College of Health and Human Services
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:
- Personal work history
- Ability to learn on the job
- 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.