Tech Pros Want Security, Healthcare, Green Certifications

Techies are seeking professional certifications in emerging areas like healthcare and green IT, and especially old standbys like IT security, according to a new survey.



Techies are seeking professional certifications in emerging areas like healthcare and green IT, and especially old standbys like IT security, according to a new survey.The recent survey of 1,500 IT professionals by IT trade association CompTIA found that 37% intend to pursue security certifications over the next five years. In addition, 18% said they're planning to seek ethical hacking certifications and 13% named IT forensics as their next planned professional accreditation.

While security-related certifications topped the list of credentials IT pros are seeking, a few new areas of IT specialties also popped up among respondents' five-year career plans--including green IT (7%), healthcare IT (5%), mobile (5%), and software-as-a-service (2%) certifications.

Some of those areas, including healthcare IT, are yet to be defined in terms of the specific types of skills certifications being sought, said a CompTIA spokesman. That's because the healthcare IT field is hot and emerging, being fueled by the federal government's $20 billion-plus health IT stimulus programs which will financially reward doctors and hospitals who implement new electronic medical records and other clinical information systems before 2014.

"The estimates are there will be between 50,000 and 100,000 new healthcare IT jobs created in the next 24 months," said the CompTIA spokesman.

"Everyone is especially interested in how this will shake out," he said. While it appears the hiring binge hasn't happened yet, pundits expect healthcare providers to begin heavy scrambling for IT talent once the federal government finalizes early next year it's much-anticipated definition of the "meaningful use" of health IT.

For its part, CompTIA is in discussions with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to "brainstorm" the mix of clinical and IT skills that will be needed, as well as possible new certifications, said the CompTIA spokesman. Thinking of a career in healthcare IT? What sort of skills are you brushing up on?

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