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Applied Health Science Career Advice

What do you do with an Applied Health Science degree if you don’t go to graduate school?

Students who need to “find a job” with an applied health science degree probably should think in terms of marketing their knowledge, skills, and abilities to any of a variety of employers.

KNOWLEDGE:

The AHS degree includes a variety of basic science courses with a combination of public health, gerontology/aging, wellness, and health-related courses.  Students should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained knowledge that is relevant to fields like:

  • Pharmaceutical or medical equipment sales and marketing
  • Management-trainee positions with companies that provide temporary medical staffing, like on-call nurses or home health aides
  • Entry-level positions in non-profit agencies that deal with various health issues (American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, etc.)
  • Health insurance providers
  • Entry-level hospital administration jobs

SKILLS:

This area is often one of the most important to employers. They want to know what personal skills and attributes applicants can offer them in return for a paying job. Students might have to be creative in marketing their “skills.” Think in terms of:

  • Responsibility
  • Personal work history
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to learn on the job
  • Problem-solving
  • Public speaking
  • Technology (powerpoint, web design, desktop publishing, etc)
  • Laboratory skills

Nearly every hands-on patient care job requires specialized training and licensure. However, many jobs “only” require possession of a bachelor’s degree and the knowledge and personal skills necessary to learn a job and perform it well.  Applied Health Science grads are often faced with finding a job in the larger spectrum of the “health care” world (probably on the administrative side) or enrolling in additional education programs for more “training” for a specific job. If admission to graduate school isn’t happening, students might consider enrolling in an associate degree program at a community college to obtain training and licensure for patient care jobs such as nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, PTA, OTA, etc. While it might feel like a “step backward” when the sights were set on graduate school, if completing an associate degree will lead to a satisfying employment outcome, then the process is simply an investment in the student’s future happiness.