5 Careers for a Master’s in Public Health Graduate

Students who graduate with a public health degree can look forward to a broad range of career opportunities. Significant demand exists for public health professionals in the public sector, but private companies are also increasingly demanding individuals specialized in public health. Completing a Master's degree in public health can unlock new career opportunities and additional chances for advancement.

Resource: Top 10 Best Online MPH Programs 2015

1. Public Health Officer

Organizations in both the public and private sectors need public health officers to prevent communicable diseases, promote healthy lifestyles, and ensure the safety of stakeholders. Health officers employed in the public sector work for a city's public health department to keep the community safe from harm. However, many students do not realize that public health officers can also work for the private sector. Many airports, for example, need public health officers to prevent their patrons from getting sick. Moreover, large corporations often retain public health officers to stay prepared for a potential crisis scenario.

2. Academic Research

Like any other field, public health is constantly advancing. Researchers are important facilitators of advancement because they develop ideas and test theories using reliable academic methods. Students who graduate with a master's degree in public health can leverage their advanced degrees for the credibility necessary to conduct academic research. Many organizations, moreover, demand research specialists who can help optimize existing processes and response protocols. Therefore, research is a viable career option for individuals who complete a Master's degree in public health.

3. Community Outreach Director

Many organizations are focused on serving the general public. Nonprofits and government-sponsored enterprises often work for the public good providing services to individuals in the community who are in need. Outreach directors, therefore, are essential to ensure that the broad range of community members understand how an organization's services can help them. For example, a community outreach director working for a library might visit local schools to inform children about what the library can offer. Due to the leadership responsibilities associated with community outreach positions, individuals with a Master's degree are ideally suited for these jobs.

4. Commissioner of Health

A commissioner of health is responsible for enforcing city, state, and federal legislation related to public health. Individuals who work as health commissioners are responsible for identifying and pursuing wrongdoers, but they are also responsible for helping the city government comply with federal and state laws. Due to the broad range of laws in today's world, health commissioners are critical decision makers for city governments because they help to prevent lost funding and heavy fines. Most cities hire their health commissioners, but running for election is sometimes required in certain communities. Students who graduate with a Master's degree can often become excellent health commissions due to their advanced knowledge and credibility.

5. Wellness Coordinator

Wellness coordinators help individuals enjoy better lives through events and activities that facilitate good health. Additionally, organizations use wellness coordinators to make important decisions about how to communicate with new and prospective clients. For example, a wellness coordinator employed at a gym might be responsible for sending out a newsletter to existing clients about new exercise machines that are available. Wellness coordinators might also organize classes to help members stay focused on their workout routine. Wellness coordinators with a Master's degree often take a leading role in managing the health of a broad range of stakeholders.

Many promising students get stuck in a career that they do not like because they fail to incorporate their unique skills and goals into their job search. New graduates should take their time selecting their first job because it could be the first step to a great career.

Additional Resource: 50 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs 2015

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