Finding a great career is important, not only for your financial future but also for your happiness. Entering the field of medicine as a health based research analyst is one option that could hold some very real benefits to those who are interested in it. If you’re serious about your future, it may be in your best interests to investigate this position.
While a research analyst can work in a variety of fields, ranging from business to finance and beyond, health related research analysts often enjoy the knowledge that they’re helping the greater good. Here’s a closer look at what the job involves.
What Is a Research Analyst?
A research analyst in the health field is similar to a research analyst in any other role. They work to plan and conduct analysis of different aspects of health care. They do so by using statistical and epidemiological data, and often spend as much of their time gathering data as they do analyzing it. They use their findings to determine which areas of health in a community or facility are at risk or could be improved, and then they take steps to improve it by discussing with others who are in charge of policy and procedure.
Regular daily job duties may include the following.
- Gather data from a variety of sources and compile the information into an easier to review form
- Review information and data to determine specific issues, strengths, and areas of improvement
- Draft reports about their findings
- Participate in teams designed to improve the quality of care in the field
- Develop potential strategies that could help others improve the health field by giving them the data needed to make educated decisions about the future of medicine, health care, and public health.
- Look at the overall effectiveness of medications that are being tested or brought to market
In general, a research analyst won’t be working on developing policy but instead on analyzing data and using it to determine what issues need to be addressed. They may find themselves consulting with policymakers, however, and as such the job could have a direct impact on the future of medical policy, medications, and much more.
A few key skill sets will have a big impact on your ability to adequately perform in the position, and to truly excel in it. Being strong in the following areas is important.
- Strong Math Skills – Since handling large amounts of data and numbers is a major part of the job, it’s important that you have strong math skills.
- Self-Discipline – In many cases you’ll be working on your own, expected to guide yourself to your goals. Being motivated and disciplined matters.
- Good Interpersonal Skills – You’ll also need to be able to work well with others, communicate properly, and more. The better your interpersonal skills, the better you’ll do in the job.
Nature of the Work
The nature of the job deals primarily with math based office work. You’ll be spending a large percentage of your time working on a computer, analyzing data and drafting reports of your findings. In some cases you may spend some time in a research lab acquiring information, but you should plan on working in an office setting for the most part.
You’ll find work in this field everywhere from research facilities to government agencies to the pharmaceutical industry, and as such those entering the career field will have several options when looking for a job.
Education and Training
Since the field has a very strong focus on statistical data and medicine, it’s usually best for those wanting to enter the field to spend time learning statistics, biostatistics, and health related subjects. Usually, a Bachelor’s in statistics will be the bare minimum requirement but most employers will give a preference to those with a master’s degree as well as to those who have specialized in the health field.
Along with your degree, holding proficiency with Statistical software and experience working in the field of health and statistics will be important as well. Most employers look not only at education, but at real life experience.
Salaries vary greatly, but the average is currently about $72,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job growth is expected to be above 25% over the next several years as well, much higher than the national average.