There are many career options available in the Health Sciences both in clinical settings as well as in other sectors such as public health, policy, technology, and law.
In the Department of Health Sciences, students have three concentrations to choose from – Public Health, Health Policy, or No Concentration. Below are brief descriptions of what a career in public health or health policy may entail.
As a public health professional you will be trained to perform services essential for preventing disease and promoting health:
⦁ Monitor the health status of a community to identify potential problems
⦁ Diagnose and investigate health problems and hazards in the community
⦁ Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues, particularly the under-served and those at risk
⦁ Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
⦁ Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
⦁ Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
⦁ Link people to needed personal health services and ensure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
⦁ Ensure a competent public health and personal health care workforce
⦁ Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
⦁ Research new insights and innovative solutions to health problems
Public health professionals are interdisciplinary and can have a variety of job titles and descriptions based on your interests and educational experience. Some job titles include Public Health Advisor, Program Coordinator, Epidemiologist, Data Analyst, Community Health Worker, Environmental Health Specialist, Health Educator, Industrial Hygienist, Consumer Safety Officer, Research Scientist, Health Communications, Patient Navigator, Health Economist, Program Evaluator, Grant Writer, and a variety of other titles.
A good resource for public health job descriptions is the e-book “101+ Careers in Public Health” by Beth Seltzer, which is available online for free through the Cal State East Bay Library. Another excellent resource is to speak with your Faculty Advisor on different career paths and to explore your interest in Health Sciences.
A career in health policy is aimed at influencing population health through the development and analysis of laws, programs, or policies to ensure that they are beneficial to society. Health policy is also a rapidly expanding field because there is growing recognition that collaboration across sectors is needed to successfully address complex health issues. A health in all policies approach is now being used among many public and private entities working to improve health and reduce health inequities.
“Health policy refers to decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society. An explicit health policy can achieve several things: it defines a vision for the future which in turn helps to establish targets and points of reference for the short and medium-term. It outlines priorities and the expected roles of different groups, and it builds consensus and informs people.”
-World Health Organization
Government agencies, nonprofits, medical centers, and corporate firms all employ health policy professionals. Work may involve writing new health policies, evaluating current health policies, or helping to rewrite and update old policies. Individuals become health policy analysts, hospital administrators, healthcare researchers, lobbyists, program coordinators, or a variety of other options.
You should be active in your job search and build connections and networks. Each job is a stepping stone towards your ideal career – your first job doesn't have to be your career, but it should help you move towards your goal. Below are some public health job search links and a good place to start looking for your next job or career. Health Science Faculty will also occasionally post job announcements on SLACK.
Job board provided by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Cal State East Bay, along with a number of other CSU’s in conjunction with the California Department of Public Health have an internship opportunity for Health Science Majors.
What is it?
Student undergraduate internships are available at the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento. Internships are 20-30 hours per week for 15 weeks (Fall and Spring semesters) or 12 weeks (Summer semester). Interns receive a modest salary and must live in Sacramento – housing provided by Sacramento State University.
Who can apply?
You must be a senior in Health Sciences with a GPA of at least 3.0 and must have taken HSC 15 and passed with a B or better. Graduating seniors may apply for the summer.
When to apply?
Spring Internship: Late January to mid-May – Application due October 25th
Fall Internship: Late August to mid-December – Applications due May 1st
Summer Internship: Late May to mid-August – Applications due March 1st
How to apply:
Submit a 1 - 2 page letter of interest and a resume to one of the full-time faculty members in the program. Your letter should discuss why you are interested in the internship. You should also submit a letter of recommendation from one of the full-time faculty members.
The Department of Health Sciences faculty will choose two students and submit their applications to CDPH. Only two students can be submitted on behalf of Cal State East Bay.
Once names are submitted to CDPH, students will be interviewed by the Department of Public Health. Having your name submitted by Cal State East Bay does not guarantee a position in the internship.