Are you considering a career in public health? Here are five great reasons to do so and what it entails.
Defining ‘public health’
Public health is a dynamic and developing field essential to raising public awareness of health issues and preventing disease. It primarily focuses on enhancing community health, empowering communities to manage illness and disabilities. To accomplish this, public health workers take measures like promoting a healthy lifestyle through awareness campaigns or designing policies and making scientific discoveries.
Since the recent COVID-19 scare, community needs have significantly changed, making it essential for the public health field to meet the demands. With technological development, the emergence of new infectious diseases, and the growing importance of global health, the need for public health professionals has never been greater. There are a lot of opportunities for those seeking a career in this constantly changing field; it opens up exciting possibilities.
Why choose the public health field?
The public health field offers promising employment opportunities to graduates. They can work as community health workers, acting as liaisons to convey their message to the government or control disease spread as an epidemiologist. Additionally, they can work for non-profit organizations, educational institutes, or medical facilities.
While you can find ample opportunities with a bachelor’s degree, some roles may require an advanced degree. A master’s in public health can give graduates a competitive edge on the job market and prepare them for leadership positions.
Graduates with a master’s degree in public health are well-positioned to meet the present and future needs of the public health field, given the increased demand for public health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re a working individual interested in pursuing a master’s in public health while continuing your full-time job, online MPH programs are a good option.
Why pursue a career in public health
Here are five reasons to consider pursuing a career in public health.
1. Job security and growth
Given the heightened demand for public health workers during the COVID-19 epidemic, many students are concerned about the present public health job outlook. Fortunately, for the foreseeable future, there will be an increase in demand for public health professionals across all industries.
As mentioned earlier, the demand for healthcare services is growing and shows no signs of slowing down. It is expected to grow by as much as 12% by 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Public health graduates can benefit from this positive job outlook. Several career options are available, both at local and federal levels. Health administration, public policy, and epidemiology are a few examples. Since public health awareness is at an all-time high, a career in public health brings job security and liberty to grow.
In addition, they can expect a competitive salary, depending on their education and expertise. The median salary for public health workers is $49,000, but you can earn up to $60,000 if you choose to work as a health education specialist.
2. Diverse career paths in public health
From addressing diseases hands-on at clinical positions in hospitals to corporate jobs and educational roles, the field of public health offers a wide range of career paths. It allows individuals to find a career that aligns with their passions, skills, and interests.
Careers in public health include but are not limited to, those in healthcare administration, epidemiology, health education, environmental health, biostatistics, and global health. There are many opportunities for people to explore various fields and specialties within public health because each path requires skills and qualifications.
For example, as a healthcare administrator, your job may involve overseeing health-related concerns and developing programs to address that. You can work in clinics, hospitals, or government agencies. On the contrary, if you choose a career in epidemiology, you’ll conduct research or investigate and analyze patterns. You will also work closely with other public health officials to develop prevention strategies and policies.
3. Competitive salaries
A public health career brings job satisfaction and other benefits, including market-competitive salaries. According to factors like job title, educational attainment, years of experience, and geographic location, salaries in the field of public health can differ.
Epidemiologists, health services managers, environmental health scientists, and biostatisticians are some public health professions with high earning potential. Epidemiologists make an average of $78,830 annually, for example.
Competitive salaries in public health careers benefit both individuals and society as a whole. They help organizations attract and retain highly qualified professionals passionate about making a difference in their communities.
Additionally, such salaries can reduce turnover rates and improve the quality and continuity of services. That is particularly true in areas requiring ongoing public health interventions like infectious disease control and chronic disease management.
4. Making a difference in your community and beyond
If you ask public workers why they choose this field, making a difference in people’s lives is the most popular answer. Public health professionals are often passionate about serving the community, and their diligent work on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic is proof of that.
From making vaccinations accessible worldwide to containing outbreaks and informing the public on health issues, they played a vital role in saving millions of lives. Not only that, but they also worked on mental health issues to help communities cope with the psychological effects of the pandemic.
They provide access to healthcare. They advocate for health disparities and environmental health and advise the public about other critical issues, such as obesity or substance abuse.
5. Professional development
Regardless of career, professional development is necessary for career growth and success. A career in public health provides several chances for personal and professional development.
Acquiring an advanced degree is an excellent starting point for professional development. For instance, a Master of Public Health (MPH) can open the door to higher-level positions with increased earning potential. Furthermore, you will gain advanced knowledge to tackle modern diseases, making you more valuable in a competitive job market.
Apart from your formal education, you can also attend conferences or workshops to help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and practices in the field. It will bring network opportunities and allow you to work with like-minded people.
If you are passionate about serving your community, public health is an ideal career for you. Public health workers are essential in improving community health and preventing diseases. It offers diverse career options and good growth potential, making it both a rewarding and fulfilling field.
Whether you are interested in epidemiology, health policy, environmental health, or global health, public health has something to offer you. Is this field one that interests you?