Careers in Health

 

In brief

Health is an incredibly diverse career area which encompasses work in private sector organisations, international organisations, not for profits, start-ups and the public sector. You could be working in a variety of roles, for example as a consultant, a health economist, a researcher or directly with patients in a clinical setting.

Where can you work?

  • Health Consultancy– types of firms include large consulting firms with healthcare divisions such as KPMG and Deloitte and specialist consultancies, such as IQVIA, which focus purely on health. Visit our Careers in Consultancy page to find out more. 
  • Public Sector – employers range from large clinical organisations, such as the NHS in the UK, to central government agencies and local government departments. Work is varied and includes policy, research, management and patient care.
  • International Organisations – as well as specialist agencies such as the WHO (World Health Organisation) there are many other agencies which work on health issues, for example UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). Entry usually requires a Master's and relevant professional experience. Visit our Careers in International Organisations page to find out more. 
  • Pharmaceuticals – employers range from large global organisations such as Novartis, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim, to small biotech start-ups. Work ranges from developing new clinical products, to marketing, pricing and regulatory functions.
  • Academia– many universities around the world teach and research health. A PhD is required in most cases. Visit our Careers in Research page to find out more.
  • Not for profit – includes international NGOs, like Oxfam and Save the Children, working on development issues, as well as national organisations working on areas such as health inequalities, patient advocacy and healthy lifestyles.
  • Digital health – a rapidly growing field covering many innovations, such as the personalisation of medicine and use of data to enhance efficiencies. Many start-ups work in this field. Health Foundry has a good list of London start ups.
  • Private healthcare – in the UK, organisations such as BUPA provide health care on an insurance basis. Roles range from clinical care to care home management and corporate functions.

What’s changing in the sector?

Like many sectors new technology, from artificial intelligence to big data, is disrupting the sector and changing the day to day work of many roles.

Useful Websites

CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities. Includes a list of over 500 organisations that have posted health jobs.

Carrotpharma – particularly good for consulting and pharma roles. Useful advice as well as jobs.

Management Consultancies Association – good (but not comprehensive) list of consultancies with healthcare divisions.

Devex – international development jobs including ones with a health focus.

Jobs.ac.uk – jobs in academia and research institutes, UK and global positions.

Useful Information

Routes in

Introduction

This is a sector where it’s important to use a variety of approaches to job searching. This means applying to advertised jobs but also reaching out to new or existing contacts in the sector. LinkedIn is a great place to start and you’ll find hundreds of LSE alumni who are working in health organisations listed on the site.

If you’re looking to gain experience

If you’re just starting out, then doing an internship or volunteering whilst you’re at LSE is a good way to gain experience.

If you’re early on in your career

Whilst there are some graduate schemes in the large pharmaceutical companies, health consultancies and government departments & agencies (applications for which are usually accepted in the Autumn), the majority of opportunities are in smaller organisations which advertise jobs as and when a vacancy arises. Clinical and physician roles usually have specialist recruitment procedures.

If you have more experience

Most positions are gained by applying to advertised jobs or using personal networks. For more senior jobs you can also use specialist recruitment agencies such as Carrotpharma and Barrington James

If you’re changing career

Depending on the role you are moving into, specialist qualifications at Master's level may be required or, in the case of clinical and physician roles, more substantial retraining.

Not sure what to do next?

We’re here to talk over your career plans with you. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, so don’t feel you have to have it all worked out. You can book a one-to-one appointment with a careers consultant on CareerHub.

Job roles

There are a huge number of different job roles in this sector. We’ve outlined some of the ones likely to be of most interest to LSE students (but don’t be constrained by this!) with links to where you can find more information. If you can, try and talk to someone who’s doing the job you’re interested in, so you get a real flavour of what it’s like.

  • Health Consultant – employed by large management consultancies or specialist health consultancies. Work can be varied and involve a wide range of areas such as Analytics, Market Access, Pricing and Health Systems. Visit our Careers in Consultancy page for more information.
  • Researcher–most opportunities are located in universities, research institutes and government departments. For universities and research institutes a Master’s is usually the minimum requirement, often a PhD. Visit our Careers in Research page for more information.
  • Health Economist – can be found in a variety of organisations both in the private and public sector, working on areas such as market access and public policy making and scrutiny. Candidates have usually studied economics at undergraduate level as a minimum, but often have a Master’s level qualification too. Visit our Careers in Economics page for more information.
  • Market Access – enabling pharma and biotech organisations to navigate regulatory and pricing frameworks for their medicines to be approved and distributed. Carrotpharma has a good summary of the work involved.
  • Physician and other clinical roles – Encompass a wide range of roles ranging from doctors to nurses to clinical scientists. Prospects has a good overview of over 70 different roles.

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