You want to stay competitive in your field. With a Master of Public Health degree, you can set yourself apart. And we'll be here to guide you from enrollment through graduation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed public health issues under a microscope, and interest in community health has spiked across the globe. According to Google, search queries related to personal hygiene and communicable diseases have risen by at least 80% since early 2020. Advanced knowledge of evidence-based approaches to public health and safety are needed more than ever before. Obtaining a Master of Public Health degree can help you make a difference in your community, impact global trends, and maintain a lucrative career for years to come.
What is a Master of Public Health degree?
A Master of Public Health degree is an advanced program designed to further the experience of individuals who already possess an academic background in a related field or who have previously worked in a health care support role.
You’ll be able to tailor your education by studying topics like biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, behavioral analysis, and policy making, all with the aim of creating impact at a community level. In fact, many graduate programs involve community service projects that will help you get firsthand experience working with people in need. Some institutions offer specialization tracks that will support various career paths, including public health education, toxicology, disaster response, and disease tracking.
Why should you consider a Master of Public Health degree?
This degree allows you the chance to advance your career while also helping others. The COVID-19 crisis has motivated many individuals to look beyond health at the individual level and examine issues at a broader scale. Whether you’re interested in studying how diseases spread between populations or how policymakers address public health crises, an advanced degree in public health could be the path for you.
You might consider a master’s program in public health if you’re interested in:
Job security: There’s always a need for community health professionals. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that jobs in the community health sector are expected to grow by 13% between 2019 and 2029. As governments build new tools, programs, and policies to manage public health crises, more professionals will be needed to provide guidance and expertise.
Community impact: As a public health professional, you will have a wide-reaching impact on your local community. Depending on your goals, you may be able to influence policy at the state and federal level as well. Seeing the results of your work at a wide scale is a major benefit of advanced public health knowledge.
Travel opportunities: Depending on the role you assume after graduation, you may have a chance to take your knowledge abroad. Public health professionals often visit communities across the globe. For example, health professionals may visit developing nations to consult on public health policies and monitor the spread of infectious diseases.
Leadership opportunities: With a master’s in public health, you’ll have opportunities to take on leadership roles. As more communities understand the impact of public health issues on the lives of individuals, governments big and small will be looking for experts who help solve challenging problems.
Dynamic projects: The knowledge you gain in an advanced public health degree program will prove to be useful in both public and private sectors. Depending upon your interests, you’ll be able to increase your value as a project member and leader with projects such as studying how the environments is affecting health, finding ways to prevent infection, or devising response plans for emergency situations.
Advanced knowledge of public health can help you become immune to economic downturns
A Master of Public Health degree can lead you to many satisfying career paths, including:
Health care administration
Social and community service management
Mental health counseling
Behavioral health counseling
Health information management
According to the BLS, the number of medical and health services management positions is expected to grow by 32% between 2019 and 2029. The median annual salary for those positions is approximately $100,980. Likewise, the number of behavioral and mental health counselors is expected to increase by 25% over the same time period. Whichever path you take, you won’t find a shortage of career opportunities.
If you’re looking for a path that will help you achieve your financial goals in any economic condition, public health is a safe bet. There will always be a need for professionals who can help guide the public toward making better health decisions.
What does a Master of Public Health degree focus on?
In a Master of Public Health program, you’ll take foundational courses to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues impacting community and global health today.
Biostatistics: Learn how to apply statistical methods to public health research
Public health systems: Develop an understanding of the structures necessary for public health service delivery
Epidemiology: Discover how disease patterns apply to human populations
Behavioral and social issues: Understand how behaviors and societal issues factor into population health
Health policy: Gain the skills to analyze policies and advocate for process improvements.
Environmental health: Study biological, physical, and chemical factors that directly impact community health.
Health services management: Dive into basic management principles as they apply to health care organizations.
A master’s in public health will help you develop the advanced skills needed to succeed in a diverse range of careers. Coursework will help you to obtain key knowledge and skills in these essential areas:
The coursework in an online Master of Public Health degree program is the same as a program delivered on campus. The quality of education you can expect from an online degree program is of equal level to the on-campus program.
Lectures and class discussions may be delivered through video conferencing. Courses requiring group work, such as statistical analysis, may necessitate collaboration tools like document sharing platforms, code repositories, and text communication.
Some institutions offer fully online programs while others offer a hybrid model that allows students to attend in-person labs. The online portions of programs will be delivered via video and interactive digital environments. In-person courses may be delivered in a modified manner.
How long will earning my Master of Public health degree take?
You can finish an online Master of Public Health degree in two to three years if you choose to study full time and will have the option to take courses at your own pace.
What public health certifications should you consider?
Public health certifications prove that you have mastered skills in your chosen field. There are many career-specific certification paths to consider:
Certified in Public Health (CPH)
Administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the CPH exam helps you demonstrate your knowledge of important public health issues. You must have a minimum of five years of experience in the public health sector before you qualify for this certification.
Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
This certification establishes your competency in seven areas of responsibility for health education. It is offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing. To be eligible, you must have a degree from an accredited institution of higher education and 25 credit hours related to health education.
Certified Public Health Administrator (CPHA)
This certification recognizes competencies related to the administration of public health policies. It is often sought by individuals who plan to enter the workforce as part of a local, state, or federal agency. It is offered by the Public Health Practitioner Certification Board (PHPCB).
Certified Emergency Response Coordinator (CERC)
Growing in popularity, this certification is intended for professionals who wish to work in an emergency response position. Also offered by PHPCB, this exam certifies competency in emergency preparedness and response, environmental health, epidemiology, and infectious diseases.
Certified Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (CPAPHS)
Professionals with this sports medicine certification help local communities develop programs and initiatives for strengthening public health. This certification can help you qualify for positions that develop policies for increasing physical activity at the local, regional, and national level. It is administered by the American College of Sports Medicine.
You have goals. We have a path.
Public health is one of the most important issues of the day. Advanced knowledge of public health skills will help you maintain a positive career outlook for years to come.
As the world’s learning company, we proudly partner with universities to offer a suite of online graduate degrees in public health. Whatever your career goals, we have a path for you.