September 11, 2017
If your life ambition includes being involved in a field where your work can benefit members of the local community or society on a larger scale, earning a public health degree may be the first step in reaching your goals. Earning a degree in public health offers you the opportunity to find employment in an occupation that is both challenging and rewarding.
From advocating for wellness programs to implementing public policy to help control and prevent infectious diseases, a public health professional's work touches everyone's lives.
The public health sector encompasses a broad range of fields that work together to provide the community with information and find ways to benefit populations worldwide. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a major component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a national research institution dedicated to educating and informing the public on health issues from general wellness and genetic disorders to preventing virus transmission and eradicating infectious diseases. The CDC explains that while medical personnel and physicians treat individuals, "public health professionals focus on improving health at the population level through disease control and prevention."
In choosing to dedicate yourself to public health, you'll be able to help your community in the areas of healthcare administration, education, and research.
Some with a public health degree at the bachelor's level may decide to continue their education, whether as a personal goal or because of a desire for a change in their career direction. A master's of public health degree and work experience citing your researching abilities, analytical mind and talent for wellness program development would make you an vital asset to government or nonprofit organizations. Health insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies are also in need of public health professionals to help research their client base and determine insurance risks or find new markets for a product. Because public health has such an extensive reach, it's not surprising that there are departments within government agencies dedicated to research, education and development of wellness programs, and many potential master's in public health jobs. Research in illnesses, diseases and other health issues that are a result of environmental factors helps the public be aware of safety hazards they may inadvertently encounter. The National Center for Environmental Health conducts research on how the environment affects our health, while the Department of Health and Human Services has a division specifically for Public Health and Safety. This division studies and promotes directives regarding the safety of our food, drugs, and ourselves against violence and abuse. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researches and reports on the effects of everything from tobacco use and cosmetics.
With so many avenues of service, finding a career path that plays to your strengths is important to making an impact in this crucial field. No matter which area you choose to focus your skills, a career in public health will give you the chance to improve the wellness of others.
Ashley Wallis is an Army veteran and writer with a BA in English Language and Literature from SNHU. She is currently living in the Denver area. Find her on twitter
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