Are you interested in the big picture issues behind health and health care, such as the social determinants of health (e.g. poverty), health information systems, health systems management and public policy? Are you interested in the growing role of e-health or the role of privatization in health care? A Bachelor of Health Studies degree will provide you with an understanding of the health system from a variety of different perspectives and give you the skills to implement health sector solutions. You will have the option of specializing in one of three streams: Health Management, where you will learn about the health system from an organizational perspective, Health Informatics, in which you will gain specialized knowledge in research, system analysis and design within a health care context, or Health Policy where you will learn how to make effective contributions to policy research, development and implementation at all levels of the health system.
Below is a sample list of career choices to explore with a Bachelor of Health Studies. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Health Studies degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Health Studies than others.
- Account Coordinator
- Community Health Educator
- Community Health Worker
- Data Analyst
- Fundraising Coordinator
- Health Care Advocate
- Health Care Manager
- Health Finance Analyst
- Health Human Resources Analyst
- Health Information Specialist
- Health Policy Analyst
- Health Policy Researcher
- Health Systems Planner
- Hospital Director
- Human Rights Advocate
- International Development Worker
- Medical Writer
- Non-Profit Organization Director
- Project Coordinator
- Quality Performance Specialist
- Software Developer
- Systems Designer
- Systems Integration Specialist
Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.
Skills Developed through a Health Studies Degree
A background in Health Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills a Health Studies degree can help you develop:
Core Health Studies Skills
- An understanding of the fundamental issues surrounding health and health care.
- Ability to conduct research on key aspects of the health care system and an ability to apply observations and conclusions to contemporary health issues.
- Preparation for pursuit of a career in a great variety of industries associated to health and many other fields.
Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills
- The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
- Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
- The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
- The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
- The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work
Management and Teamwork
- The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
- Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
- The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
- The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects
Professional Associations and Organizations
Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Global Health that you may want to visit as you research career options for Global Health graduates.
- World Health Organization
- United Nations
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Global Health Technologies Coalition
- Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research
- Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- Canadian Health Services Research Foundation
- York University’s School of Health Policy & Management