TODO
Gillings School Career Services
Explore Public Health Careers

Research, health promotion, education, management and policy development are just a few of the pathways you could pursue as a public health professional.

Find out more about the broad academic areas that comprise public health at Gillings and the kinds of career paths that could be open to you.

Explore Careers by Focus Area

Biostatistics

Biostatistics involves the development and application of statistical science to human health and disease. Biostatisticians analyze data to determine the cause of illness and injury, identify health trends in communities, analyze risk factors, plan interventions or evaluate statistical data for clinical trials. For example, you might estimate the number of deaths from gun violence, or analyze trends in cancer incidence.

Possible Job Titles

Research Statistician
Analysis Programmer
Health Informatics Specialist
Statistical Writer

Example Employers

Government agencies
Public health departments
Pharmaceutical industry
Biotechnology firms
Nonprofit organizations
Colleges and universities
Research institutions
Hospitals
International health agencies

Environmental Sciences and Engineering

Environmental Sciences and Engineering encompasses a broad array of factors that can influence human health and environmental quality. Such areas include but are not limited to studying and managing the quality of air, water and soil, as well as noise control, hazardous waste management and vector control. Knowledge about the interaction between humans and the environment can lead to solutions for environmental problems through means such as policy change. For example, you may examine how environmental factors contribute to asthma, cancer or other diseases, or advocate for policy changes to improve water quality.

Possible Job Titles

Environmental Biologist
Air Quality Engineer
Research Scientist
Lab Supervisor
Consumer Health Director

Example Employers

Government agencies
Local and state health departments
Private research facilities
Environmental agencies
Consulting firms

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is often considered the "basic science" of public health. One of the benefits of a career in epidemiology is that you can take it in so many different directions and apply it to a wide range of problems. Some epidemiologists work in the field investigating outbreaks of disease, seeking to determine the cause and trying to control its spread. Other epidemiologists design and implement studies to understand patterns of disease in society, such as the disproportionate prevalence of diabetes or cancer in a particular segment of the population. Epidemiologists often employ knowledge and tools from other fields ranging from sociology, psychology, and statistics to cellular and molecular biology.

Possible Job Titles

Public Health Epidemiologist
Occupational Epidemiologist
Program Director (of academic or medical research center)
Risk Analyst

Example Employers

Government agencies
Public health departments
Private research foundations
Pharmaceutical industry
Nonprofit organizations

Health Behavior

This public health concentration prepares individuals for leadership positions in health education planning, management and evaluation. Health Behavior students study a wide range of models and methods for developing, implementing and monitoring behavioral and social change interventions to improve the health of individuals, groups and entire communities. For example, you may develop an intervention to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS, promote seatbelt use or design health communications to reach individuals at risk for colon cancer.

Possible Job Titles

Mental Health Research Scientist
Program Coordinator/Manager Education
Consultant Health Educator
Outreach Coordinator
Research Evaluator
Public Health Advisor

Example Employers

Government agencies
Nonprofit organizations
Community mental health centers
Local health departments
Corporate wellness programs
Fitness facilities
Schools
Hospitals
Research and development firms

Health Policy and Management

Health Policy and Management involves the study of health care systems, including organization quality and demand, clinical and financial management, health care reform, health law and policy analysis. For example, you may direct hospital services, analyze utilization patterns of healthcare, create policies for health insurance companies or analyze the impact of Medicaid changes on quality of care.

Possible Job Titles

Health Officer
Public Health Advisor
Project Specialist
Health Policy Analyst
Research Associate
Operations Administrator

Example Employers

Hospitals and hospices
Health systems
Clinics
Medical groups
Home health agencies
Long-term care facilities
Mental health facilities
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
Academic medical centers
Public health departments
Government programs and agencies

Maternal and Child Health

This public health field focuses on improving the health of women, children and families in domestic and international settings through research, program planning, training and policy development. In preparing the next generation of MCH leaders, major emphasis is placed on population-based solutions to complex health problems that are multi-factorial in origin. For example, you may collect and use data to improve programs and decision making in family planning, nutrition and HIV/AIDS in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Or, reach clinicians, community members and policy makers with resources that help pregnant and parenting smokers quit.

Possible Job Titles

Project Director
Clinical/Medical Director
Program Planner/Evaluator
Health Scientist Consultant
Research Associate
Public Health Prevention Specialist
Developmental Services Coordinator

Example Employers

Government agencies
Nonprofit organizations
Local health departments
Colleges and universities
Hospitals
Research and development firms
International health agencies
Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Nutrition

Public health nutrition applies the physiological, biochemical and behavioral aspects of nutrition to the health of human populations. For example, you may advocate for nutrition-related policy changes, manage nutrition services for a school system, conduct research for a food manufacturer or hospital researcher or work to decrease nutrient deficiencies in high risk populations.

Possible Job Titles

Nutritionist
Consultant
Worksite Wellness Specialist
Policy Assistant
Clinical/Registered Dietitian
Program Coordinator
Research Associate

Example Employers

Government agencies
Colleges and universities
Exercise and fitness centers
Food manufacturers
Health-related magazines and Internet sites
Hospitals
Pharmaceutical companies

Public Health Leadership

This area of public health focuses on the population level of health care and seeks to build knowledge and skills related to leadership, assessment, policy development and assurance for current health care practitioners. Careers are available in a variety of public health leadership positions.

Possible Job Titles

Safety & Health Specialist
Process Integration Manager
Public Health Nurse
Physician
Dentist
Veterinarian
Clinical Trials Coordinator
Environmental Health Coordinator
Public Health Educator
Bioterrorism Preparedness Specialist

Example Employers

Government agencies
Nonprofit organizations
Local health departments
Colleges and universities
Hospitals
Research and development firms
International health agencies
Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Global Health

Global health professionals work on public health problems in resource constrained settings outside the U.S or with foreign or vulnerable populations who face challenges to health because of similar resource constraints in the U.S. and other wealthy nations. . As global health is multidisciplinary, there is potential to work in the global arena in all of the above specialties.

Possible Job Titles

Program officer
Program coordinator
Project Manager
Public Health Analyst
Implementation Specialist
Quality Improvement Advisor

Example Employers

Government agencies
Nonprofit organizations
Colleges and universities
Research and development firms
International health agencies
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Recent News