Exploring careers in health policy

If you have a passion for the well-being of others, a career in health policy might be for you. Health policy focuses on meeting societal healthcare goals including childhood obesity, tobacco use, mental health and, increasingly, global health concerns such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and others.

Health policy careers afford you the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, nonprofit/advocacy organizations, private sector companies, hospitals, international organizations and on the Hill. Successful applicants have strong analytical and communication skills as well as direct subject matter knowledge of health policy generally or a specific issue under the health policy umbrella (reproductive health, social insurance, etc.).

Here are some websites to consider in your health policy job and internship search:

  • The USAJobs advanced search allows you to search for positions in health policy across various federal agencies  The U.S. Health Policy Gateway features an outstanding list of internship and fellowship opportunities
  • The World Health Organization has numerous internships and jobs for entry level and experienced candidates
  • Idealist offers job, internship and organization listings in various issue areas. Try searching for positions and organizations that work on health policy
  • Indeed is always a great place to search across all industries using different keywords

Applying online is only one part of your job search strategy. Networking is another major component. A search of the American University Alumni group on LinkedIn shows that there is no shortage of AU alums working in health policy, at employers such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Accordia Global Health Foundation.

What might you learn from alumni who work on these issues every day? Have you started to make connections with other health policy professionals?

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