Sam Viggiano began his academic career earning a Bachelor of Arts in music with a minor in speech pathology. While in a Post-Baccalaureate program in pre-speech pathology, he began working as a financial administrator for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Now he’s working towards his online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS).
There are many different paths that lead to an MSHI. Even still, Viggiano’s path is unique. He says the music is what led him here: “The presence and importance of data influenced my musical training and eventual career focus leading me to pursue a Master’s in health informatics.”
Viggiano is proof of just how diverse Pitt’s MSHI student body is. Classes are filled with students from a wide array of backgrounds at varying points in their careers – from doctors to nurses to IT professionals to those brand new to health care. He says, “It’s amazing to connect and grow with a domestic and international cohort.”
The University of Pittsburgh provides students with everything they need to succeed in their programs. It’s not just about the academics; it’s about the people. The faculty, advisors and alumni are there every step of the way to provide support and guidance. Viggiano says he is impressed with the support his MSHI advisor and professors provide.
“I cannot say enough good things about my advisor,” he praised, “I never experienced this amount of support in my undergraduate and postgraduate experience.”
He has just as much praise for his professors and how understanding they are “when work or family situations spin out of control and you need a lifeline.” He is also grateful for the “abundance of resources and information about managing work-life balance.”
Many online MSHI students are already working full-time and have other responsibilities outside of their coursework. Faculty who are present and willing to work with their students is a necessity. SHRS provides MSHI students with all the support they need to ensure they find success during and after the program.
Pitt’s MSHI program boasts immediately applicable knowledge as a selling point of its program. It may seem like an overstatement, but it is far from fallacy. The ability to begin applying what you’re learning to your current position is one of the first things students and alumni mention when asked about this program.
Viggiano is no different. He says he has already started using tools and applying knowledge learned through the curriculum after just one semester. “I have developed technical skills that include computer languages and tangible skills like advanced problem solving with quality measurement tools and project management.”
There is something to be said about a program that provides students with knowledge and a skillset they can start using from day one. You don’t have to wait until you finish the program to start benefiting from your education. Pitt’s MSHI allows you to start advancing your career immediately.
Viggiano’s interests have certainly evolved since beginning his studies as an undergraduate. He says his passion continues to grow and evolve in the program – something he credits to the comprehensive curriculum. “In a semester, you are already exposed to a variety of jobs available in the health informatics field,” he says. He finds that “each class exposes you to prospective jobs and begins training you for that position.”
He highlighted one class in particular: Security, Privacy, Legal and Ethical Issues in Health IT. “We are already being challenged to think like a chief information officer regarding security and privacy issues.” He believes that it is important to keep an open mind because you never know what might inspire you or spark your interest.
Viggiano’s journey is a bit different than most. He followed a path that led him to music, speech pathology, finance and now health informatics. He’s not stopping there. He says that while he wants to continue working and advancing his career, his “interests in pursuing research and a PhD were reignited through this program.”
Like many who have never experienced an online course, Viggiano didn’t know what to expect. He was concerned about the many anecdotes he had heard about online students feeling “like a second-class student because on-campus students are given priority or perhaps treated differently.” This couldn’t be further from the Pitt experience.
Viggiano was “pleasantly surprised by the online experience.” He says, “Pitt’s MSHI program equally values its online and on-campus students. Access to professors and resources is the same!”
Pitt’s Online MSHI students are provided with the same resources as on-campus students. There are in-person and on-campus opportunities to network with peers and attend job fairs or meet with potential employers.
The University of Pittsburgh’s online MS in Health Informatics has everything you need to aid in your pursuit of a career in this field. Serving students from all backgrounds, including those new to health care or health informatics, this program can help you advance your career and expand potential career opportunities.
Health informatics is a growing field that is in desperate need of qualified job candidates in the health care industry. Now is the time to find out more about Pitt’s Online MSHI program and the skills necessary to advance your career in health informatics.