Home > Articles > Professional Certifications

Taking Your IT Career into the Healthcare World, 2014 Edition

Looking for the next big thing in IT to start or redirect your career? New regulations in the American health care system mean new IT demands for electronic patient records and medical information. Because of the specialization of the field, HITECH has designed new certification exams to meet the industry’s needs. In this article, learn about the new certs and get your foot in the door of Healthcare IT.
Like this article? We recommend

The Healthcare IT (HIT) field is booming with development in technology and migration from paper records to electronic records. It is one of the fastest growing fields in IT today. Jobs are being created constantly, and the market is still trying to meet the demands.

Why is this field growing so quickly? The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The HITECH Act regulates how HIT computer systems interact with third parties and requires healthcare facilities to move toward electronic solutions to store patient data and to no longer use paper forms and charts for retaining patient records. Its purpose is to promote the meaningful use of technology in healthcare so that technology ultimately results in improved healthcare for the patient. (More information can be found about the HITECH Act at www.hhs.gov.)

This push into HIT increases the job demand for a better-trained workforce— from the nurse using the computer in a surgery suite to the IT guy in the server room; everyone is affected. By earning CompTIA’s HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification, you will demonstrate to employers that you have the basic knowledge needed to help meet these growing IT demands in the healthcare field.

What Are the HITECH-created HIMSS Certs?

With the increasing demand to migrate to the electronic patient records, HITECH designed the HIMSS certs to aid in providing a trained workforce for implementing the new HIM (healthcare information management) information systems. These certification areas include:

  • Practice workflow and information management redesign specialists
  • Clinician/practitioner consultants
  • Implementation support specialists
  • Implementation managers
  • Technical/software support specialists
  • Trainers

While these jobs are growing, they are not necessarily designed to be ongoing. However, somebody is going to have to maintain these systems!

What Is the CompTIA HIT-001 Healthcare Technician Cert?

The HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification by CompTIA focuses on verifying the training of a person for two of these jobs: implementation support specialists and technical/software support. This means that people who have an IT background with specialized training will be best suitable in the healthcare field. This could be a networking specialist, a security specialist, a specialist for the specific brand of information systems being used at that hospital, or many other IT roles who want to work in the healthcare environment.

What Is the Difference?

The HIMSS certs are more project-based, and those jobs will move from hospital to hospital as the new information systems are installed. The CompTIA HIT-001 cert is mostly designed for the back-end, ongoing support of the systems that are being installed now as well as all the other information systems installed at the healthcare facilities, such as the lab IS, radiology IS, or pharmacy IS.

Here’s another confusion and difference. There are other job descriptions that are labeled “HIT” when really they are HIM IT, which is the medical records department. These are the specific information systems that the HIMSS certs are targeting. These are people who have been trained in managing medical records (paper or electronic). The other “HIT” is the IT department in a healthcare facility. These are the people who are technical people who maintain or install the computers, printers, peripheral devices, networks, servers, etc. CompTIA’s HIT cert is designed for these jobs. While there is a little bit of crossover, these two job descriptions are not the same.

Should a Student Go for the HIMSS Certs or the CompTIA HIT cert?

There has been some confusion about whether IT students should study for CompTIA’s HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician exam or study for the government-created HIMSS exams. Let’s clarify this. It really depends on what type of background the student has, and what type of job the student wants. Students with a medical background will likely be better fit for the HIMSS certs, while IT students are better fit for CompTIA’s HIT cert.

The HIT-001 exam offered by CompTIA is specifically targeting IT students who want to prepare for jobs working back-end support in hospitals and medical offices in long-term positions.

The HIMSS exams created by HITECH specifically to prepare a workforce for the EHR/EMR migrations that are spreading across the nation. These workers are trainers, project managers, and implementation specialists. A few of these people will have an IT background, but not most. These are front-end support training healthcare workers how to use the system. These are also designed for temporary positions that last as long as a project, or moving jobs that move from project to project.

Is This Healthcare or IT?

It’s an honest question that many are struggling to decide. This is particularly difficult for an instructor who is trying to figure out where this certification belongs in a curriculum. My experience demonstrates that this is definitely a technology certification. Here are a few reasons why I know this an IT job in a healthcare world:

  • Look at the objectives. You can download the objectives for the exam at http://certification.comptia.org. More than half the exam verifies IT skills, and the rest of the exam confirms that IT people know how to relate to the healthcare world. The five domains of the exam are:
  • Domain

    Percentage of exam

    Regulatory requirements


    Organizational behavior


    IT operations


    Medical business operations




  • When CompTIA created the HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification, it intended the test taker to already have earned the A+ certification or have 500+ hours of hands-on IT technical experience. The A+ exam tests the following skills:
    • Fundamentals of computer technology
    • Installation and configuration of PCs, laptops, and related hardware
    • Basic networking
    • Skills required to install and configure PC operating systems
    • Configure common features (such as network connectivity and email) for mobile operating systems Android and Apple iOS
  • Look at the job applicants. When a job opening is placed for an HIT technician, the job applicants are IT people. Some, if not most, of these applicants have little to no healthcare knowledge. The few healthcare workers who switched from healthcare to IT are extremely valuable because they can explain to the rest of us IT folks about how the technology we are designing and supporting affect the end user.

Other IT Certifications

Earning other certifications can help you to achieve your goal of working in healthcare IT. The HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification covers many security concepts, but the CompTIA Security+ certification demonstrates deeper knowledge in:

  • Network security
  • Compliance and operational security
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Application, data, and host security
  • Access control and identity management
  • Cryptography

The CompTIA Network+ certification is helpful, also. While the HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification covers many networking concepts, the Network+ certification demonstrates deeper knowledge in:

  • Network technologies
  • Installation and configuration
  • Media and topologies
  • Network management
  • Network security


The HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification establishes that you, as a job applicant for a new job or promotion, have the knowledge and skill set needed to be an IT technician in a healthcare environment. The need to meet this job market demand continues to grow as healthcare facilities seek to meet HITECH Act requirements of meaningful use of HIT technology. To help you prepare for an IT job in a healthcare world, earn your certifications in A+, HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician, Security+, and Network+.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020