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Health IT A Bright Spot For Jobs In 2010

While the tech sector cut nearly 175,000 jobs in 2009, the worse is hopefully over, with healthcare IT being one of the most promising niches for new jobs 2010, says a new report.
While the tech sector cut nearly 175,000 jobs in 2009, the worse is hopefully over, with healthcare IT being one of the most promising niches for new jobs 2010, says a new report.In 2009, the technology industry, including computer, electronics and telecommunication companies cut 174,629 jobs, representing 13.2% of the nearly 1.29 million announced job cuts across all industries, including hardest-hit sectors like automotive, state governments and industrial goods, according to a report by job outplacement firm Challenger, Gray Christmas.

Cuts in the tech sector in 2009 were 12.3% deeper than the 155,570 job eliminated in 2008. In 2009, the heaviest tech job losses were in the first and fourth quarters.

Within the tech industry, electronics firms had the biggest spike in cuts, with 65,300 jobs lost in 2009, up 55% from 42,062 jobs eliminated in 2008.

Job cuts announced by computer firms in 2009 totaled 65,261, nearly flat with 2008. And while telecommunications companies announced cutting 44,068 jobs in 2009, those reductions were 9.4% fewer than the 48,648 jobs lost in that sector in 2008. Some signs of a turnaround for the tech sector are already peeking out from the gloom, including a recent outlook report by Forrester Research predicting that IT spending will increase 6.6% in 2010 after falling 8.2% in 2009.

Healthcare IT professionals--as well as folks preparing for a move into those careers--seem to be among those likely to get the best job news in 2010: The push by healthcare providers to implement e-medical record systems in time for the first round of federal stimulus rewards in 2011 is already creating demand for new talent. Among those hiring are health IT products and services vendors, including MEDecision.

Last year, MEDecision added about 50 employees--and this year plans to hire another 100 IT and health IT professionals--increasing headcount from about 300 today to about 400, said the company's CEO Scott Storrer. What are your job plans for 2010?

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-health and the federal stimulus package. Download the report here (registration required).