Public health is far more critical than most people already know. Although it is slightly unlike the medical and clinical settings that people are usually accustomed to health, public health ensures that communities receive vital health services and necessities. Without public health, citizens wouldn’t have access to clean food and water, healthcare, disaster relief, family planning, child wellness, and many more.
Students pursue a public health degree to serve the people. This diverse discipline allows students to choose from numerous paths but end up with the same purpose: providing good health for the population. If you are one of these students who wish to have a public health degree, you have come to the right place.
With this in mind, here are different ways to earn a degree related to working in the public health sector:
Seek Out Your Dream Profession In Public Health
Before starting your journey towards obtaining a role in the public health sector, it is essential to identify first what career you have in mind because this will guide you throughout the process. Have in-depth research of all public health degrees that you can choose from and which schools and institutions offer these in your region.
A well thought career progression is beneficial for students and can help them decide better for their future careers because they might have missed out on opportunities that they would have liked.
Start With An Associate Degree
All students start from the bottom until they achieve what they want to become. If you are planning to obtain a public health degree, begin your first steps with an associate degree. An associate degree with a two-year duration is a great stepping stone for students starting from scratch. Also, an associate degree is best for people who want to get started working in public health immediately, while they can work on stepping up their game later.
Generally, an associate degree in public health establishes the foundation for sooner career goals involving health education, health promotion, and disease prevention. Depending on your institution, they might offer courses centered on:
- Health education
- Health intervention
- Public health community services
Participate In Public Health Online Courses
To gain additional knowledge, taking up public health online courses is fun and not too burdening. Especially during this time of the pandemic, online education is valuable. If you are recently planning to obtain a public health degree but stuck at home, taking up online courses will make your time worth it.
Since you are not required to be physically present to attend classes, you can take online courses in any institution or company that offers them. Some good examples are Coursera, edX, Harvard University Online Learning, and you can check other universities if they offer online classes you can take to finish a degree.
Accomplish A Bachelor’s Degree In Public Health Or An Inclined Specialization
Once you have accomplished an associate degree and want to progress further, your next path is towards a bachelor’s degree in public health, or anything related to this discipline. This degree usually takes four years, which transforms your basic foundation in public health to a more solid one, plus general health training.
You can choose between a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. The former concentrates more on natural science, while the latter narrows down to social science. Here are specialization examples between the two:
- BS: Biostatistics, epidemiology, nutrition and public health
- BA: Behavioral health, community health, health disparities, health communications
Obtain A Master’s Degree In Public Health (MPH)
The best career choices in the public health discipline become more attainable once you level up with a master’s degree. Take note that you can only take up a master’s degree if you already have a bachelor’s diploma, preferably with a 3.0 GPA, and finished particular coursework required on your specialization.
Through your journey towards A Master of Public Health (MPH), there are more competitive roles awaiting as you execute and apply practical aspects of public health. With an MPH degree, here are some careers that you can plan to enter:
- Health survey researcher
- Healthcare administrator
- Program coordinator
- Health promotion specialist
Drive A Work Experience Path For Doctorate Preparation
After earning your graduate degree and learning specific skills and roles to take on leadership, you are now ready to pursue a professional public health career in the line of your background. You can choose to stop your studies here and begin serving the public or use this work experience as your ticket towards the highest educational attainment.
Most people mistakenly think that public health workers only work for the government. With an MPH degree, you can work in a variety of different institutions and settings, except the government, and some of them are:
- Public service, including disaster preparedness and public nursing
- Private sectors, such as an employee or consultant of insurance companies, healthcare companies, and pharmaceutical brands
- Education-related roles, like teachers and instructors
- Non-profit purposes, which serve a defined population including veterans, people with disabilities, and minority groups
Take A Doctorate Degree In Public Health
Lastly, advanced professionals who work on public health development and do research with universities have a doctorate, also known as a PhD. If you are dedicated to medical research that mainly contributes to public health and wants to explore more techniques to improve public health, then it is worth pursuing a doctorate degree