April 10, 2020
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Why Should I Pursue a Career in Public Health?

One of the areas of healthcare that is seeing a tremendous amount of growth and promise is the field of Public Health.

What are Pubic Health professionals?

According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the field of Public Health is in place to protect and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations, locally and globally. According to ASPPH, public health professionals “focus on prevention of disease and injury promoting healthy lifestyles. They implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, conduct research, and regulate health systems to achieve these goals”. Careers in Public health are diverse and professional make a contribution to the advancements and improvements in health and health care, safety, and quality of life for entire populations. For those who want to make an impact in the world, the growing opportunities in careers in public health are exciting and endless in growth.

For those with a strong desire to help others, careers in public health can be one of the best avenues to fill that need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the 10 of the top public health achievements in the country in the 20th century. Since 1900, the average age lifespan for those living in the US has risen 30 years (of which 25 years are attributed to changes in public health).

Ten Greatest Public Health Achievements:

  1. Vaccinations
  2. Motor-vehicle safety
  3. Safety advance in the workplace
  4. Controlling infectious diseases
  5. Decline in deaths resulting from heart disease and stroke
  6. Safe and healthier foods
  7. Improving health of mothers and babies
  8. Family planning
  9. Drinking water Fluoridated
  10. Identification of tobacco use as a health hazard

Advances in improvement of health over the next decades will increase due to broader development and the application of population based prevention programs. With the rapid changes in healthcare delivery systems, much greater emphasis is placed on health promotion and disease prevention in an effort to reduce costs by improving the health of the population. These changes have created new opportunities for those pursuing training in public health. Top employment opportunities include environmental health, biostatistics, health education, community healthcare, public policy and more.

Degree Options in Public Health

For those looking for a college or university with degrees in public health there are a wide variety of degrees to pursue. With many different bachelors, masters and graduate degrees available from schools or programs of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) degrees, the most common degree pursued are:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • Doctor of Science (ScD) in Public Health

Additionally, students can choose from over 20 fields of study within the greater area of public health. The five core disciplines are: Environmental Health, Behavioral Science/Health Education, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health Service Administration. Other core areas of public health include: Global Health, Lab practice, Nutrition, Mother and Child health and Occupational health and safety. Those who wish to pursue a public health degree can look for accredited programs on the Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH) website: http://ceph.org/accredited/search/