Public Health Grads: Don't Be Afraid Of Secondary Job Markets

Many university students opt to enroll in these public health courses because they often allow them to obtain better positions and get much higher salaries once they graduate. The problem with this, however, is that when individuals do not immediately find the exact positions that they want, they become disheartened and might even feel that they have wasted their time in grad school. In these instances, it might be a better idea for students to start thinking a bit outside of the box in order to fulfill their career goals, and this might just be possible with jobs in secondary job markets.

What Are Secondary Job Markets?

The secondary job markets tend to be those that fall below the career opportunities available to graduates. These sorts of jobs are often the ones that are taken up by individuals who have no degrees at all, and for this reason, public health grads tend to stay away from them. The problem with this, however, is that these positions often provide people with a foot in the door, and in some cases, they might even provide public health grads with the opportunities that they have been looking for.

Getting Started

While public health grads might be worth a lot in terms of the value they can add to an organization, companies might not see this value right away. For this reason, it is often up to these professionals to prove themselves, and there are a variety of ways in which they can do just that. By starting a position that they normally wouldn’t have applied for, graduates can start building up their experience within their chosen field, even if it is not in the position they had hoped. Those who are interested in snatching up a position within government as a public health strategist, for instance, might want to consider a lower position, possibly as a clerk, and then work their way up. This sort of scheme allows the individual to put their skills to the test and prove to the people that matter that they deserve the position they want.

Choosing The Right Location

Often, the variety in terms of jobs that public health grads will have to choose from will depend quite a bit on where they are located. Many professionals within the public health field believe that they need to be in the larger cities in order to be able to take advantage of the best jobs, but these markets are also very competitive. Ultimately, within these cities, individuals are often required to have a lot more experience than is often possible for many professionals. For this reason, more and more graduates are looking to move out to some of the smaller cities, where the markets aren’t as competitive and they will usually have the opportunity to enter in leadership roles.

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Within these sorts of markets, graduates can more efficiently display their skills, allowing them to make the most of the opportunities given to them. Because there isn’t as much competition within these markets, this also means that individuals who find these leadership roles will be in better positions to move on to even more lucrative positions once they have proven themselves within these roles.


Many of the opportunities that are presented to individuals within the field of public health are acquired through networking. Individuals meet other professionals within the field via social work gatherings, meetings or even consultations and they establish relationships that present opportunities at a later stage. Public health grads usually know the value of networking within their field, so regardless of the position they acquire, this will become an important facet for them as they attempt to establish themselves within their field.

Learn Related Skills

While positions within secondary job markets might not be exactly what professionals are looking for at the time, these jobs often provide them with the chance to learn skills that could end up being related to their dream job. A successful public health grad is quite often someone who is willing to fulfill a wide range of roles and one that displays a varied and in-depth skill set. By acquiring different roles, professionals might learn to interact with customers better, learn to deal with problems more effectively or even learn to network in a more effective manner. These skills can all be applied to obtain the position that they ultimately want to fulfill, no matter how lucrative it might be. To obtain a position as an early diagnosis manager, for example, might be more possible for those who have more experience in data analysis. Opting for positions as lab assistants, therefore, could come in handy for those seeking out these positions.

Applying For Secondary Jobs

When individuals are applying for positions within the secondary job market, they should not take the stance that they are overqualified for the position, or worry that they are selling themselves short. These applications should be considered opportunities to start on the ground level and work their way up. It should also be noted that while these might be positions within the secondary job market, at times they might be quite competitive, which means that graduates should put as much effort into the applications as they would any position that they might find to be requiring of their skills and education.

Positions Within Academia

Positions within academia, such as assistant teachers or even administrative positions, allow public health professionals to establish themselves within this sort of field, and slowly connect with other students or even faculty members that could play integral roles in their success.

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Ultimately, public health graduates will need to remember that when it comes to advancing in their careers, they should leave no stone left unturned. Even the most basic position will give them the chance to move up in the professional world, and this is something that could earn them the position that they have always wanted. The trick is for the student to keep their eye on the prize while they set about trying to achieve their goals.

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