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Those employed in the field of international health have a hand in various processes regarding identifying disease trends, developing cures and establishing protocol to ensure illnesses do not spread to surrounding regions.
Individuals who have a passion for helping their fellow man,a penchant for travel, and an interest in health sciences may be well suited for a career in international health, whether they're drawn to the science or the humanitarianism. Pursuing a graduate degree in this field might help prepare students to manage the intricacies of the field of international health.
Common Coursework in International Health Graduate Programs
Depending on the desired educational path, those studying international health may study a variety of different subjects. Those interested in studying data trends, working in the laboratory and curating cures may spend the majority of their study working with scientific professionals, learning material that relates to both statistics and medicine. Students along this path are often required to take courses pertaining to the development and spread of diseases, such as epidemiology, as well as social sciences that pertain to population study, such as economics, sociology and psychology.
Since this field of study pertains to work outside of the U.S., students in an international health graduate program may be required to learn about various different nations, including demographic trends, cultural differences and regional history. Those looking to specialize in a more administrative role in international health may also take courses regarding budgeting, financing and project management. Additionally, students may learn about how the fields of technology, government, research and policy affect international health efforts.
Potential Career Opportunities for Individuals with a Graduate Degree in International Health
Depending on the specialization selected by the student, there are a variety of potential career paths housed under the international health umbrella. Students with a graduate degree in international health might choose to seek potential employment opportunities at official agencies that provide assistance to international countries. Those who wish to work with infectious diseases - developing cures and studying samples - may pursue work as epidemiologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 median annual salary for epidemiologists was $65,2701.
For individuals who are more compelled by the human aspect of international health, pursuing a career as a health educator or community health worker may be an ideal option. These individuals work to develop strategies that may improve the overall health of a particular region, which could include working with community leaders to pinpoint areas that can be improved. According to the BLS, the 2012 median annual salary for health educators was $41,8302.
Is Earning a Graduate Degree in International Health Right for You?
Careers in international health may be a good option for individuals who are interested in working abroad, or those who have a strong desire to learn more about the science or sociology behind the spread of disease. The field expands across a vast range of subjects, but students can learn through coursework about the different types of professions and specialties they might pursue upon graduation.