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In 2018, healthcare surpassed the mainstays of manufacturing and retail to become the United States’ largest source of jobs

It’s natural to want a piece of the pie. Not only is healthcare an industry with staying power, but it’s a rewarding career path, too. You’ll join the more-than-16-million Americans who have already built careers in this sector. 

To get there, though, you will likely need to study at the collegiate level. You might go the traditional route and focus on chemistry or biology. Or, you might consider studying health science degrees. 

What can you do with a health science degree, though? It may not be as clear-cut as the other sciences, but there are plenty of rewarding careers on the other side of this educational track.

What is a Health Science Degree? 

Firstly, let’s look at what you’d study as a health science student. 

On a traditional science track, you’d study the likes of biology and chemistry, as previously mentioned. But those courses would encompass more than just human health-related topics. 

Meanwhile, health science courses focus specifically on how these natural sciences, as well as behavioral sciences, affect human health. You’ll also need to learn about public health, nutrition and exercise science in many cases. 

So, you will undoubtedly spend some of your time working in the labs, just as you would on an ordinary science course. However, you’ll also look at the bigger picture to see how populations achieve good health, why people make the healthcare decisions they do, etc. 

The good news is that a health sciences degree gives you a broad knowledge of the healthcare industry. You’ll learn about the science side and the business side. And this will make you an attractive employee, regardless of the career path you choose to take post-grad. 

What Can You Do With a Health Science Degree?

On that note, you may be surprised to learn just how many doors you can open up with a health science degree. It doesn’t matter where you study, either — an in-person course has just as much to offer you as an online health science degree

Here are some examples of the career paths you may follow with your college education behind you.

Lab Technician

You’ll probably go through some on-the-job training, but a health sciences degree will be all you need to get your foot in the door as a lab technician. 

This work is essential — you’ll run tests on patient tissue and blood samples to help doctors understand what’s going on beneath the surface. You might also work as a lab technician in a research setting, too. Either way, your job will be the same: running tests on medical samples for more in-depth analysis. 

Drug and Alcohol Counselor

Perhaps you want to be more hands-on in the way you help people with your health sciences degree. If so, you might consider becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. 

Every state’s requirements for becoming a counselor will be different. However, you will probably have to go through some training or additional coursework to obtain your license. 

From there, you will be able to help those who suffer from addiction issues. You might helm individual counseling sessions or facilitate a group conversation. You will also provide your patients with the tools they need to abstain from drugs or alcohol in the future. 

Physician Assistant

After earning your diploma in health sciences, you can continue your studies to obtain a Master’s degree, opening even more doors. 

One option is to become a physician assistant. With this training, you can perform exams on patients, provide diagnoses and even prescribe treatments.

Of course, you’ll have to study quite a bit to be able to provide such in-depth information to patients, but it’s a lucrative and rewarding career path. Many PAs make six-figure salaries, and that’s just as enriching as helping people get better. 

Patient Educator

Hospital doctors are very busy people. They might not have the time to sit down with patients and help them understand — and feel better about — their diagnoses. 

That’s where the patient educator comes in. Many organizations hire someone in this role to speak to people facing new or daunting diagnoses. For example, they may help someone with diabetes understand their new medication and self-care routine. 

Patient educators may also function similarly to social workers. They can provide patients with the help they need to make appointments or obtain medical equipment for at-home use. 

Either way, if you’re a people person with interest in the healthcare field, this could be an excellent direction for your career path.

Other Health Science Careers

These are just three examples of the many ways your career can go once you have a health science degree. You might also consider the following jobs: 

  • Dental hygienist
  • Mental health counselor
  • Hearing aid specialist
  • EKG technologist
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Registered dietician
  • Paramedic
  • Medical assistant
  • Radiology technician
  • Anesthesia technician
  • Veterinary technician
  • Pharmacy sales representative
  • Behavior analyst
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Doctor

Clearly, some of these careers will require you to enlist in more schooling after obtaining your health science degree. But the lengthy list — one that’s not exhaustive, either — gives an idea of just how many opportunities that this training will provide.

Open Doors With a Health Science Degree

There are so many answers to the question, “What can you do with a health science degree?” Now you know that it’s a career path that’s both varied and fulfilling. You can go down countless different avenues, depending on your interests and abilities — now, it’s up to you to chart your course. 

What will you do with your health science degrees? Let us know in the comment section below. 

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