Health & Life Sciences

Are you looking to answer critical public health questions? Perhaps you want to conduct research, reduce disease, develop treatment options, or understand health behaviors. Or maybe you want to research how the environment impacts human health. Consider specializing in a field focusing on research.

Consider Your Options

The Health & Life Sciences Career Community will help you learn more about career options in settings such as public health laboratories, universities, research centers, and pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. Many of these career paths require advanced degrees.

Key Skills

Strong background in the sciences, mathematics or statistics, research design and methodology, data analysis, critical thinking, technical ability, and written and oral communication.

Notable Employers

Applied Medical Technology, Inc. • Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute • Centerstone Research Institute • Cerner Corporation • Edward Hines, Jr VA Hospital • Eli Lilly and Company • Florida Department of Health • Indiana State Department of Health • Marquette University • National Institutes on Aging • Northwestern Medicine • Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey • Stryker • University of Michigan • Westchester Medical Center

Common majors

Planning a career in Health & Life Sciences? Explore your options!

  • I want to investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury.
    Consider becoming an epidemiologist. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of illnesses through research, community education, and health policy. Epidemiologists work in offices and laboratories, in hospitals, at universities, and for government agencies. Most epidemiologists have a master’s degree in public health (MPH). Some have completed a doctoral degree in epidemiology or medicine.
  • I like to analyze data and apply statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in public health and healthcare.
    Consider a career as a biostatistician. They may assist in the design of research studies with other scientists. Biostatisticians may work for life science companies, for government agencies, or at universities. They typically have a strong background in mathematics and a master’s or doctoral degree in biostatistics.
  • I’m interested in the scientific connection between the environment and human health.
    Explore a career as an environmental scientist and specialist. Environmental health focuses on the impact of environmental conditions on human health, whereas environmental science focuses on the health of the environment itself. These two fields of study are linked. Environmental scientists may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce toxins or waste from our air, land, or water. They often work in offices and laboratories but may also spend time gathering samples and data from the field. They need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field for most entry-level jobs. Many have advanced degrees to focus on environmental health research.
  • I’m interested in the scientific connection between food and human health.
    Explore a career as a food scientist. Food scientists and technologists use chemistry, biology, and other sciences to study the basic elements of food. They analyze the nutritional content of food, discover new food sources, and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy. Food technologists generally work in product development, applying findings from food science research to develop new or better ways of selecting, preserving, processing, packaging, and distributing food.  They need at least a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level jobs, although many earn advanced degrees. Many have advanced degrees to focus nutrition science or epidemiology.
  • I like to conduct research, collect data, and analyze the scientific connection between exercise and human performance.
    Explore a career as an clinical exercise physiologist or sport scientist. Then conduct research studies that explore whether a specific exercise strategy, treatment or device is safe and effective for humans. Clinical exercise physiologists and sport scientists aid in these scientific studies by finding subjects for trials, collecting data and analyzing the results. They work under supervising doctors and scientists in hospitals, laboratories and higher education institutions that conduct ongoing scientific studies. They need at least a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level jobs, although many earn advanced degrees in Kinesiology, Biostatistics, or Human Performance.

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Career Resources

Featured Classes

SPH-X 580 Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health

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EDUC-F 203 Exploring Careers in Statistics

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