[NEW] Explore Public Health Careers | public health – Pickpeup

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The following guide dives deeper into these careers and others within the public health sphere. It leverages expert interviews, information and resources to better understand the professional landscape, as well as the various educational options needed to enter, advance and succeed in the field. Specific goals of the guidebook include:

*For further career advancement: If you are interested in receiving complimentary information from the following featured accredited programs, you can request information from each school who will then follow up with specific program(s) information on a program of choice.

According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health ( ASPPH ), there are ten common areas of study for those entering the field. These areas can lead to careers such as health educators and community outreach workers, but the health department isn’t the only place hiring public health majors.

Public health may conjure images of community medical clinics or awareness campaigns promoting healthy living, but the field is not nearly so narrow. Instead, public health professionals are involved in everything from identifying diseases to creating public policy to helping refugees integrate into new communities. Now more than ever most of the world has witnessed first hand COVID-19 and there will be no shortage or demand for well trained public health professionals

Considering a career modification or transformation into Public Health? There is an education route available. Passing the 2020 New Year, online college programs now have selections through institutions possessing the most current online learning technologies. Between a mix of data points and technology capabilities, schools have built upon platforms supporting a new age of learning. This has been a process twenty years in the making. Specialized Career Education through virtual learning, hosted by accredited institutions, offering online classes and education paths are readily available. These programs have been designed to seamlessly connect students with education platforms hosting programs that meet Accreditation and career hiring standards. Sharing the same goals, the schools all know that students have a mission based on personal career success. With that in mind, career education courses are created to propel students to the next level of success. Of course one must do their research to find the most fitting program to meet their personal need, as factors vary from one person to the next. Tip; it is advisable make sure the school of possible interest has a historical reputation.

As a result, an incredibly diverse number of occupations fall under the umbrella of public health. These may include the familiar jobs of epidemiologists who help prevent the spread of disease, to more outside-the-box career options such as marketing professionals who work on wellness campaigns or law enforcement officials focused on substance abuse prevention.

Together, these systems should strive to provide the following ten essential services outlined by the CDC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says public health systems are complex and require the coordination of multiple organizations. There is usually a public agency, such as a health department, working in tandem with schools, medical providers, churches, employers and more.

Public health careers might be misunderstood because the field can be difficult to define. At one level, public health involves medical care provided within a community and outside a hospital setting. In a different context, public health can have global repercussions and refer to efforts to prevent epidemics and improve the health of entire nations.

Specialties Within the Public Health Field

With public health being such a broad field, students typically focus their studies on a particular area. While undergraduate degrees may be specialized, this is especially true at the graduate level. Some concentrations in public health focus on math and statistics while others fall into the realm of social sciences. Still others may result in jobs in public relations, marketing or community outreach. The degree emphasis can also influence whether a graduate goes on to find employment within a government agency, private firm or as a private consultant.

According to the ASPPH, these are ten most common areas of study.

Biostatistics and Informatics

As a subset of statistics, biostatistics is the analysis of data and its application to health care. Public health professionals focusing on biostatistics use models to track the health of a population and identify trends. They may be involved in clinical trials, genome projects and spatial studies which seek to determine how geography can affect health and risk factors. Informatics is a related field that may focus more on surveillance and the collection of data for prevention and public health promotion rather than its application in research.

This specialty may be best for those who enjoy numbers and have an aptitude for math. Those who do enter the field should have plenty of job opportunities as qualified biostatisticians seem to be in short supply. The American Statistical Association notes on its website biostatisticians should have excellent career opportunities in academia, industry and government. The association also reports a shortage of professionals in the field was identified as part of a report to the President and Congress on the status of health personnel in the United States.

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Students who graduate with a public health concentration in biostatistics and informatics may go on to work in the following positions among others. To learn more about the education process to become a Biostatistician you can visit the Biostatistician Education page.

Community Health

While biostatisticians and informatics professionals are largely concerned with collecting and analyzing hard data, community health specialists take a more holistic look at public health. Their work involves considering the many dynamics that may be at play influencing the overall health of a particular community or region. To do their jobs well, community health specialists may take courses in sociology, political science and biology.

After graduation, students use their knowledge to focus on how best to reach vulnerable community members and better allocate resources to underserved populations. They may initiate wellness programs, undertake educational activities or create resources to promote healthy living. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports some community health careers should see good job growth in the coming years. For example, the bureau estimates demand for health educators and community health workers will increase 11 percent from 2018-2028.

The following are examples of occupations which may be filled by public health professionals who focus on community health.


Sometimes referred to as the basic science of public health, epidemiology brings together aspects of biostatistics and community health. Epidemiologists monitor the spread of diseases and work to understand their causes and develop solutions. To work in the field, individuals need to have a strong foundation in math and statistics in order to properly interpret data. In addition, they need to understand the complex factors – from socio-economic to educational – that can lead to public health threats and then use this knowledge to form an effective response.

Epidemiologists are often employed by government agencies such as local health departments, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, they may also find jobs with international organizations or private companies such as pharmaceutical companies. Some epidemiologists work independently as consultants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports career options should remain steady for epidemiologists with 5 percent job growth expected from 2018-2028.

The following are some job titles that may be held by those with a public health degree in epidemiology.

  • Epidemiologist
  • Field Investigator
  • Research Analyst

Study epidemiology with George Washington’s Masters in Public Health program. [email protected]’s epidemiology course will introduce you to the general principles, methods, and applications of epidemiology. Learn more about [email protected]

Environmental Health

The World Health Organization lists 15 areas of concern when it comes to environmental health and public health. These include topics such as indoor and outdoor pollution, climate change and electromagnetic fields. Students concentrating in environmental health may learn about these and other external factors such as water quality that can affect a population’s health. After graduation, they may go on to work in positions focused on prevention, research or community outreach to minimize the impact of these environmental risks.

In addition, some public health schools have expanded their definition of environmental health to include social environment. The Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University notes the social environment can include factors such as neighborhood safety, political empowerment and socioeconomic factors. In this way, environmental health can be seen as an outreach of community health.

Job titles for those working in environmental health include the following.

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Quality Investigator
  • Environmental Engineer

Study environmental health with George Washington’s Masters in Public Health program. [email protected]’s Environmental and Occupational Health focus will introduce you to the general principles, methods, and applications of environmental health. Learn more about [email protected].

Global Health

The American Public Health Association launched its global health program in the early 1970s, and now this field is one of the ten main public health specialties. Professionals in the field combine research and education to serve populations around the world. Their work may involve creating ways to eliminate health disparities, improve access to care and foster public health policies that encourage healthy habits

Global health degree programs may combine courses on research methods, communication, and sociology. Students may travel to other countries for field work, and Tulane University notes many of its students opt to join the Peace Corps. For full-time employment, graduates will often find jobs with non-profit or government agencies although private companies may also hire global health experts. The Office of Career Services at Columbia notes job opportunities may be most prevalent in Asia, Africa and the Middle East,

Individuals with a public health degree in global health may work in the following capacities among others.

  • Refugee Coordinator
  • HIV/AIDS Educator
  • Project Manager

Study global health with George Washington’s Masters in Public Health program. [email protected]’s Global Health focus will introduce you to the general principles, methods, and applications of global health. Learn more about [email protected].

Interview with a Global Health Professional

Christina Abbatelli

Manager, Humanitarian Assistance

How did you get involved with public health internationally?

During my senior year in college I interned with a non-profit in San Francisco. They worked with various food shelters to make sure needy families also received basic health products – shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc. From there I met someone who worked for a larger company dedicated to clean water solutions across the globe. Specifically, he managed the logistics of getting supplies from the U.S. to various African ports, and then to the villages where most of the supplies landed. I started with them a couple months after I graduated.

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What’s your role with the company now?

I help create and manage sustainable water and sanitation solutions that target remote and impoverished areas. I work mostly on Africa-based projects. My most recent project took place in rural Mozambique. We developed and built rainwater harvest systems at six local schools. The kids and other villagers could use the water to drink, bathe, cook and irrigate their crops.

What drew you to public health?

In college, I became obsessed with the fact that almost half the globe didn’t have access to clean water and basic sanitation. That seemed like a solvable problem to me. With so many clean energy initiatives and billions of dollars poured into green tech every year, there had to be room for clean water initiatives. I was so interesting (and important) to me. At the beginning of my junior year, I decided to major in public health. I earned my bachelor’s degree and am almost finished with my master’s.

Health Policy and Management

Pulling from a variety of disciplines, health policy and management professionals need to be knowledgeable about economics, politics, management and finance. Those studying the field may find their coursework is a mix of law, ethics and health care. After graduation, health policy workers may be responsible for crafting policies that ensure access to medical care and provide uniform services across various populations.

Individuals working in health policy and management should be critical thinkers and problem solvers who are comfortable in leadership positions. Those with the right mix of interpersonal skills and public health knowledge should be well positioned to fill job opportunities in both the public and private sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for medical and health services managers is expected to grow much faster than average, increasing 18 percent from 2018-2028.

The following are three examples of jobs that may be filled by those with an education in health policy and management.

  • Health Services Manager
  • Health Department Administrator
  • Government Policy Analyst

Interested in health policy? George Washington’s Masters in Public Health online allows you to personalize your studies with focus areas that match your interests and career goals. Learn More about [email protected]’s health policy focus area.

Health Promotion and Communication

Part public health and part public relations, degree programs for this concentration focus on communication skills and marketing practices. Health promotion specialists may be employed by schools, community organizations and the government to spearhead efforts to encourage health lifestyles. Their job duties may be diverse and include creating and implementing wellness programs, developing marketing campaigns, completing grant applications and working with a team to formulate a comprehensive response to a health concern or crisis.

The American Public Health Association reports its Public Health Education and Health Promotion section is its largest. With the skills students learn in health promotion and communication degrees, they may be able to find jobs both in and out of the health care industry.

Common job titles for these professionals include the following.

  • Health Education Specialist
  • Health Promotion Coordinator
  • Public Relations Manager

Interested in health communication? George Washington’s Masters in Public Health online allows you to personalize your studies with focus areas that match your interests and career goals. Learn More about [email protected]’s health communication focus area.

Maternal and Child Health

As their name suggestions, maternal and child health professionals concentrate on reproductive health, infant care and how best to protect the health of mothers and their children. According to the ASPPH, maternal and child health is a global priority in the public health field although workers may also work domestically Public health degrees in maternal and child health may combine courses in biology, sociology and medicine. Graduates come away from these programs with an understanding of the social factors affecting the health habits of mothers as well as knowledge regarding the basics of child development. Areas of focus may include birth outcomes and adolescent mental health among others.

Students studying maternal and child health may be prepared to work in a variety of capacities. Some graduates may go on to provide services directly to women, their children and families. Others may be involved at the public policy level and work to facilitate programs that encourage better health for these populations. Maternal and child health workers may be employed most often by the government or non-profits although private employment opportunities may also exist.

Graduates with a public health degree in maternal and child health may go on work in these and other jobs.

  • Breastfeeding Support Coordinator
  • Nurse Midwife
  • WIC Nutrition Specialist

Minority Health and Health Disparities

Minority health and health disparities is another public health specialty focused on a specific population. Professionals in this field are committed to understanding why there is unequal access to health services and then working to alleviate those imbalances. Jobs in the field may require individuals to develop ways to better distribute available resources and improve health knowledge among underserved communities.

Minority health workers often serve one of the following populations: racial and ethnic minorities, Native Americans, refugees or immigrants. They must have a strong grasp of social norms for these minority groups and may have to overcome language and cultural barriers to help improve the health of these populations. These professionals often must collaborate with other organizations and partners to create the network of services needed to ensure access to health care and ongoing support for healthy lifestyles.

Individuals working in the field of minority health and health disparities may work in one of the following capacities.

  • Public Health Nurse
  • Minority Health Office Administrator
  • Minority Health Research Analyst

Social and Behavioral Health

The final common area of study in the field is social and behavioral health. Like other public health specializations, this area includes a focus on the social influences impacting a population’s overall health. However, social and behavioral health workers may have a greater emphasis on understanding how individual thought processes can affect health. For example, psychology, psychiatry and social work are all important components of this specialization. Workers may further focus their career on specific health concerns such as obesity, mental health or substance abuse.

Behavioral health careers are expected to see faster than average growth during the next decade. Demand for social workers should increase 11 percent from 2018-2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the bureau says jobs for mental health counselors should increase 29 percent during that same time period. For some of these positions, states may have additional education or licensure requirements beyond a public health degree.

Professionals working in the realm of social and behavioral health include the following.

The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren’t Talking About | Lissa Rankin | TEDxFargo

When Lissa Rankin, MD researched what optimizes the health of the body and what predisposes the body to illness, she was surprised by what she found. When asked \”What’s the greatest risk factor for disease?\” she found that perhaps it’s not our diet, our exercise regimen, the absence of bad habits like smoking, or genetics that most profoundly affect the health of the body. To her surprise, she found that scientific evidence suggests that loneliness may be the greatest public health issue few people are talking about. We are tribal beings, and when we feel lonely, our nervous systems sense a threat, activating stress responses that predispose the body to illness. When we come together in conscious community, our nervous systems relax and the body’s selfhealing mechanisms activate, which may be the most important medicine we need. What is the cure for this underrepresented public health issue? Dr. Rankin’s prescription may surprise you.
Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling, is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she hopes to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the collective. Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa broadcasts not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into \”Sacred Medicine.\” Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren't Talking About | Lissa Rankin | TEDxFargo

This Is Public Health

Public Health is Your Health. Most people don’t understand what public health is or how it impacts their daily lives. The \”This Is Public Health\” campaign was designed by Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) to let people know that public health affects them on a daily basis and that we are only as healthy as the world we live in. Join this national effort to promote public health awareness in your community.

This Is Public Health

Health Policy \u0026 Management (HPM), Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

The mission of the Department of Health Policy \u0026 Management (HPM) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health is to lead in the effort to produce better, fairer, and more efficient ways of protecting and preserving health. In this effort, research and teaching are grounded in a shared belief that policymakers need to understand how health systems work, and managers need to understand the policy environment in which they operate.
HPM is made up of over 500 students, and over 70 full time, part time and adjunct faculty members. With projects looking at the African American experience of the healthcare system over the decades, the Aging Index, the role of private equity in healthcare and how communities can use opportunities brought by the American Recovery Act. The research generated by the department is directly translated into policy and practice, to develop a better, fairer, and more equitable healthcare system

Health Policy \u0026 Management (HPM), Mailman School of Public Health,  Columbia University


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Public Health Virtual Media Briefing-October 21, 2021

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will host a Media Briefing for reporters on the topic of COVID19, vaccinations, and postvaccination infections and booster shots in L.A. County. The media briefing will include the latest updates and a Q\u0026A with media, followed by remarks in Spanish.

Public Health Virtual Media Briefing-October 21, 2021

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