPA requirement for the program is 2.75. Since the purpose of this program is to prepare students for the workforce, the program is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who can legally be employed in the U.S. Veterans of the armed forces are encouraged to apply.
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin to provide an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the university community. In accordance with federal and state law and The University of Texas at Austin policy, the Health IT program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, including sexual harassment, age, disability, citizenship, or veteran status.
- Do I need to have computer programming experience?
No. Most of the students who are accepted into the program do not have prior computer programming or computer systems experience. The jobs that most of our students are offered are “people” jobs like consulting, training or software implementation. If you do have computer or programming experience you will be qualified for more technical job opportunities.
- Do I need to have prior healthcare experience?
No. Most of the students who are accepted into the program do not have prior experience in healthcare although we have had physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals complete the program. If you do have prior healthcare experience that may increase the job opportunities for which you are qualified but it is not required.
- Do I need to have a science or technology major in college?
No. We have had students with majors in music, anthropology, english, rhetoric, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, business, economics, kinesiology, philosophy, mathematics, psychology, sociology, and education as well as a variety of other majors who have successfully completed the program. We have also had students with Master’s degrees, PhD degrees, medical degrees, nursing degrees and management degrees. Success in the program is about your ability to learn and retain new material, communication skills, problem solving skills and enthusiasm about entering an exciting career field.
- How long is the program?
The Health IT certificate program is 9 weeks long. The program includes approximately 200 hours of classroom learning and 80 hours of practicum experience.
- When do classes meet?
Classes meet from 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
- Where are the classes held?
Classes are held on the University of Texas at Austin campus in the Health Information Technology Learning Center in the Norman Hackerman Building. The facility includes a classroom, a mock physician clinic (“The Longhorn Clinic”), and a Health Information Exchange Laboratory. We have an educational partnership with The University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center, and students can participate in the program via distance education technology remotely from a classroom on the campus of the UTSW Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
- Can I work evenings or take evening courses while enrolled?
No. The Health IT certificate program is an intense learning experience with outside readings, exams and presentations. We strongly discourage participants from trying to work or take other college-level courses while completing this program.
- Will I get college credit for this program?
No. College credit is not awarded for this professional education program. The program will provide you with a copy of the grades you earn in the program if you request them. After successful completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate in Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.
- How much does the program cost?
The cost of the 9-week certificate program is $5,000. Students are also responsible for the purchase of books and other incidental costs associated with the program including liability insurance, a background check and a drug screen. The latter are required since students will be visiting actual clinic locations. The incidental costs associated with the program total approximately $250.
- What will I learn in this program?
The 9-week Health IT Certificate Program at the University of Texas at Austin was developed with the counsel and support of multiple healthcare providers, healthcare organizations and the health IT business community. The curriculum reflects this industry collaboration and is designed to prepare graduates for immediate entry into the Health IT workforce. Participants learn the fundamentals of Health IT, including an overview of current healthcare policy and healthcare economics, privacy and security, database functionality, healthcare informatics, enabling technologies and introduction to healthcare analytics. Participants will be introduced to clinical and billing processes in physician offices and hospitals and will learn the necessary skills of evaluating workflow processes, an understanding of project management principles and theory and practice of quality improvement methodologies. Our state of the art learning center provides students the opportunity for hands-on experience with the latest technologies that are improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery, including multiple electronic record software systems. Students also utilize health information exchange (HIE) software in an innovative HIE Laboratory.
- What is the practicum?
Students in the program who are in good academic standing after completing four examinations have the opportunity to participate in a practicum — a must for those seeking a career in this field. The practicum is 10 days long and it provides students with an opportunity to work alongside professionals who are currently employing Health IT in their work. Potential practicum sites include EHR vendors, policy development organizations, health information exchanges, regional extension centers, hospitals, and physician clinics. Our graduates report that the practicum was one of the most meaningful components of the entire program. Health IT employers also tell us that having a practicum experience is an important consideration in their hiring decisions.
- Will you help me find a job when I successfully complete the program?
Yes. The purpose of this program is to rapidly place graduates into Health IT jobs. It is estimated that 50,000 jobs are being created by the national deployment of Health IT in the healthcare sector, and we want our graduates to help fill this workforce need. We have integrated career development strategies as part of the curriculum. Our career development professionals will assist you with resume creation, interviewing skills, professional demeanor and etiquette. We have a substantial network of Health IT employers and on campus interviews are held during the last two days of the program.
- What kind of jobs are your graduates offered?
There are many types of jobs in Health IT. Many of the employers are looking for Health IT professionals to conduct onsite training for physicians and staff on Electronic Health Record (EHR) software products. Some employers are looking for graduates to help implement this software. Some of our graduates go to work for hospitals or other healthcare facilities to assist them with training and implementation in their organizations. Graduates are being hired as consultants, project managers, software developers, business analysts, software trainers, implementation specialists, as sales people for the software companies, and by state agencies to help craft or integrate new health policies.
- Do these jobs require travel and/or relocation?
Yes. Most of the jobs available to our graduates require a substantial amount of travel to physician or client sites throughout the country. Some employers require graduates to relocate for several months to the company’s main campus for training. Others require permanent relocation to that facility or other designated region. If you are not willing to travel and/or relocate your employment opportunities may be very limited. If you are flexible and are able to travel and/or relocate, your chances of finding employment are greatly increased.
- What is your placement rate and the average salary of your graduates?
Our placement rate for graduates who are seeking Health IT jobs is over 90%. Their average starting salary for our graduates is approximately $52,000.
- How do I apply?
We are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2013 program which will be held January 7, 2013 to March 9, 2013.
If you are not a former student of the University of Texas at Austin, you must obtain an electronic ID (EID) in order to fill out the application. Directions to obtain a UT EID can be found here.
Once you have your UT EID, click here to apply online today!
Admission to the program requires an interview with Health IT faculty members. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and participants will be contacted for an interview as part of the admissions process.
- How can I learn more? If you have additional questions about the application process or other program details, please contact the program administrator, Ms. Carmen Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org