Understanding the insights of an industry are not possible unless you enter it. Professional exposure to the sectors allows us to breakdown the minor details. Our world is currently possessing many professions that are humungous and divided into various sub-field. Among them, healthcare remains a cut above all.
The public health sector works for preventing diseases and improving health. It makes the importance of this industry immeasurable. Public healthcare plays a vital role in enhancing the overall life expectancy of people. Thus, to meet the growing demand for the public health sector, colleges and universities offer degrees and programs. These programs aim to train a person for a career in the public health sector. The industry is wide-ranging, and many different jobs such as health educators, nutritionists, epidemiologists, etc., are available. If you wish to prepare for a career in any of these fields, the process is as follows:
OBTAIN A DEGREE IN PUBLIC HEALTH
The minimum degree requirement for a public health worker is a bachelor’s degree. Some colleges may offer these programs under their science or art degrees. But either way, it will prepare an individual to pursue this field by giving a broad informational background. Then depending on their interests and expertise, students can choose their relative Master’s degree.
The Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) is a professional research and practice-based program. It prepares students to take on leadership roles in the public health sector. These roles can be at a local, state, federal, or international level. If you want advanced degrees like that of a doctorate, you will need work experience. You can work in roles like a dietitian, nutritionist, emergency management specialist and get your online MPH alongside. Once you have your degree, you can pursue any public health specialization.
- CERTIFICATION IN PUBLIC HEALTH
Certifications in public health are beneficial to individuals who wish to get relevant skills in less time. You can gain the necessary instructions and useful information from these certificates. They take about six months to complete. Many other medical experts and professionals that require some information about public health choose a certification instead of a degree. Getting certifications will enhance the chances of promotion and career progress for the people already working in the public health sector. On top of that, the credits a person makes during certifications are usable during the Master’s degree.
- ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN PUBLIC HEALTH
If you don’t want to spend four years in a study program and don’t want to get certifications, an associate degree is just for you. With an associate degree, you can start working in the industry as soon as in two years. Later on, if the student decides to get a bachelor’s degree, they will add their associate degree credits too. You can take courses like Public Health Community Services, Health Education, and Health Interventions.
- PURSUE A DOCTORATE DEGREE
If you want to be an advanced researcher, a professor, or a scientist in your public health field, you will need a doctorate. Depending on your experience, interest, and type of work, you will need to choose the degree to pursue. If you want to work in research or be a professor, you will need a PhD. Apart from that, individuals will have to choose some specialization.
- GAIN WORK EXPERIENCE
If you are pursuing a doctorate in public health, prior work experience is essential. Doctorate programs in this field require the applicants to have some work experience. Usually, undergraduate or graduate students opt for pre-vocational training and work during their degree. This experience uses to improve the professional learning outcomes of a person. When choosing pre-professional work, make sure you select a field that aligns with your ultimate career goals. For example, you want to work in the field of microbiology. Then you would choose a job and research in the relative department of microbiology.
- CAREER PATHS IN PUBLIC HEALTH SECTOR
Public health is the science of improving and protecting public health through improvising lifestyle. Professionals in this sector, research on disease control and prevention, injury prevention, and health improvement. Each career requires its degree, certifications, training, and experience. Some of the popular public health careers are:
- DIETITIAN AND NUTRITIONIST
The job of a dietician and a nutritionist is to work with people and assess their health quality. The professionals then make recommendations to improve health and activity according to the assessment. Dietitians and nutritionists work in collaboration with physicians. You can find work in this field in hospitals, clinics, and assisted living facilities.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST
An emergency management specialist is responsible for emergency response training in case of a disaster or emergency. They help in crisis management and disaster control work. Such stressful jobs require these individuals to possess strong communication and organizational skills. These skills help them coordinate and manage all the requirements. Emergency response teams that work under these specialists include firefighters, paramedics, police, etc.
This profession involves research about the causes and patterns of diseases, including viral infections. Epidemiology has two branches: research epidemiology and applied epidemiology.
The researchers work for government agencies and universities. Applied epidemiologists work directly with the public.
A microbiologist studies biological elements that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. They learn to understand nature, behavior, and interactions. These microorganisms can be bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and parasites. Most of them are infectious to human beings. So microbiologists play an essential role in the research and development of drugs to fight viruses and other contagious diseases. Microbiologists also work in the food industry to develop engineered crops and biofuel.
Your educational background, work experience, and interests matter a lot in the Public Health sector. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected job growth till 2022 is up to 25%. They work on the ground level to improve human quality. They work for the public directly and ensure better livelihoods for them. So people working in this sector need strong communication, analytical, planning, and leadership skills.