Public health professionals dedicate their lives to extending and improving the quality of life of their community. By raising awareness through education, providing patient care, and advocating for policy changes , public health workers save lives and help communities thrive. Though it is possible to launch a career in public health with a bachelor’s degree, many professionals choose to pursue a master’s in Public Health (MPH) in order to enter specialized career paths, as well as positions in management, leadership, and education.
If you’ve made the decision to earn a master’s degree in Public Health, it’s important to find the best MPH university for your individual, educational needs. These are a few factors to consider when finding your future master’s in Public Health program.
Many students entering an MPH university are actively working in the healthcare profession already. If you’re one of these individuals, finding a program that offers flexibility is of the utmost importance. Search for a program that offers an online course of work. In online MPH programs , students have the ability to study from anywhere, at any time. In some cases, online programs also offer accelerated options, meaning students can complete their course of study and enter their new career path more quickly. For working professionals, this kind of flexibility is invaluable as they balance a career and a master’s degree.
- Expert Faculty
Some of the most important relationships you’ll develop in school will be those you form with your professors. Educational research shows that the quality of your instructors is directly related to your academic success. While professors with extensive theoretical knowledge certainly have a place in academia, you should seek out programs that also have faculty members currently working in the public health field. Not only will these professors have the most up-to-date information on what to expect as a community health professional, but they’ll serve as great points of contact as you move forward in your career after graduation.
- Relevant Curriculum
An MPH degree provides graduates with the education they’ll need to improve the health of specific populations through awareness, research, education, and policy. One of the best ways you can ensure that your MPH university adequately prepares you to be a successful public health professional is to take a look at their curriculum . A comprehensive MPH program should include courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, research methods, public health policy, and more. Plus, you should check to see if the programs you’re interested in offer the opportunity to take courses towards specialization. When a master’s in Public Health program provides you with the opportunity to concentrate on an area of specialization such as Community Health, Global Health, or Health Policy and Management, you’ll have more career opportunities after graduation as well as a deeper understanding of your field.
- Career Outcomes
After earning your master’s in Public Health, you’ll be prepared for a career in a number of positions. These may include the following job titles:
- Public Health Officer
- Environmental Health Officer
- Health Promotion Specialist
Healthcare professions are expected to grow by 15% by 2029. Public health workers can expect to enjoy job security as well as a higher than average yearly salary. For example, epidemiologists can earn an average of $74,560 per year. While it is true that career outlooks are good for new graduates, it’s important to research what your future school’s career placement statistics are. If your school has a strong network of alumni and a supportive career development center, you’ll be more likely to find a job quickly upon graduating. If you’re currently working in the field and simply looking to progress in your career, a career development center can also help you learn how to best advocate for yourself upon graduation.
- Simple and Affordable Application Process
Another key element to research before selecting your prospective MPH university is their application process. Graduate school applications can cost over $100 each. Many schools require their applicants to submit a GRE or GMAT, as well. You may want to consider applying to programs that recognize the financial burden that this can have on their future students. If an application process is simple, affordable, and considers the needs of students, that’s a good indication of the school’s overall approach towards their student body.
Public health workers who want to make a lasting impact on the well-being of their community may decide to pursue a master’s in Public Health. However, the program that they choose can, in turn, have a lasting impact on their career goals. In deciding which school to attend for your MPH, be sure to consider these five categories.
Interested in pursuing a master’s in Public Health online? Request more information to learn how University of Bridgeport’s MPH program can prepare you for a career in public health.