Almost every job in global health will rely on a foundation of research, communication and management skills with a strong understanding of working across diverse cultures, environments and political contexts. In general, global health careers will fall into one of four categories: health care provision, research and policy, program management and advising, and program development.

Health Care Provision

  • Include physicians, nurses, midwives, physician assistants and community health workers
  • Focus on delivering care to individuals and communities along with how to best deliver the care in challenging situations, such as during a conflict or disaster

Research and Policy

  • Include jobs within academic institutions, research organizations, think tanks, governmental agencies and policy groups
  • Often funded through large government grants or federal agencies (PEPFAR or NIH), foundations (Bill & Melinda Gates or Rockefeller), private businesses (Goldman Sachs or Nokia), and endowments or multi-lateral funding agencies (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations or the Global Fund).
  • Potential entry level positions include research assistant, program assistant, research analyst

Program Management and Advising

  • May involve working with multilateral organizations such as UNICEF or small NGOs
  • Often requires experience living overseas and competence in at least two languages
  • Technical advisors often specialize in a particular subject or practice, including implementation science, monitoring and evaluation, logistics and supply chains, or training and education
  • Entry-level positions in administrative support, such as a program assistant or administrative assistant, can prove to be effective methods of learning the necessary management skills to advance within an organization

Program Development

  • Primarily includes sustaining financial stability of projects through grant writing, proposals, development, and communications
  • Requires an understanding of technical concepts of the project as well as strong communication skills
  • Operational positions, such as managing business activities, often require management, finance, and accounting backgrounds