So You Want To Work In Epidemiology?

A brief guide to getting into the field

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


Pictured: Epidemiology. It’s half presentations, half sitting in front of a computer staring at numbers. Source: Pexels

Of the many impacts of the global pandemic we’ve found ourselves living through, one of the few welcome things has been the sudden and unexpected love of epidemiology. Two years ago, being an epidemiologist was a faintly embarrassing experience, where the phrase “I work in epidemiology” was either met with a blank stare or questions about people’s skin.

Sometimes I thought I should get a t-shirt saying “no, that’s a dermatologist” just to answer the question quickly.

Pictured: Not really my thing. Source: Pexels

And with this vague semi-anonymity came a bemused indifference to the profession. Epidemiology is, after all, not particularly glamorous — there’s a lot of tedious staring at spreadsheets involved — and in most places not that well paid either. But now, after 18 months of seeing epidemiologists appear on the TV and radio, everyone’s suddenly keen to pursue the career of their dreams and sit in front of a monitor trying to get their SAS code to work for the 50th time this week.

So here’s a very brief guide into why it’s a brilliant career path and how to do it for all you eager beavers who want to get involved…