Obtaining a master of public health degree opens the door to a surprising number of fantastic careers and enables you to work in both the public and the private sectors. Public health policies and initiatives try to ensure the good health of society by various means including tracking diseases, reducing environmental poisons and pollution, developing education to promote healthy lifestyle practices and vaccination programs, and preparing disaster response plans to name just a few.
Careers within a Healthcare Setting
Common career options for those who would enjoy working in a clinical environment are:
- Director of Emergency Medical Services–responsible for managing emergency services within a hospital or similar organization.
- Hospital Administrator–charged with overseeing the management of a hospital.
- Home Visit Nurse–who delivers clinical care to patients in the community.
- Nurse Practitioner–who gives primary healthcare to patients, diagnosing illnesses and treating conditions.
Other Career Choices
If working in a hospital setting isn’t something that appeals to you, your MPH degree gives you plenty of other career choices.
- Health Legislative Assistant–lobby elected officials to ask for new laws on public health issues.
- Bio-security Specialist–ensure that the public are protected from biological and other kinds of attacks.
- Epidemiologist–detect and investigate disease patterns in the general public.
- Medical Writer–communicate information about the medical industry through articles, medical journals and other publications.
- Political Scientist–research how government decisions affect public health.
- Urban Planner–help design urban spaces with a focus on health and wellbeing, for instance, ensuring that new developments and regeneration projects incorporate green spaces, trees and sustainable technologies that cut down on pollution.
How to Obtain a Masters in Public Health
Leading colleges now offer students the ability to study for a public health degree online. This enables students to continue to work and earn an income, and puts minimal pressure on a student’s resources. Online degrees are also eligible for federal loans.
Online courses are studied part-time and usually take around two years to complete. Some courses combine synchronous with asynchronous learning so you’ll need to verify the teaching method for your chosen course to make sure that it fits your needs.
Asynchronous classes are pre-recorded, which means that you can choose exactly when you study your program. Synchronous classes require that students and lecturers be online at the same time and are typically used for presentations and discussions.
A fully asynchronous course gives you the most flexibility, but as long as you obtain a complete class schedule for your course in advance you should be able to work any live classes into your working week.
One factor that you must determine before signing up for an online degree is whether the school is accredited. Programs that are accredited have been audited to make sure that they meet the highest standards. When you study with an accredited school, you can be confident that your degree will be accepted by employers as well as other educational institutions, should you wish to undertake further study.
The career options listed in this article are just a sampling of the choices open to you. When you graduate with a masters in public health your options for a fulfilling career are wide open.