What Can You Do with a Health Sciences Degree?
Earning a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences prepares students to pursue numerous paths within the healthcare industry, from roles in private health and wellness organizations to direct patient and community care.
When we say numerous, it’s not an exaggeration. You could work in hospital settings, clinical research settings, healthcare administration, marketing, education, and even public service. With the general knowledge and special training of a bachelor’s-level health sciences degree, students can:
- Pursue technician or entry-level jobs providing care or supporting healthcare practitioners
- Qualify for administrative positions in private practices, hospitals, and clinics
- Seek work in related enterprises like health insurance, pharmaceutical sales, or medical supplies
- Pursue careers in public outreach and education surrounding health and wellness
- Prepare to apply for graduate programs in pursuit of professional healthcare roles such as a medical doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, pharmacologist, pharmacist, or dentist
- Prepare to apply for the graduate programs necessary for advanced business and health education careers
If you’re passionate about healthcare, the broad instruction of a health sciences degree can get you closer to working in clinical settings, less-traditional healthcare roles, or advanced professions in medicine.
What Is Health Sciences?
Health sciences is a generalized field of study that prepares students with the industry-specific knowledge and technical skills necessary to pursue entry-level roles or advanced professional training and education in the realms of health and wellness.
This interdisciplinary field typically involves coursework in the following areas:
- Written and verbal communication
- Ethics and sociological contexts in the health industry
- Psychology and behavioral sciences
- Anatomy and physiology
- Health law and policy
Some health science degree programs provide integrated hands-on experience, like internships, where you can get comfortable with the administrative systems and facilities used in healthcare and build other skills you’ll use in your professional life, such as the ability to speak to patients and their families.
Are Health Sciences Degrees Considered Pre-Med?
They can be. The topics you learn in a health sciences program can be a great foundation upon which to build further medical knowledge in graduate school. It might depend on the institution where you attend, so it’s worth seeing how they designate pre-med students. If your school doesn’t have a specific pre-med major, majoring in health sciences is a great option to learn similar skills and fulfill medical school prerequisites.
Careers You Can Get with a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences
Here are some fields and enterprises accessible with a Health Science bachelor’s. The career paths in these areas have a range of compensation levels, academic prerequisites, and experience requirements.
Supervisory and administrative roles are integral to any health and wellness workplace. Often, graduates of health sciences bachelor’s degree programs can find entry-level administrative roles without any previous experience. A career in this field looks like managing the day-to-day operations of a healthcare organization or a department.
Healthcare administrators need organizational and fiduciary skills to excel and lead others in the business side of health. A health sciences degree specifically including administrative skills is an incredible entrance to this area of the industry.
Healthcare Marketing and Sales
Pharmaceutical companies, medical supply vendors, and medical device developers employ salespeople to promote their products to consumers and directly to care providers and other healthcare businesses. Training in the health sciences gives applicants specialized knowledge benefitting their sales pitches and other daily tasks.
Bachelor’s-level credentials in healthcare concepts also open entry-level positions in marketing and merchandising for healthcare entities, from national hospital systems to not-for-profit NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). You could conduct market research, create media campaigns, and demonstrate your understanding of the industry.
Healthcare Support and Patient Care
In some settings, graduates of health sciences programs can become technical and entry-level workers in healthcare support roles. Support roles consist of assistants, aides, or technicians in medical fields like occupational therapy, psychiatry, physical therapy, pharmacy, phlebotomy, and more.
If you enjoy the idea of caring for patients directly, careers in healthcare support could fit your goals. It’s important to research the exact educational requirements of your profession since some might require post-graduate certification programs. In any case, a health sciences degree can lead you to excel in any additional training you must acquire.
An area commonly pursued by Health Sciences graduates is community health. Community health workers, such as community care coordinators, community health representatives, and community health educators, work with specific populations, including families, children, veterans, and vulnerable populations, to help them access care, understand threatening health concerns, and more. Careers in this area include roles gathering and interpreting data, planning and implementing patient education, and helping individuals through case management.
Nutrition and Dietetics
Because Health Sciences curriculums typically include instruction in nutrition and the ways diet influences health, dietetics is a popular career field for graduates.
Studying nutrition and other health concepts can easily transform into careers helping individuals or communities manage and optimize their diets. Registered dietitians (RD) usually need to gain post-graduate credentials, while nutritionists, depending on local requirements, don’t always need a specific level of education to get started. With training in nutrition and dietetics, you can pursue public education or start your own business helping clients.
Public Health and Policy
If you’re interested in careers concerning the health and wellness of groups on a macro or global scale, you might find working in public health is for you. You could work for federal or local government agencies, private companies or organizations, or in traditional healthcare settings, contributing to policy creation or disseminating information in public spaces.
Students can enter this field with a bachelor’s degree or expand their options by earning a Master of Public Health (MPH). Because health sciences education commonly includes administrative knowledge and a broad understanding of global and local health needs, public health is an area commonly pursued by students. Jobs that health sciences students can find include health education specialist, public health educator, and regulatory compliance specialist.
Pre-Professional Practice (Dentistry, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Medicine, Pharmacology, Pharmacy)
If you have aspirations of becoming a practicing medical professional or physician, a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences alone doesn’t meet the experiential or educational requirements, but it can be the first step you take. A Health Sciences degree can get you started on your path to medical school or graduate school with comprehensive instruction in the math and science subjects typically required by such programs.
Science Writing and Journalism
The best health sciences programs produce well-rounded graduates through interdisciplinary instruction in essential research and writing skills. If you like to write, learning about the scientific aspects of health as well as the social contexts of healthcare can provide a backdrop for careers in medical journalism or science writing.
A Health Sciences degree bridges professional communication skills and the scientific knowledge necessary to effectively and intelligently write about these important topics.
With a bachelor’s in Health Sciences, you’re likely to qualify for entry-level careers in medical and clinical research. In a role such as clinical research associate or research assistant, you may design research or trial protocols, monitor the clinical trial process, report on trial use and validity, and more.
With a background in Health Sciences, you can find opportunities to work for independent research firms, public research agencies, or higher education institutions. Some clinical research employers may require on-the-job training or certification through documented practice hours, or prefer candidates with undergraduate research experience.
Everybody at some point in their life needs help navigating the healthcare system. Whether it’s assisting patients and their families through their treatment or insurance process or specializing in helping elders or other populations, patient advocacy and patient navigational assistance are growing fields in healthcare. Another popular position in this field is case manager.
You may work independently or be hired by a hospital or a healthcare provider, but if you enter the field of patient advocacy, you can pursue a career helping others powered by your particular skillset in the sciences.
Advancing or Pivoting Your Allied Health Career
Are you already working in health and wellness? Do you have some previous education, such as an associate degree? A bachelor’s degree program in Health Sciences can expand your knowledge across the entire system and position you for advancement in your current role, open management and administrative roles, or prepare you for opportunities in a new specialty. Some programs might include an accelerated format that allows you to shorten the time it takes to increase your earning potential or qualify for a new job title.
Similar Degrees in Healthcare Disciplines
For students interested in entering the healthcare field in any form, majoring in Health Sciences can be a good option that prepares you across the industry.
Many health and wellness career fields have specific degree programs tailored to the needs of that profession. For example, even though studying health sciences can lead to careers in physical fitness and training, if you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, you may benefit from majoring in Exercise Science. The following are some additional popular bachelor’s degree programs related to careers in the health sciences:
- Exercise and Human Performance Science
- Healthcare Administration
- Medical Laboratory Science
- Nursing (Traditional BSN, RN to BSN, Accelerated BSN)
The most significant reason to pursue a degree in Health Sciences is that the discipline strikes a balance between learning a wide range of health topics and deep instruction in industry-specific skills.
Discover York College of Pennsylvania’s Career-Driven Health Sciences Program
Because those entering the workforce for the first time and current allied health professionals can advance their career with a bachelor’s in Health Sciences, York offers several career-oriented concentration options and a 2+2 degree completion option for professionals with an associate degree.
By training each student according to their unique career goals, York College of Pennsylvania’s Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree program positions graduates to follow their passions and talents to a field they can thrive in.