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Choosing the best informatics university involves looking at the special requirements of informatics, and seeing how the university under consideration can handle those requirements. This includes not only looking at the highly technical world of information technology, but also the university's elective offerings in web design, sociology, and psychology. In addition to an informatics university offering the degree of choice, some may also want to consider how applicable the university's academic environment is to the desired specialization as well.
The goal of the university is to give the student as broad of an educational background as possible. This prepares the student for a wide range of possible jobs, and indeed for life itself. Even so, for those who feel they want to specialize in a certain field, it is good to ask advisers at the prospective informatics university how the school can help to achieve those goals. Specializations include work in health care informatics, business informatics, sales informatics, and science informatics.
In addition to looking at the core curriculum, elective offerings should also be considered at an informatics university. This is closely related to the issue of specialization. If, for example, a student is interested in informatics, and how it applies to science, choosing a informatics program offered by a business school is likely not the best choice. Electives in the science field will be limited. While it still may be possible to get a job in scientific informatics, the education at such a school will not offer the broadest range of electives.
Furthermore, prospective students should talk to other students who have been through the program at an informatics university with the desired specializations. The type of jobs they were offered, if they are still in the field, and how well the university prepared them for that line of work are all very relevant issues they should be willing to offer opinions on. Former students can be a good source of information, and be one of the university's best marketing tools, or one of the university's biggest liabilities.
As with any other college, there are certain other general issues that must be considered when looking at an informatics university as well. These include the cost of the program, the quality of the faculty, the job support upon graduation and even the location. The location may be especially important. While some may want to choose a program that is close to home, others may be interested in choosing a program that is close to potential internships and job opportunities. This is why informatics programs on the western coast of the United States, near major software and Internet companies, are so popular.
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