What Are My Career Options with a Health Science Degree?

Health science degree programs may be ideal for those who want to work in healthcare but have not decided on areas of specialty. Such programs might also benefit current professionals who want to advance their careers. As a health science-degree holder, you might choose a career in health education, research, administration or patient care. Read on to discover more about career options for graduates who have degrees in health science. Schools offering Biomedical Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Health Science Education

Undergraduate health science degree programs might introduce you to many healthcare professions. They could include courses in health information management, human biosciences, health policy, health behavior and health services. Most health science programs focus on non-clinical specializations, including health services administration, healthcare management, community health education, public health, healthcare informatics and environmental health. They may also offer pre-professional tracks that can prepare you for higher education and training, including pre-physical therapy and pre-occupational therapy. After earning this degree, you could pursue further education through graduate school, receive professional training or seek a career in patient care, community health education and health science.

If you already have an undergraduate degree in a health-related profession, you may be interested in earning a master's degree in health sciences. Through coursework in the areas of public health, management, policy and leadership, advanced health sciences programs might prepare you to pursue a healthcare management or research career. Eventually, you might also consider a Ph.D. program that might qualify you for advanced leadership positions or research opportunities. Doctoral programs allow you to choose an area of concentration such as speech-language pathology, rehabilitation or professional health leadership. Following are some potential career options for graduates.

Important Facts About Career Options with a Health Science Degree

Health Educators Medical and Health Services Managers Community Health Workers
Median Salary (2014) $50,430 $92,810 $34,870
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 12% growth 17% growth 15% growth
Work Environment Government agencies; hospitals; ambulatory health care services Hospitals; nursing and residential care facilities; offices of physicians Individual and family services; ambulatory health services; state and local government
Similar Occupations School and career counselors; dietitians and nutritionists; substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors Human resources managers; insurance underwriters; social and community service managers Mental health counselors; marriage and family therapists; social workers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Community Health Education

As a health educator, you would be responsible for creating health education programs for elementary schools, high schools, universities or community organizations. Your duties would involve assessing and implementing programs and acting as a health representative in the workplace. For example, you might develop health-promotional programs that encourage exercise and healthy eating.

Healthcare Administration

Health service administrators are responsible for overseeing healthcare departments or facilities. They supervise, coordinate, direct and plan departmental operation and manage clinical and non-clinical activities. You could become a general administrator, which entails taking care of an entire facility, or a specialist who oversees specific departments.

Patient Care and Other Occupations

The patient care field involves one-on-one interaction with patients. While completing a bachelor's degree program in health science, you can take specialized courses that aim to prepare you for careers in echocardiography, radiation therapy, radiography or sonography. Other possible career avenues include health research, health promotion, medical sales and laboratory technician occupations.

Advanced Career Options

With a master's or doctoral degree in health science, you might apply your expertise to academic and clinical research. This includes exploring and evaluating aspects of the healthcare system such as diagnostic treatment and health care delivery. A doctoral credential might also allow you to teach health science in advanced academic and clinical settings.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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