“Public health professionals analyze and develop programs that protect the health of individuals, families and communities in the United States and abroad. Using education, development of healthy lifestyles, research and program implementation, public health professionals are agents for disease prevention and health promotion. The United States is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce. A career in public health opens the door to diverse opportunities in a variety of sectors such as federal, private and non-governmental organizations."
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How can I break into the industry?
Breaking into the field of global and international health can be challenging, and many positions are grant-based and dependent on external funding. If you have experience living, working, or volunteering abroad and have the ability to speak at least one additional language, you are more likely to be competitive. For many positions in the field, a graduate degree is required. Once you're on the job, you will likely be expected to travel internationally or live abroad. While it can be difficult to land a position in global health, the field often proves very rewarding for those who are committed to seeing the world and making a difference in the lives of others.
The most important way to get involved in global health is to have international experience. If possible, you should study abroad, volunteer or work abroad, and become fluent in the native language. Even with international experience, many professionals still have to enter this field through a volunteer position or program. Typical entry-level positions include:
- project assistant
- research assistant
- outreach assistant
Often the first career step in the field is an administrative position in an international health organization in the U.S. Internships are highly recommended, and can be an advantage when seeking full-time employment. Many government agencies focused on international health have structured internship programs, while smaller agencies may be open to hiring an intern on a case-by-case basis.
Resources at Georgetown University
Georgetown College: Biology of Global Health Major
Georgetown Nursing and Health Studies: International Health Major
Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS)
What can I do with my Georgetown Biology of Global Health Major?
What can I do with my Georgetown International Health Major?
Global Health Summer Program
Industry Career Resources
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health: What is public health?
GlobalHealth.Org: Global Health Briefing Book (2013)
Major International Health Organizations
DevEx – Top Global Health Organizations
Global Health News and Job Search Sites
Global Health Careers in the US Government
Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Student Opportunities
USAID – Global Health
U.S. Global Health.gov
U.S. Department of State – Office of Global Health Diplomacy
The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
National Institutes of Health
World Health Organization
World Food Program USA
Leading Global Health Employers
Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI)
American Refugee Committee (ARC)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Clinton Global Initiative
Department of Health and Human Services
Doctors of the World
Doctors Without Borders
Family Care International (FCI)
Family Health International (FHI)
Global Fund for Women (GFW)
Global Health Council
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC)
John Snow Inc.
National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
Pan American Health Organization/WHO
Public Health Institute (PHI)
Save the Children
The American Red Cross
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR)
World Bank Group
World Health Organization (WHO)
World Vision International
Roll Back Malaria Jobs List
Professional Associations and Relevant Organizations
Global Health Council
World Health Professions Alliance
American Public Health Association (APHA)
APHA State Affiliates
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Council on Education for Public Health
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Society for Public Health Education
Association of Public Health Laboratories