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Online Public Health Degree
With an online Public Health Degree, you can prepare yourself to help thousands of people. As globalization continues to be a major force driving social development in the
Global or near-global health crises such as the Ebola virus, Zika virus, or the H1N1 flu have further highlighted the need for comprehensive and efficient responses to emerging public health issues. For those who want to be involved with paving the way forward, an degree in public health may be a good place to start off on that track.
PUBLIC HEALTH INDUSTRY INSIGHT
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What is a Public Health Degree?
A public health degree may typically be a course of study that prepares students to pursue careers in public health. This field may be quite broad, and might typically be focused on the aspects of health that prevent injury and disease while promoting healthy behaviors. This work might be done through a number of different roles and responsibilities, from educating the public on wellness, to conducting scientific research about health. Public health may even involve setting health and nutritional standards in schools or workplaces.
How can I specialize my public health degree?
Many schools allow you to choose a specialization to "fine tune" your Public Health degree. These are the most common concentrations while pursuing your public health degree online.
Epidemiologists study the health of populations to determine causes of disease, risks, and susceptibility. They also create strategies for illness prevention.
Biostatisticians collect and analyze health data for human populations to spot trends in health or sickness. Biostatistics is also used to evaluate how a disease spreads.
Environmental health specialists study how our natural and man-made environments affect our health and propose ways to reduce health risks within our environments.
Behavioral Science / Health Education
Health educators promote healthy behaviors such as hygiene, smoking cessation/abstinence, safe sex, etc. to ultimately reduce disease incidence and increase longevity.
Health Services Administration / Management
With a focus on health care services, study the financial, legal, and human issues that arise and its effects on a health organization's operational success.
What are some of the courses in an online public health degree?
While the exact curriculum will vary from school to school, here are some of the courses you might take in your online public health degree program:
- Principles of Epidemiology
- Principles of Health Promotion and Education
- Public Health Profession and Practice
- Introduction to Public Health Research
- Global Issues in Public Health
- Introduction to Biostatistical Methods
- Environmental Health
- Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Issues in Public Health
- Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System
- Law and Ethics in Health Administration
- Computers in Health Administration
- Introduction to Health Organization Leadership
- Introduction to Contemporary Health Issues
- Research Methods in Public Health
- Health Programs Administration
- Health and Human Behavior
- Health Office Operations
What can you do with a Public Health Degree
The field of public health is broad in its applications, which offer students who receive a public health degree a wide range of options for potential career paths. One of the more common career paths for public health graduates is epidemiology. These scientists are responsible for researching the development and spread of disease in human populations. As a research-oriented career, epidemiologists tend to work in office or laboratory settings, often for government offices. In 2015, they earned a median annual income of $69,450, with a predicted job growth rate similar to the national average.i
Other public health graduates tend to take a more education-based career path, working as health educators. These professionals work directly with patients and clients to provide education into promoting health and wellness, often working in hospitals, health care facilities or community centers. In 2015, health educators brought in median annual wages of $51,960. Additionally, between 2014 and 2024, the position is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow faster than average, with 19,500 predicted new jobs over that period.ii
You may also be able to pursue a career as an occupational health and safety specialist. These professionals may have responsibilities related to keeping the workplace sage, from analyzing and inspecting potential dangers, to implementing certain health regulations. In 2015, this position earned a median annual salary of $70,210. The typical entry-level education is a bachelor’s degree.iii
With a bachelor’s degree in public health, you may also be able to pursue a career as a community health worker. Tasks associated with this role may include keeping health records, leading events for the community, or educating citizens on health strategies.iv In 2015, community health workers earned a median yearly income of $36,300. By 2024, the role is expected to grow much faster than average, with 18,800 projected job openings.v
How Can I Start the Search?
Don’t be daunted by the process of finding the perfect online public health degree program! You can get started right here on eLearners.com by taking a look at our sponsored listings. If you find any programs that catch your interest, don’t hesitate to reach out to the school itself to request more information.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm#tab-1 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1091.00#WagesEmployment | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-health-and-safety-specialists.htm#tab-1 | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1094.00#DetailedWorkActivities | [v] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1094.00#WagesEmployment
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