Charles Langley decided to go back to school in his 30s. Beginning after high school, he had worked in supply chain and logistics and wondered how the company he worked for was harnessing all the massive amounts of data coming in.
“I thought, data is everywhere. Companies will need to harness and use data in ways they never thought possible.” said Langley, who said he’s always had an interest in computers and programming. He earned a bachelor’s degree of interdisciplinary studies in health informatics at Georgia State in 2018.
With the onslaught of fitness and personal healthcare devices coming onto the market, Langley realized the potential specific to healthcare. “There is a whole new world out there in the use of data, and organizations are not using it to their full advantage,” he said.
He began researching health informatics programs online and chose Georgia State University for its prominence and convenience. He began his prerequisite courses at Perimeter College which offered a number of classes at night, a convenience for Langley, who was working full-time.
Langley said the degree is perfect for people like him who are interested in health care but do not want to perform patient care. And the degree, he said, goes beyond health care. Databases, mapping out workflow processes and more can be applied easily to other sectors. Though Langley worked at two health care start-ups after school, he is now working at Honeywell, within their Connected Enterprise solutions, on a system for facilities that oversees visitor management. (Visitors check-in via a digital tablet and then a visitor’s identification is run through a database for entry.)
Langley is considering getting a master’s degree in health informatics and offers the following advice to prospective students: “You are going into a field in which you’ll work in teams. Approach each project with that mindset. Always be on time and when it comes to group work, participate and learn the dynamics. This will all be very useful when you enter the workforce. Always take any learning opportunity, including lunch and learns, and join organizations in your field. They help keep you on your toes, as health care is always changing.”