Colorado-based school opens two new online programs for high-demand healthcare fieldColorado Technical University (CTU) is the latest school to announce that it will establish two online health information technology (IT) training programs to help strength the medical software workforce, reports MEDecision.

Recent legislation that requires healthcare providers to transfer medical records from paper to electronic formats by 2014. This has prompted many schools across the U.S. to offer programs in health information technology to meet hospitals and other care facility’s demands for this position. Federal officials predict a shortfall of as many as 50,000 professionals in the health IT field over the next five years.

Individuals who graduate from CTU's six-month program can launch careers as medical and health records technicians.

This course of study is designed to help students "meet today's changing workforce needs and opportunities" and "develop practical skills that should expand career opportunities," according to CTU chief executive officer David Leasure.

According to a 2008 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities as medical and health records technicians are expected to increase by 20 percent over the next eight years. Furthermore, approximately 35,100 new jobs are predicted to be available by 2018. 

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