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Area
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Information/Strategies

Health Policy and Management

  • Health Services Administration:
    • Operations
    • Finance
    • Program Management
    • Material Management
    • Human Resources
    • Medical Staff Relations
    • Information Technology
    • Marketing
    • Public Relations
    • Facilities
    • Patient Care
    • Provider Relations
    • Government Relations
  • Health Policy:
    • Research
    • Policy Analysis
    • Policy Development
    • Legislative Work
    • Lobbying
  • Hospitals
  • Health systems
  • Clinics
  • Medical groups
  • Hospices
  • Home health agencies
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Mental health facilities
  • Managed care organizations
  • Health finance organizations
  • Insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Academic medical centers
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Department of Health and Human Services
      • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Office of the Surgeon General
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Military
  • Legislative offices
  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Advocacy groups
  • Health foundations
  • Nongovernmental agencies, e.g. Red Cross
  • Professional associations, e.g. American Medical Association
  • For health services administration, choose an undergraduate major in business, accounting, finance, or management. For policy-related careers, consider public administration or political science.
  • Gain experience through internships or jobs in a healthcare setting.
  • Develop strong communication and technology skills. Learn how to use database and spreadsheet software.
  • Get involved in student government or campus organizations related to health issues.
  • Learn to work well on teams and develop strong leadership skills.
  • Earn a master’s degree in public health, health administration, public administration, business, or a related field.
  • To prepare for positions in lobbying and legislation, some will earn a law degree.
  • Join related professional organizations and build a network of contacts.
  • Stay abreast of news in the healthcare industry.


Behavioral Science and Health Education

  • Programming for:
    • Disease Prevention
    • Health Promotion
  • Community Outreach
  • Grant Writing
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Social Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Teaching
  • Assessment
  • Research
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Office of the Surgeon General
  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Nonprofit organizations such as:
    • American Red Cross
    • American Heart Association
    • American Cancer Society
    • American Lung Association
  • Wellness centers
  • Community mental health centers
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Fitness facilities
  • Schools Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals Private research foundations
  • Research and development firms
  • International health agencies
  • Supplement curriculum with relevant coursework in social work, sociology, psychology, English, journalism, or public relations.
  • Become involved in health programming or peer education on campus.
  • Volunteer in the community to gain experience and develop expertise in a particular area or organization.
  • Obtain a part-time or summer job with campus health center or wellness coordinator.
  • Develop strong public speaking and presentation skills. Prepare to communicate effectively with both groups and individuals.
  • Learn to work well with diverse populations and people of varying ages.
  • Creativity and good writing skills are important to delivering effective interventions.
  • Become familiar with grant writing techniques and grant submission procedures.
  • Get credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
  • Earn a graduate degree to advance into positions with greater responsibility.


Biostatistics

  • Biomedical
  • Research
  • Data Analysis
  • Clinical Trials
  • Technical Writing
  • Teaching
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • National Center for Health Statistics
  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Research institutions
  • Hospitals
  • International health agencies
  • Choose an undergraduate major in mathematics, statistics, or basic science. Develop strong quantitative and computing skills.
  • Get involved with faculty research projects or apply to a summer research program.
  • Gain experience through related internships.
  • Learn to work well on an interdisciplinary team.
  • Develop strong written and verbal communication skills. Statisticians in this field may frequently write technical reports.
  • Earn a graduate degree in public health. This area is closely related to epidemiology.


Epidemiology

  • Research
  • Program Design
  • Program Evaluation
  • Clinical Work
  • Incident/Disease Investigation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveillance
  • Teaching
  • Technical Writing
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Military
  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Private research foundations
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Research and development service firms
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Colleges and universities
  • Medical schools
  • Develop a solid background in the biological sciences, statistics, and mathematics.
  • Gain experience with research. Volunteer to assist professors with research or apply for summer research programs.
  • Find a topic of interest and seek as much knowledge and experience in that area as possible.
  • Develop strong communication skills for grant and report writing.
  • Earn a master’s or doctoral degree in public health, epidemiology, microbiology, or a related field.
  • Many clinical epidemiologists have also earned a medical degree.


Environmental and Occupational

  • Research
  • Field Research
  • Air Quality
  • Food Protection
  • Radiation Protection
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Water Quality
  • Noise Control
  • Housing Quality
  • Vector Control
  • Toxicology
  • Occupational Safety
  • Risk Assessment
  • Management
  • Policy Development
  • Consulting
  • Federal government agencies such as:
    • CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health
    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Military
  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Private research facilities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Environmental agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Major in biology, chemistry, or other science area.
  • Develop strong research skills and the ability to manage data.
  • Get involved with environmental-related organizations on campus.
  • Learn to work well with a team of other professionals such as physicians, engineers, and scientists.
  • Read related journals to stay abreast of new trends and legislation in the field.
  • Plan to earn a graduate degree in public health or related field.
  • Research the many specialties to determine interest areas in which to gain experience.


Global Health

  • Social and Economic Development
  • Health Policy
  • Demography
  • Women’s Health
  • Children’s Health
  • Nutrition
  • Design of Healthcare Systems
  • Disease Prevention and Control
  • Disaster/Disease Relief
  • International organizations such as:
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
    • United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
    • United Nations Development Programme
    • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
    • World Bank
  • Bilateral government development agencies such as:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Public Health Service
    • Office of International Health
  • Peace Corps
  • Nonprofit organizations such as:
    • International Red Cross
    • CARE
    • Doctors Without Borders
  • Major in a social science and plan to continue education in public health.
  • Learn one or more foreign languages.
  • Study, volunteer, or intern abroad as much as possible.
  • Participate in international service learning trips or missions.
  • Volunteer in the local community with health-related issues.
  • Develop excellent research, writing, communication,
    and organizational skills.
  • Learn to adapt to cultural and racial diversity.
  • Be willing to live and work in third world nations.


General Information and Strategies

  • Public health is a broad, multi-disciplinary field. Other specialties within public health include areas such as: women’s health, children’s health, nutrition, bioterrorism, gerontology, and veterinary public health. Additionally, some professionals will choose an interdisciplinary career path that involves public health, such as health communication or law.
  • A bachelor’s degree opens the door for entry level opportunities in areas such as health education and promotion and environmental health.
  • A master’s degree is typically required for management, administration, research, policy development, biostatistics, and epidemiology.
  • A doctoral degree is required to reach the highest levels of administration or research and for university teaching positions.
  • Students planning to apply to a public health graduate program will do so through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). Common public health graduate school specialties include: biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences.
  • Many opportunities in public health exist with government agencies including: The Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Become familiar with government hiring procedures. Obtain a government internship in area of interest.
  • Develop a specialty area of interest via supplemental coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.
  • Cultivate personal characteristics such as enthusiasm, dedication, and a positive attitude. Maintain a personal commitment to healthy living.
  • Writing, research, and presentation skills are critical in most career fields related to public health.
  • Gain experience working with diverse populations across diverse settings. Learn to work well with others individually and in groups.