3 surprise tips on careers in global health

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Global health is undoubtedly a big component of international development work. Even programs that are not focused solely on health interventions have to take into account the impact of health on all other development indicators.

And the need for global health professionals is as strong as ever. Master’s in public health programs are popping up all over the map (see ”Top global health schools: A primer”). Health practitioners from nurses to social workers are looking at how they can leverage their expertise to help address challenges like malnutrition, maternal and child health, health care delivery, and more.

But how do you break into this popular career path and what is it actually like to work in global health? Devex had the pleasure to host global health expert and well known blogger and career advice maven Alanna Shaikh recently in our career webinar series to talk about this rewarding — and challenging — profession.

Here are a three take-aways from what she shared:

1. Global health jobs are office jobs

Global health professionals are rarely the ones “on the front lines doing something exciting.” Global health is about capacity building and training. You won’t be delivering vaccines but rather designing the logistical system to make sure vaccines end up where they are needed. A typical global health worker spends their days at a desk writing program reports, dealing with donors, and occasionally conducting research.

“All the doing is done by people in the host country,” Shaikh said. If you are looking to actually deliver health care and work directly with patients and constituents, stay in your home country, she advised.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

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