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Career in Epidemiology | Know Eligibility | Job Opportunities| Salary Prospects| List of Institutes

India is fighting a battle with COVID-19 and so are other countries globally. Let us find out how career in epidemiology can help curtain the spread of the virus and other pandemics in the world.  Find out epidemiology eligibility criteria, skills, job opportunities, salary scope and top institutes from where you can pursue epidemiology.

Mar 25, 2020 15:43 IST
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Career in Epidemiology
Career in Epidemiology

In 21st century, planet Earth has been a host to several pandemics that have waged war on the life of humans and animals both. Unidentifiable bacteria, viruses, and diseases have been pre-dominant every now and then. At this juncture, the world is struggling to fight COVID-19 as the scientists are still experimenting to find an anti-dote that can cure lives of millions.

The role of Epidemiologist is quite instrumental for the betterment and survival of human life. Career in the field of Epidemiology is picking up these days and aspirants are opting it due to various perks involved associated with the domain. Let us find out vital information that will help you choose Epidemiology as a career for growth and advancement. Find out the skill set required to become epidemiologist, eligibility criteria, professional opportunities, salary prospects, and institutes from where you can pursue epidemiology.

What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiology is basically the study of diseases caused by virus, bacteria and other such agents. It deals in resolving the questions - how a disease occurs, how it can be prevented and what is the cure of the disease? The science of epidemiology also deals in patient management to fight the disease that has developed and it causing havoc on human or animal life.

Who is an Epidemiologist?

As the word defines, a professional that deals in the study of Epidemiology is an epidemiologist. An epidemiologist identifies the nature and type of the bacteria and virus causing the disease and further suggests strategies/measures to prevent it or cure it. There are several categories of epidemiologists that we will discuss further in this article in the job opportunities section.

Epidemiology Eligibility Criteria

An aspirant that aims to become epidemiologist must fulfill the eligibility criteria mentioned as under:

At Senior Secondary Level

  • An interested candidate must have passed class 12th or Senior Secondary Examination with at least 50% marks including English along with
  • Physics, Chemistry and Biology in class 12th as the recommended combination

Or

  • Must have passed class 12th in any Stream

At Graduation Level

A candidate must have completed

  • MBBS/BDS/MOT/MPT/BVS/AYUSH/Engineering/Pharmacy/Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy/Nursing/Veterinary Sciences for 3-5 years

Or

  • Pursue Bachelors in Public Health for 3 years

Or

  • Pursue Bachelors in Sociology/Economics/Psychology/Nutrition/Anthropology/Social Work for 3 years

At Post Graduate Level

Candidate must have a degree in

  • Masters of Public Health/ M.Sc. Biostatistics and Epidemiology for 2 years

Or

  • Masters of Public Health/ M.Sc. Biostatistics and Epidemiology for 2 years

Or

  • Masters of Public Health for 2 years

Epidemiologists Skill Set

A person willing to pursue Epidemiology should have the following skill set to be able to perform exceedingly well in this field:

  1. Adequate stamina, patience, self-motivation and power of concentration to be able to understand the type of agent causing the diseases.
  2. Good IQ and EQ along with logical, critical and analytical mind to handle the pressure during emergency situation while dealing with sensitive information.
  3. A problem-solving mind to provide suggestions and strategies to deal with the contingencies.
  4. Leadership qualities and strong decision making-power
  5. Proficiency in mathematics and statistics to be able to analyse the data that is required in software programs.
  6. Independent and team working capability
  7. Good listener

Job Opportunities for Epidemiologists

Career in epidemiology has wide scope with ample opportunities for the aspirants. Find out the scope and job opportunities that you can pursue after completing post graduation: 

Academic field

If you choose academic field, you can join schools or colleges. Become a research scholar and closely work with the organizations that engage in analyzing the data related to various diseases. To further your career in the domain of research, you need to apply for the UGC-NET entrance exam for lectureship or JRF to pursue research in this domain.

Community Health Worker

Community health workers is another interesting and social field where in an aspirant will get the opportunity to serve the general public and teach them the vital aspects of leading healthy life. You can join an NGO, social department or government NGOs to ensure the public health and welfare. Through the community health programs, essential information is disseminated among the masses for their betterment.

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers collect data and then analyse it to provide relevant findings and statistics. The data is collected on the on-going research as allocated by the government or the private organisation on medical issues in the society.

Supervisory Epidemiologist

This is a lesser known profession wherein an Epidemiologist is expected to serve the role of a manager to the organisation where other epidemiologists are employed. He/she is responsible for overlooking budget management, personnel management, pharmaceutical development and other managerial tasks that are to be updated for proper functioning.

Infection Control Epidemiologist

The role of an infection control epidemiologist is to research, monitor, and analyze various infectious disease that are taking toll on human life. Further, they are expected to frame policies and strategies to curb the spread of disease and also suggest measures that can help prevent the future onset of the disease among people.

Pharmaceutical Epidemiologist

The duties of Pharmaceutical Epidemiologist include studying the cause, effects, and spread of substance abuse and condition leading to this situation in the society.  Pharmaceutical Epidemiologist studies the effects and impact of pharmaceuticals on human health and physiology. An important role that they play is to keep a track of social trends and habits that can spread of the deteriorating condition of the disease. They even plot trends and predict outcomes related to the spread of virus causing disease.

Veterinary Epidemiologist

Although there are many fields where eminent role of Epidemiologists prevail, however a Veterinary epidemiologist specialize in understanding the diseases occurring in animals. They study and research on the information linked to disease, its impact, how it can be transmitted to humans and other animals. For example, the transmission of Corona Virus from Bats to human is an effective finding drawn from the job of a veterinary epidemiologist. They even suggest treatments that have the potential to control the spread of disease among the ones at risk.

Salary Prospects of Epidemiology

For an epidemiologist there are several avenues where they can deploy their skills to ensure healthy lifestyle. From NGO to government or private laboratories, hospitals, everywhere an epidemiologist is in demand due to the fatal diseases that are hard to deal with. Take a look at the salary prospects of this domain and how much you can earn in India or abroad.

Salary Prospect

India (in INR)

Abroad (in $)

Community Worker (Epidemiologist)

40k-50k

10,000$ to 34,000 $

Clinical Epidemiologist

70k-1.5k

40,000$ to 128000$

Top Epidemiology Institutes in India

Here is a list of top 10 institutes from where you can pursue epidemiology in India:

Institute

Location

National Institute of Epidemiology

Chennai

Public Health Foundation of India

Delhi, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad

National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)

New Delhi

Birla Institute of Technology and Science

Pilani

Christian Medical College

Vellore

Central University of Kerala, School of Medicine and Public Health

Kasargode, Kerala

SRM University

Kachipuram

Padmashree School of Public Health

Bangalore

Jawaharlal Nehru University- School of Social Sciences, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health

New Delhi

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

Mumbai

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