For some students, the onset of the COVID-19 has prompted a curiosity about ways that specific majors can lead to careers linked to the pandemic. We thought it might be interesting to explore some of these options.
The obvious fields are familiar health-related careers: doctor, physician assistant, nurse or nurse practitioner, respiratory therapist. We expect these programs to expand in the coming years, as the shortage of health workers in this crisis has become obvious.
Public health, including global public health and health policy, are front and center right now, but not everyone understands what this major entails. Your courses would include the science of the spread and control of disease, preventive medicine, health economics, and health ethics. You could be an individual researcher contributing to the work of teams, or a planner and manager, or a spokesperson. You could work in either the private or public (government) sector of the workforce. Although most of the programs are at the graduate level, combined BS/MPH programs like Northeastern’s, for example, are excellent. And some of the strongest undergrad programs include offerings from Johns Hopkins, NYU, and American U.
Other careers, including a Laboratorian, only require a 2-year degree and can be a stepping stone to becoming an Epidemiologist. This article describes other careers as well, including Behavioral Health Therapists and Biostatisticians (These are the individuals who gather and analyze the data for all the graphs we are seeing of late!)
Outside of the sciences, Journalists and Graphic Artists (those creating the graphic interpretations of data) are in high demand during this time – or any crisis – because they help citizens stay informed.
The academic choices you make, the opportunities you take advantage of, and the relationships you forge with peers and professors in college can have a direct correlation to real-world problems and issues when you graduate. College prepares you for the future. The current crisis provides a stark example of specific skills and careers you can choose to help meet this and future challenges. Is college worth it? Emphatically: yes.