As you began your investigation into the possibility of a public health career, you soon discovered the many disciplines that are represented within a wide variety of public health jobs. You were drawn to a particular discipline and most likely will seek jobs in public health based on your particular field of interest. If you are majoring in epidemiology, you understandably will seek out public health career options as an epidemiologist. If you majored in health care organization and health care policy, you may seek a public health career in a management or health care association position. While it is understandable that you would investigate public health jobs in your field of study, do not rule out the possibility of public health careers you may have not considered. With the extensive knowledge base you have acquired in environmental health, health policy, statistics, research, maternal and child health, health behavior, research and more, you are qualified for a host of public health jobs that may cross outside your major discipline yet be well within your individual areas of interest, ability, and skills.
What types of careers in public health are available for those with your knowledge, skills, and background? Private industries, local, state, and federal governments all offer jobs in public health. Jobs in public health are also found in insurance managed care, consulting, hospitals, clinics, managed health care organizations, legal services, research, academia and more. As mentioned earlier, those seeking careers in public health follow a variety of disciplines in preparation for public health service.
Below is a brief look at just a few possibilities available to those wishing to pursue public health careers.
Discipline or Major
|Biostatistics||Research involving statistical methodology and analysis|
|Environmental Health Science||Concentrates on the impact of environmental consequences and hazards on the health of individuals and communities|
|Epidemiology||Studies the origin and distribution of disease to prevent or lower the risk for epidemics.|
|Human Health Behavior||Combines education, research, and program promotions to promote healthy lifestyle choices within a community|
|Health Care Organization & Policy||Management of public health and human resources|
|International Health||Manage, organize, and coordinate healthcare services worldwide|
|Maternal & Child Health||Promotes education and programs to improve health care and health care options to women and children in both public and private sectors|
Careers in public health offer you the opportunity to get involved in finding solutions to complex health issues affecting individuals and communities. The number of public health careers will continue to grow well into the next decade and beyond. This will require professionals from various disciplines to work together to promote and protect healthy practices and a healthy environment. Public health professionals will continue to be leaders in the community meeting the challenges necessary to safeguard the public’s health now and in the future. These ongoing challenges and the opportunity to make a difference in the world we live in provides you with rewarding work as you make a difference in people’s lives and in your community.
While you may obtain access to some public health jobs through any number of fields, most require a degree in public health to continue advancing in the profession. Undergraduate studies in health education, mathematics, biology, science, or psychology are all helpful in providing you the background and knowledge to pursue any number of careers in public health. For some jobs in public health involving research or health administration and management, you may need to obtain a Master’s degree. Graduate degree programs will depend upon your long-term career goals and field of interest. An MPH or Master of Public Health gives you solid background and understanding of a wide range of public health topics such as environmental health, epidemiology, women and children’s health, administration, as well as environmental and behavioral health. Specialized degrees in public health are usually within academic or public health practice. Many professionals seek dual degrees in Public Health and areas such as medicine or nursing to enhance their practices. With so many options to choose from, you are sure to find an area of public health that matches your skills, interests, and background with a little research and exploration. Start exploring your options in this exciting field today!