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Health care IT is No. 1 among the top 10 hot jobs for college graduates, according to a report by the University of California San Diego Extension.

The report "2011 Hot Careers for College Graduates" aimed to reveal the top jobs for both recent grads and those in mid-career.

Researchers compiled the data based on college enrollment figures, national employment statistics, and interviews with executives in San Diego.

The federal mandate to implement EHRs (electronic health records) creates a need for health care integration engineers, health care systems analysts, clinical IT consultants and technology support specialists, the report states.

"Jobs and needs in the health care information technology field are a critical component of plans for positive change in the health care industry," wrote Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC SD Extension, in the report.

"Although much of the anticipated reform for the U.S. health care system revolves around financial incentives and risk, achieving the cost efficiencies necessary to support that reform depends on more aggressive application of information technology to daily health care operations," she added.

In 2008, EHR and health information technicians held 172,500 jobs, according to the report. In the following decade (2008-2018), jobs in this area will grow by 20 percent, according to UC San Diego Extension.

"The injection of skilled knowledge workers into the magnet of health care information technology will not only provide solutions to immediate needs, but also will serve as a catalyst for new and emerging types of jobs in the coming years as the impact of health care IT takes hold," Mark Cafferty, San Diego Workforce Partnership president and CEO, wrote in the report.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Health Care IT Tops the Jobs List for Grads: Report