Public health helps to prevent illness and disease, increases longevity, and helping the population stay healthy over time. A career in this field is a dynamic mix of gathering critical data, making informed decisions, and implementing programs to improve given issues. The work done in this field impacts people of all ages, races, genders, and socio-economic lines.
Why should you consider pursuing a career in public health? Here are three reasons to consider it:
- Public health is a challenging multi-discipline field. The person who enters this field does not study just one area of expertise. They must master a number of subjects and have the ability to integrate these subjects to perform their job properly. Some of the areas of cross study include public health, environmental factors, epidemiology, health policy, social behavior, geographic information systems, and sociology. In the field, some work mainly in one area while others diversify into many.
- Opportunities abound in public and private sectors for experts in the field. In the public area, public health officials play an important role at all levels of government including local, state, and federal. They gather critical data, analyze the information, recommend ways to improve, and carry out new programs to make that happen. In the private sector, public health experts make recommendations to companies and other entities on how to interact with public health systems and how to conform to public health regulations or laws.
- The public health field helps people, groups, and entire communities. If you are looking for a way that you can impact people’s lives, the area of public health is a major one. At the individual level, public health programs help to prevent disease and to get people healthy. At the community level, it helps entire populations live longer and healthier lives. By promoting initiatives that inform the public on critical topics, the impact can last for many years, even across generations.
The concept of public health dates back to prehistoric times. Observations showed that people who drank polluted water or did not dispose of waste properly would become ill more often than others who drank clean water and properly disposed of their waste. That simple observation created the first public health initiatives. That same action of gathering data and making changes based on the collected information is part of modern public health.
To pursue a career in public health, interested people can get a degree in this discipline. A bachelor’s degree in public health is a good start. At this level students can get jobs in public health offices and with the private sector as field researchers and consultants. Getting a master’s or Ph.D. in public health opens up opportunities for entering management, becoming a decision maker, and implementing large programs in both the public and private sectors.
If you want a challenging career that is rewarding at the same time, consider becoming a part of the public health field. This is a great field for someone who already has a degree. Nurses who get further training in public health are highly sought after. Social workers who go through the same training are also on the highly desirable list. Public health workers have a place in communities and companies around the U.S.
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Nurse Practitioner, Mona Jenkins, suggests checking out the Top 10 Best Online Colleges for a Public Health Degree for people interested in a profession in public health.