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Skills to be Successful in Global Health

Global public health professionals work in various settings such as government agencies, international organizations, hospitals, educational and research institutions, for profit and non-profit organizations and a variety of other workplaces. The type of organization and the scope of work will impact what skills employers look for when hiring prospective employees; however, there are several essential qualities, skills, and competencies that are desirable to all employers.


Qualities and Skills Public Health Employees Look For
  • Communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork skills
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Computer skills
  • Technical skills

Having strong skills in any of the aforementioned areas will help you understand the core values of the organization, interact effectively with other team members, analyze problems and develop efficient recommendations to achieve the ultimate goal(s) of the organization.

Gaining the Necessary Experience

You may have searched for internships or job opportunities in global health and seen the phrase "international work experience required". You might have wondered how to get international experience if the positions require that you already have it. There are various ways to gain meaningful international experiences to advance your global health career. International public health experience can come in various forms such as internships, short term consultancies, university sponsored or credit-based programs, and/or volunteering with community organizations, among other options.

When researching opportunities, ask yourself what skills or knowledge you will gain and practice during the experience, and how these skills and knowledge relate to your career goals. These experiences should not just be resume fillers, but should show and confirm your interest, motivation, and commitment to the field of global public health.

Although early overseas experiences often provide limited financial rewards, they offer invaluable opportunities. Try to view these internships and other abroad experiences as an investment in your career. International experiences offer excellent networking opportunities and can connect you to contacts who may be critical to furthering your global health career. Another way to gain meaningful international experience is to participate in short-term educational exchange and service-learning opportunities.

Visit the Resources for Global Health Opportunities for more information on internships and educational exchange trips sponsored by the Center, and other international programs.

Gaining International Experience Domestically

If there are outside constraints that limit your ability to intern or volunteer overseas, begin your global public health experience in your own community. Try to find opportunities to volunteer or work with immigrant or refugee communities in your local area, learn a new language that will enable you to work in multiple countries all over the world, immerse yourself in cultural experiences and events, or take a class in global health to be informed about leading global public health challenges and innovative solutions to address these problems. For example, our Center offers a Graduate Certificate in Global Health Studies.

Learning Opportunities


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Organizations Working in Global Health

Due to the scope and intensity of global health challenges, no single country or agency can work alone to tackle these issues. Multiple international agencies and institutions help shape global health polices and fund, implement, and evaluate programs. International and multinational organizations and their regional offices, government agencies, private foundations, universities, and other global health organizations work together to improve public health outcomes, provide technical expertise, and employ new strategies to enhance the constantly evolving practice of public health.


Additional Agencies
Career Opportunities in Global Health

See Resources for Global Health Opportunities below for additional opportunities for employment, funding, internships, and fellowships in global health.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, Advancing Health Around the World, to receive information about current job openings in global health.


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Resources for Global Health Opportunities

The opportunities within global health vary and there are several paths you can take to gain experience or pursue a career in global health. Current opportunities for internships, fellowships, or jobs can be found by searching current openings with specific organizations working in global health or via job boards. This page also includes resources for various funding opportunities to allow you to further your experience in global health or help fund an unpaid international experience or internship.

Please reach out to John Justino, Director of the Center of Global Health for more information about global health careers and choosing a career that is best for you!


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) Job Opportunities

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have valuable skills and experience, making them highly employable. Employers provide current openings, available to only these individuals. For more information, please review a list of current job postings open to RPCV.

RPCVs are also eligible to apply for and complete meaningful Peace Response assignments in their sector of expertise. For more information, please refer to the Peace Corps Response website for open positions and more information.

Fellowship & Internship Opportunities
  • ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellowship Program (Opportunity for masters and doctoral graduates in public health to gain practical public health experience)
  • Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health (Designed for candidates who are currently enrolled in medical school or in a graduate-level program and who are interested in global health)
  • USAID Fellows Programs (USAID Fellows generally spend one or two years working in Washington, D.C., or in USAID Missions around the world)
  • WHO Internship Programme (Offers a wide range of opportunities for students and recent graduates to gain insight into the technical and administrative programmes of WHO)
  • AIF Banyan Impact Fellowship (Immersive bi-national volunteer service program, facilitating exchange and collaboration between young professionals from India and the U.S.)
Directories for International and Global Health Funding Opportunities
Additional Funding Opportunities