15 Mar Career Spotlight: Healthcare Data Scientists
Data scientists are a relatively new career field with large growth, high job satisfaction, and a strong salary. In September 2017, Business Insider listed the career as one of the best jobs in America. Healthcare data scientists are particularly in demand as the medical field is employing data scientists to help solve medical treatment questions, investigate the benefits of healthcare technology, optimize diagnostic accuracy and reduce costs.
Data scientists play a similar role to that of a data analyst. The key distinctions lie with how the two careers handle big data. Data scientists focus more on predicting and manipulating data. The ability to develop algorithms and the application of data analyses directly to business-related problems are also key tasks. Data scientists interact with both the IT and business departments to present their findings.
Healthcare data scientists analyze data to improve the efficiency of healthcare facilities including business, personnel, budget and technology analyses. Data scientists also study the abundant data found in electronic health records. Many of the nation’s major hospitals and research facilities are hiring data scientists to work with medical doctors to analyze and create treatment regimes.
Salary for Data Scientists:
Glass Door lists the salary range for healthcare data scientists as $87,000 to $158,000 with a median of $120,000. Senior level positions are also available with a higher income potential.
As the field has seen such rapid growth, data science is a now a major at many universities. A PhD is considered the terminal degree for the field.
Many employers will also consider applicants with a background in Business, Economics or Statistics.
Should a person seek training in data science, online programs are available; including online Masters degrees.
Technical Understanding Necessary for Data Scientists:
Each employer may vary which software and other technical knowledge is required. A sample list of technical criteria may require experience with the following:
- Statistics and machine learning
- Coding languages such as SAS, R or Python.
- Databases such as MySQL and Postgres.
- Data visualization and reporting technologies.
- Hadoop and MapReduce.
Skills to Promote on a Resume:
In order to make your resume stand out, it’s important to list additional qualities and skills that show you are the best person for the job by highlighting relevant experiences and training. For data scientist job openings, skills in software and mechanical engineering are worth mentioning. Abilities in programming, statistics, analytics and mathematics—such as calculus and algebra—are also important to note.
If you seek a career in healthcare IT, be sure to highlight any previous experience in bioinformatics or science-based fields. Previous employment with a research facility or an academic institution are also important positions to address.
Lastly, when discussing your talent for data, the abilities to understand, manipulate, mine, clean and predict date should all be addressed. Furthermore, emphasize your communication skills as you will need to be able to explain the data to your peers in both technical and non-technical terms.