While there are myriad career options out there, it’s imperative to pick a line that’ll allow you to make a difference while providing professional development opportunities too. A career in public health is perfect if you’re looking for prestige and professional development while getting the chance to work with people in many ways. Public health is a vast field, and there are many career options you can pursue. However, the one thing that all these careers have in common is that they aim to improve and revolutionize healthcare practices in their communities. Public health specialists can promote a healthier lifestyle, control disease spread, advocate for better healthcare practices, and much more. They can work across all sectors and with a wide demographic. Overall, the public health sector comprises a wide array of disciplines such as social science, psychology, economics, and healthcare. These disciplines come together to make public healthcare one of the most holistic fields out there. A career as a public health specialist can, therefore, be incredibly gratifying. If you’re interested in making the most of your profession, read below for some tips to advance your career.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to kick-starting your public health career is getting your bachelor’s education. Your bachelor’s gives you the foundational knowledge you need to start your career. A bachelor’s degree allows you to understand the public healthcare sector’s scope and how it influences communities. You learn the basics of this vast field and delve into political, economic, and scientific knowledge. There are some public healthcare jobs that you can join with just a bachelor’s degree, but it’s advisable to pursue higher education. For your bachelor’s, you can opt to pursue a program in a related field too. These can include business and management degrees, health science, social work, or environmental health, to name a few.
Get a Master’s Degree
A master’s in public health cover a wide array of topics. Like environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology, policymaking, and health information management. It allows you to build on the knowledge you gained in your bachelor’s. The masters in public health online are typically very holistic, letting you explore public health’s various facets. You develop an understanding of how economics, society, culture, and mental health impact healthcare. Furthermore, these disciplines teach you which demographics are most vulnerable to facing healthcare problems. Public healthcare workers often work with and advocate for the most vulnerable in society, so it’s essential to have a firm footing in political and economic systems.
Online masters can allow you to pursue a career as a public health specialist even as the pandemic continues. With a program tailored for remote learning, you can acquire the necessary skills to advance your career from the comfort of your home. While your bachelor’s gives you the foundational knowledge, a master’s degree allows you to specialize in your chosen field. A master’s is undoubtedly a monumental moment in your career, as you can pick an area of expertise. Public health professions across the board see a boom in demand. As life expectancy increases, so does the need for better healthcare practices. Thus, many public health jobs see a growth of 32% from 2019-2029, much faster than most occupations.
Pursing a degree in public health gives you the theoretical knowledge you need for improving healthcare in your community. However, technical skills and experience are just as essential as academic knowledge. Experience teaches you how you need to apply the skills you learn in the classroom to your workplace. Furthermore, experience allows you to grasp the intricacies of working on the ground. This part is essential for public health workers, as their job involves working closely with different people and understanding their health concerns. An internship is the first step to gaining proper work experience. It allows you to work in a supervised space, where you can learn from mentors. An internship will enable you to enhance your professional self-awareness and leadership skills as you learn about your workplace strengths and weaknesses.
Apart from providing you with numerous learning opportunities, an internship with a reputable organization presents you as a qualified candidate. Internships show organizations that you were accepted by and worked with the best technical experts in the field, thus attesting to your competence.
Gain Work Experience
After you graduate from a reputable institute and intern at a renowned organization, you can start applying for jobs. The public health sector’s job outlook is pretty optimistic, with our healthcare needs growing each day. The current pandemic has also played a vital role in stressing the importance of public health professionals. Epidemiologists, health policy experts, biostatisticians, and health educators are more important now than ever before. Based on your specialization area, you can find ample job opportunities to help you grow professionally and improve your communities. No matter which specialization you opt for, you get the chance to work with and analyze many different people. Public health workers assess healthcare challenges that many communities face, and this lets you curate an incredible CV perfect for advancing your career.
Working in the public healthcare sector allows you to meet some fantastic people along the way as you work together to make the world a better place. Getting a specialized education, interning at a reputable organization, and working on a diverse array of projects can advance your career. Every field in the public health sector comes with many job growth opportunities, making this profession one of the most gratifying.