San Jose Mercury News Examines Growing Popularity of Professional Health Programs
The San Jose Mercury News on Monday examined the increased number of former dot-com workers and younger students entering into health care training programs at Silicon Valley universities and community colleges following the collapse of the region's technology industry. According to the Mercury News, the decline in the number of tech jobs in the area is combining with the national growth in the health care industry to create an enrollment "spike" in area health care training programs. Stephanie Scherman, dean of the biological and health sciences program at De Anza College in Cupertino, said, "There are a lot of former tech workers who suddenly decided that a stable career in a long-range industry might be a smart idea after all." So many people are expressing interest in health programs that local schools are "reeling" from the influx, according to the Mercury News. Because of budget constraints in the wake of state funding cuts, many schools are unable to expand the number of classes they offer and must turn students away in such popular programs as nursing and occupational therapy. However, despite the growing demand for health care training programs, the Mercury News reports that "nobody believes the current rush will be sufficient to meet the great demand for workers." According to the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California-San Francisco, California will need an additional 60,000 nurses by 2020 (Millner, San Jose Mercury News, 11/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.