If the health and well-being of the general population concerns you, but you cannot see yourself as a practicing doctor, a career in Public Health may be a good fit for you. The field of Public Health is vast and important–studying diseases and researching pathogens, creating and advocating for impactful policy change, and educating society on best health practices are all key elements of the field.
A certain caliber of person goes into the field of public health. Putting theory into real-world experiences is just as much a personal approach as it is part of a career, and most MPH professionals have a sense of compassion and motivation for the populations they serve. Through locations like health care facilities, the non-profit sector, academia, government, or even “in the field,” working professionals need critical thinking skills in addition to their passion. The ability to understand not just how diseases operate, but also how cultural or economic situations may influence outcomes is something that cannot necessarily be taught. The skill to process that pathogenic information and relate it to different populations can be acquired, strengthened, and mastered, and is crucial to forming trust with the communities that are served in order to create real and lasting change.
And as this is a field that is growing at a much faster-than-average rate (as stated by data gathered by the U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics), there is room for entry and advancement for qualified professionals. Depending on certain interests and educational and professional backgrounds, individuals with a MPH degree can go on to become Epidemiologists, Health Educators, and Medical and Health Service Managers for example. And good news–one’s goal of altruism and concern for the health and well-being of the general populace doesn’t mean foregoing a decent salary. The average starting pay varies depending on which path of public health is chosen, but averages around $70,000.
So if you want job that is relevant, significant and worthwhile, public health may be ideal for you. This work can change and better not just the lives of individuals, but also whole populations. If this sounds like the kind of endeavor that is meaningful and important to you, check out the best online master of public health degree programs to find the best school to help you achieve your goals.