Factors to consider: Pipeline issues

Health student in UgandaStudent recruitment
How will students find out about the programs, apply for them, and be selected? Keep in mind that many low-income countries do not have sufficient high school graduates with science, math, and technology coursework. Consider remedial or bridging courses to allow interested students to enter programs. Consider outreach programs to high schools to interest students in health informatics careers and make them aware of the programs. Consider providing assistance completing applications for students from remote areas. Will students from remote areas get adequate opportunities to enroll in these courses?

Admission criteria
Define the prerequisites for entering health informatics training programs. Are these prerequisites realistic given the number of high school graduates and existing health workers with such qualifications?

Effective demand (how many workers to train?)
How many of each cadre does the government have the budget and plans to hire? What about the private sector? How many of the program’s graduates might be hired for jobs other than in health informatics?

How will the program be accredited (recognized by the government or other official body)? How long will this process take and how expensive will it be?

In addition to receiving their certificates or diplomas from the training institution, should graduates receive a national license or certification? What would be the advantages and disadvantages? Do professional bodies exist that could provide this national licensing or certification?

Job placement
How will graduates find out about and apply for open jobs? Consider setting up centrally-located physical or electronic bulletin boards for all employers and job seekers to use. Provide students with assistance in creating a CV and developing interview skills.

Alumni management
Alumni are a valuable source of feedback on the relevance of your program, general advice, and potential fundraising. Maintain databases of alumni, contact them on a regular basis, and involve them in the life of the training programs.

Track the gender of students who apply to, are admitted to, and graduate from your programs. Ensure that female students have adequate academic support and mentoring. Consider starting special pipeline programs to encourage women to enter health informatics programs. Ensure that schools have adequate gender discrimination and harassment policies.

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