Why Pursue a Career in Public Health?

Public health is a division of the health field that focuses on populations, and prevention and health promotion rather than individuals and treatment of medical conditions. Public health professionals work to prevent health conditions from occurring or re-occurring by implementing educational programs, creating policies, providing services, regulating health systems, and performing rigorous research. The main goal is to both prevent illness and disease and help individuals adopt healthy behaviors. Individuals who are interested in the health care field may inquire about why to pursue a career in public health. First, public health offers an array of career opportunities. Since the population is growing exponentially, a high demand is expected for public health professionals. Also, public health professionals make a difference in the community as a whole.


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A Variety of Career Options

Public health is a broad field, so the job opportunities are diverse and plentiful. Public health professionals work in many different areas, such as communicable diseases, biostatistics, epidemiology, health education, health policy and management, and environmental health. They also work in varied settings, like governmental organizations, community-based agencies, non-profit entities, schools, and medical facilities. Public health professionals come from an array of backgrounds and can specialize in many different fields. Examples of possible career titles include environmental health specialize, public health policy advisor, public health teacher, social worker, and biostatistician. Generally, every specialization within public health provides career options that will make a difference in people’s lives.

Public Health has a Positive Job Outlook

Employment of public health professionals is expected to grow significantly due to the need to reduce healthcare costs and response to global issues, such as potential pandemics, bio-terrorism, and air and water pollution. Additionally, increased public awareness of public health and wellness has sparked corporate and government support for a variety of prevention and education efforts, like tobacco use, obesity, diabetes, diet, and workplace safety. An example of positive job growth are health educators, which are projected to rise by 37 percent by 2020, deemed much faster than average for all careers. Employment opportunities in various other public health career fields are also expected to increase significantly in the next decade. As the costs of health care continue to increase significantly, many organizations are looking for ways to reduce expenditures, and public health efforts to provide education and resources are a favorable way to prevent illness and disease.

Make a Difference in the Community

The United States has participated in various efforts to address an array of injuries and diseases that have overwhelmed the nation in the early 20th century by implementing numerous public health programs, like immunizations, motor-vehicle safety, infection control, family planning, and encouraging healthy behaviors. With that being said, much more effort is still needed to address the issues of infectious diseases, chronic medical conditions, and injury. Public health professionals are key individuals essential for improving the health of all members of local, national, and international communities.

Public health is an ideal field for individuals wanting to make a difference in the community and strive to look at the big-picture to address current and emerging complex heath issues. Those interested in pursuing a career in this field should look into accredited degree programs in public health.

Further reading:

50 Great Career Resources for Women in Healthcare Administration and Management

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