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In general, public health professionals evaluate and regulate the health needs of the common population. They focus on improving the quality of healthcare in their community. Healthcare workers need to be equipped with essential educational qualifications as they may tackle new and complex obstacles that influence general healthcare services and systems.
Whether innovating in the medical field by implementing effective procedures or improving the quality of existing services offered or just merely broadening the availability of medical care, public health officials have it covered. Public health specialists also play a pivotal role in the prevention of diseases by creating awareness, promoting healthy habits and behaviors on a personal, professional, community, or family level, and thereby protecting their people from chronic illness.
Having an undergraduate degree in public health will help professionals understand the basics of the industry. They need a master’s degree in public health to have a substantial understanding of the entire industry. Upgrading oneself with a master’s degree is required to deliver the intended service to their community.
Why Do Public Health Professionals Require a Master’s Degree?
Master’s in public health (MPH) is a professional program that is designed to prepare students to perform critical roles in the area of public health.
How Can You Choose Your MPH Program?
Healthcare is the priority of all progressive nations because healthy people make a prosperous and secure nation. A master’s degree in public health will help professionals build a healthy society and help governments develop better countries. It also offers an array of benefits, such as:
- Preventing pandemic diseases
- Improving the average life span of citizens
- Eliminating chronic diseases
- Improving the quality of life
- Creating awareness
- Recovering patients more effectively
Besides, a master’s degree in public health helps professionals develop a complete understanding of public health through detailed coursework at a graduate level. While pursuing a public health master’s degree, you should find yourself gaining a firm comprehension of the essential disciplines of public health, including both policy and practice.
Factors to Be Considered While Choosing an MPH Program
MPH programs are typically 60 credits in most universities, although some vary slightly depending upon the structure of the coursework and projects. Some even offer their courses at an accelerated pace for capable students.
Universities could also provide the option for specialization such as:
- Environmental health sciences
- Parks and recreation
- Public health administration
3. Combined Courses
Some universities offer the facility to combine an MPH degree with another degree such as:
- Juris Doctorate
- Masters of Science in Social Work
- Masters of Science in Nursing
This combined study allows students to develop nuanced skills, indeed, for taking on dynamic roles.
4. Online Courses
Many universities have started to offer MPH courses part-time/online for students who wish to pursue their degree while working. These courses also allow international students to seek high-quality education from international institutions.
There is no one size fits approach to this issue. Therefore, it is best to do your research on the job market and understand your personal goals before joining up for a course.
Is a Global or Public Health Degree Useful?
In short, yes, it is. Let us explain further. Unlike most other medical degrees, global or public health degree allows candidates to impact health in a more influential reach overall. As previously stated, the world is in dire need of quality health professionals.
The need for public health professionals is substantial, especially in developing countries like Guyana, Zambia, and many others.
In an MPH program, you generally learn about the qualitative and analytical methods in research. These methods will aid in gathering critical information about the public. Candidates will also learn the importance of communicating with colleagues and leaders and implementing their acquired knowledge to real-world public health situations. Therefore, yes, a degree in public health is beneficial for deserving candidates who intend to help the public.
Apart from learning policies and various research methods, here are skills students will also learn.
- Interpersonal skills
- Systems thinking skills
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Technical skills
What Are the Benefits of Taking up a Career in the Public Health Industry?
- Job Security
Public health has the most substantial growth as compared with other medical professionals. The job outlook, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is around 21% and expected to open up more job opportunities by 2022.
- A Wide Variety of Jobs Professions
Public health is a broad sector with various opportunities you will be able to explore employment opportunities as an independent public health professional for consulting or as a leader in business, government, industry, education, or even a nonprofit organization.
Public health has roots in a lot of fields such as:
- Clinical research
- Social workers
- Emergency responders
- First responders
- Health advocates
- Policy and resource management consultant
- Scientists and field researchers
- Private and public work safety and hygiene inspectors
- Community planners
- Risk assessment and statistical analyst
- Restaurant inspectors
- Environmental inspectors
- Occupational mental health and workplace safety professionals
And the list goes on.
- Creating Impact on More Lives
As a public health professional, depending upon your role, you will be able to touch millions of lives with your work and change the face of the nation with your inputs. There are not many roles that give you such a responsibility.
One might go even a step further and equip themselves with a higher qualification. This step will cement your prowess in the field of public health. And it is considered by many as a pinnacle achievement.
Types of Courses and Clinical Experiences Required
Candidates who are interested in public health can go for BPH or MPH programs.
The MPH program is a practice-based one that prepares its graduates for leading positions in public and private health organizations. The other degrees are more academic intended to develop candidates for academic research and teaching positions. While BPH programs prepare the graduates to operate at the directorial roles of their field, students who are more interested in academics and research-focused parts should prioritize a master of public health.
An MPH in public health will enhance your professional skills. This program is focused heavily on the research area of public health. Still, it will also aid you in becoming active as an individual practitioner by developing your understanding of public health.
Typically, MPH digs deeper into the research area. With an MPH, you will be able to specialize in the course you are interested in. Coursework for the MPH program will feature details of injury prevention and disease, public relations, and the health informatics side of public health. The courses might also include public health communication, community health education, research theory, and research theory.
In an MPH program, candidates could learn how to conduct research, interpret data, present study data to fellow professionals and colleagues, publish results, and even teach a course. Growing into a deep thinker, much like a chief executive officer, will be the learning outcome of undertaking this course.
Mode of Education
As more and more universities adopt the Internet as an influential learning tool, there are several options available for those who wish to pursue an MPH degree. The preferred ones are part-time, distance-learning (online), and distance and blended learning (interactive online) programs.
Here are a few advantages of these online and blended programs that make professionals consider rather than the regular courses:
- Get flexibility and convenience
- The study from anywhere and at any time
- Access to international curriculum easily
- Pursue at the lowest tuition fee
- Study at an accelerated pace
- Gain better student support and individual attention
Taking up a career in public health is the right choice. Being a public health professional requires a lot of skills, dedication, and perseverance. Besides all, you need a proper qualification. Therefore, before taking up a role in the public health industry, equip yourself with a master’s degree.