We are in the middle of a global pandemic, waiting for things to get normal since Covid-19 has put the entire world on hold. Many people are trying to figure out the root causes and outspread of the viruses, but it seems impossible without help from epidemiologists. After all, these are the scientists who study diseases, identify causes, and propose potential treatments.
Epidemiology is a vital area of healthcare that covers incidence, distribution, and possible control of illnesses relating to health. The demand for these ‘disease detectors’ is rising in today’s world to combat Covid-19 by finding a cure. They leverage health science information to improve the well-being of people around the globe. If you wish to become one, let us guide you through everything.
How to Become an Epidemiologist?
Good things come out of bad times, and the growing interest in epidemiology is the most prominent example. With the increasing demand for epidemiologists, many people are looking forward to it as a potential career option. Here is everything you need to know.
Education is a must for epidemiologists because this profession depends on knowledge and professional work experience. Therefore, you need to explore universities and colleges offering public health degree programs with a focus on epidemiology. After completing the bachelor’s, you can continue with a master’s in public health while specializing in epidemiology.
The curriculum revolves around clinical research, infectious diseases, statistical modeling, social, and public health. In short, it equips you with all kinds of theoretical and practical knowledge. However, this degree does not restrict you to a particular field. It can also help you get into the country’s health program as a health assistant.
Usually, when thinking of how to become an epidemiologist, education seems the only answer. Alongside education, you need distinct skills to continue smoothly in your professional life. If you are clueless about it, have a look below.
- Epidemiologists have to exhibit strong communication skills to deliver their message to the public and health leaders. They have to inform about potential threats and health risks without causing chaos.
- Unlike doctors, epidemiologists are dealing with data instead of patients. They conduct researches, collect primary, and secondary data to analyze health problems. Similarly, they effectively use data to devise solutions to urgent health emergencies.
- Medical expertise and knowledge are not enough. You will have to use your statistical skills when designing surveys because it involves significant databases and advanced computer programs.
- Teaching skills are also crucial to educate the public about health and hygiene practices. Even in this pandemic, epidemiologists identified the need to wear masks and practice social distancing.
A combination of skills and educational expertise will open your doors to the field of epidemiology. It will not only allow you to make significant contributions to healthcare but also promotes personal growth.
What a Career in Epidemiology Holds for You?
Usually, people are passionate about investigating, analyzing, and collecting data. Epidemiologists have a similar job, but the purpose of investigations is to improve the health of the population. If you hold similar interests, a career in epidemiology is an incredible choice.
The entire healthcare industry is likely to witness escalating demand in the future. The bureau of labor statistics projects a 9% increase in the demand for epidemiologists. These days, epidemiologists are working additional hours to fulfill the workload because health emergencies cannot wait.
In the coming years with advancements in medical technology, epidemiologists will have more opportunities to analyze data and take immediate action. Likewise, with the booming healthcare industry, you can pick any career in epidemiology. It could be working closely with researchers, finding patterns in diseases, or conducting medical research by becoming a pharmaceutical epidemiologist.
This profession does not offer a designated working place since it depends on the situation. Some days, you will have to align evidence with real-world problems for resolving health issues, whereas, at times, you will be working on the field. Moreover, you have the choice of working anywhere you want. It could be in a scientific consulting firm, performing researches, or with government institutes.
By now, it is evident that becoming an epidemiologist is no easy feat. You will undergo extensive training while studying diseases. Thus, salaries for these individuals are also higher than in other professions. Even though it depends on the level of experience, qualification, and position, but on average, an epidemiologist earns $70,500 annually. These projections would continue to increase in the coming years since the brighter the projections, the more people would be willing to opt for it.
In today’s world, students have to understand the trends and needs of the nation before pursuing a degree. It not only works in favor of healthcare industries, but students also enjoy better prospects. Therefore, understand the dire need for epidemiologists, especially amid a pandemic, and call the shots to fulfill this need.