They are called, “Ahead-Of-The-Curve-Careers.” With double digit unemployment numbers, today’s jobs are going away. That means you and your children need to know what jobs are the next big thing. One new set of career fields is showcasing itself during the week of November 1-7, Health Information Technology Week. Georgia Northwestern Technical College is one of the few colleges in the region offering the Health Information Technician program.

H.I.T. is one of the biggest new options being promoted by everyone from the largest health care companies in the world to the Commander-In-Chief. As part of his health plan, President Barack Obama has stated the importance of streamlining health information technology.

"Every time you see your doctor, deal with your health insurance provider, or a medication is prescribed, Health Information Technicians are handling the tasks,” says Jenny Pollock, Director of the H.I.T. program at Georgia Northwestern. The new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 speaks of many issues. Among them is an effort of President Obama’s to ensure that every American has an Electronic Health Record by 2014.

The H.I.T. portion of the plan, or HITECH as it is known, is something which acknowledges the importance of state-of-the-art software, Internet connectivity, and telemedicine information in tomorrow’s world. “Basically, we are training students for tomorrow’s careers. In some cases, career fields which have just begun to form and at an explosive rate,” said Pollock.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, most companies will hire Registered Health Information Technicians. This means the person must pass a written examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association. “However, to take this exam, you have to have at least a two-year degree from an accredited program. That’s where Georgia Northwestern comes in,” said Pollock.

H.I.T. careers are expected grow twenty percent over the next several years. GNTC offers the Health Information Technician Associate Degree program which is accredited by the American Health Information Management Association. A survey shows the average salary at $31,000 per year. Due to the advancing years of the baby boomers, new healthcare options, and the new healthcare issues facing many Americans, H.I.T.’s are in high demand throughout the region.

Insurance Claims Analysts, Records Technicians, Physician Practice Manager, Coding Specialists, Compliance Officers, Patient Information Coordinators, Clinical Data Specialitsts, and Data Resource Officers are among the dozens of new career fields opening up as a result of the new demand. “Business is bad for so many of our companies today due to different reasons,” said Pollock. “One thing is never in question, though. Given the controversy over healthcare issues today, we know that business is booming in healthcare and the technology it takes and will take in the future to maintain it.”

For more information on Health Information Technology, e-mail Jenny Pollock at Georgia Northwestern or call 706-764-3835