By Lekan Oguntoyinbo | Health Callings

If you want to work in the rapidly expanding healthcare field — but don’t want to directly care for patients — you have a lot of options besides being a nurse or other caregiver. From healthcare administration and sales to customer service and maintenance, the growing healthcare industry offers an array of opportunities. Here are a few career options:

Information technology: “The Affordable Care Act has written into it policies that encourage the use of computerized medical records,” says Laurence Shatkin, who writes extensively about careers and is the author of several books, including “Best Jobs for the 21st Century.” He says, the law is “creating an avalanche of data” and experts are needed to manage all of it.

Many healthcare IT professionals have bachelor’s degrees. Some are healthcare professionals who have picked up IT skills. Many recruiters say that while having a degree is important it does not trump experience.

Business development: Business development evokes thoughts of sales but it is much broader than that. Business development “can be merger and acquisition activity,” says Tom Thomson, managing partner of Sanford Rose Associates, a recruitment firm in Nashville. Sometimes, he says, business development could involve a healthcare company building a strategic alliance with a hospital to create a new business or some other kind of partnership. “Lot of times in healthcare we’re not talking about traditional sales, although hospitals need to sell their services in their communities.”

Most business development employees have bachelor or master’s degrees in business or healthcare administration.

Finance: While a financial background in any industry can be transferable to healthcare, there are some key differences, which is why many healthcare facilities prefer to hire financial people who have a background in that area. “The language is different,” says Thomson. “They want somebody who talks their language and understands them. So much of what you do as a chief financial officer in healthcare means you have to understand reimbursements from the insurance company or from the government — like Medicaid or Medicare.”

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