Careers for Graduates with a Degree in Public Health

In a world seemingly facing one major health catastrophe after another, graduates with a degree in public health are not likely to be without career options. Graduates with a degree in public health can pursue careers at the local, state or national level and in our global society even consider international health care options. Some graduates with a degree in public health routinely choose to continue their health related studies in diverse Masters and Doctoral Programs to better equip themselves in their area of interest. But many graduates with a degree in public health are more disposed to begin work in their field immediately and are pleased to discover that some of these career opportunities are currently available.

U. S. Government and State Health Agencies Both United States and state governmental bodies take much responsibility for providing for the health and well being of their citizenries. At both levels there are departments, bureaus and agencies whose primary goal is to provide a healthy environment to keep the population well and effective medical care programs to attend to those whose physical condition puts them at risk.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, comparable state agencies and other federal and state health related agencies take responsibility for trying to shape national and state health related policies and suggest and lobby for the passage of appropriate legislature to maintain a healthy population. Graduates with a degree in public health have spent four years considering , researching and debating public health issues. Such graduates are more than ready to effectively weigh in on state and national policy.

Government health agencies offer many jobs with reasonable pay schedules, good benefits and a chance to put study to work to create policies that can improve physical and mental health and in some cases even save lives. For graduates with a degree in public health who are open to administrative and management positions, who don’t mind working away from a medical site per se and who are not opposed to relocation to a state capital or Washington, D. C. there are many jobs within the federal and state governments.

Public Health Clinics Graduates with a degree in public health are not yet doctors or nurses, though some go on and become one or the other. Despite their lack of a medical degree or license to practice , graduates with a degree in public health can find jobs in public health clinics filling many important positions.

Across our nation, the lack of health insurance for a large percentage of the population forces many people to seek medical assistance in public clinics rather than from a private physician. Clinics tend to serve the poor, homeless, elderly, unemployed, children and teens and in general those who, even in this land of plenty, live on the margin.

Graduates with a degree in public health have been prepared by their four years of undergraduate training to work on the administrative end of such facilities. Graduates with a degree in public health are not licensed doctors or nurses but there are many non-treatment positions available in clinics. Those are jobs that direct their effort to help public health clinics function to meet the needs of their often beleaguered client�¨le. Graduates with a degree in public health can effectively assist clients to locate and access the services they need and provide the administrative control and guidance that clinics require to thrive. Graduates work to procure the staffing, space, equipment and to constantly upgrade services to meet the varied needs of the client�¨le.

Graduates with a degree in public health will find clinics provide programs in family planning, child care, alcohol and drug addiction, nutrition, immunizations , Aids and other STD’s, geriatric assistance and counseling services. Clinics are extraordinarily busy places and require the professional oversight of trained health care professionals such as graduates with a degree in public health. Clinic work is not work for the faint of heart or those who stress out easily but it is employment with visible, positive results and work that let’s graduates with a degree in public health see what public health looks like on the ground floor.

Health Writer It used to be that drug store magazine racks had a combination of sports , mechanics, fashion and news offerings. Today’s magazine racks have far greater variety and include large numbers of health centered magazines for men, women and families. America’s obsession about personal health has influenced many news and women’s magazines to include major health columns as standard fare. Newspapers have joined the health movement too giving considerable space to health issues with many Sunday papers devoting entire sections to Health and Science or Health and Family Living.

The desire to be informed about health issues is so prevalent that opportunities exist for graduates with a degree in public health who also have training, experience or natural ability in writing to take on staff positions for magazines and newspapers across the country.

Writing jobs will of course pay a rate corresponding to the success of their publication. Staff positions are not easy to nail down but graduates with a degree in public health and some waiting credits are better prepared than simply good free lancers. Graduates with a degree in public health write based on four years of training and may also have helpful and knowledgeable contacts throughout the health industry. Magazines need writers with solid credentials especially in an area like medicine, which is hardly just a matter of opinion. Having a degree in public health does not guarantee that anyone will land a job, but it will draw positive attention from whomever might be reviewing your resume.

International Health Some adventurous graduates with a degree in public health seek employment with non-profit international aid organizations like Oxfam or International Red Cross. Such graduates use their training in public health to assist local efforts in third world nations aimed at improving nutrition, infant and child care, sanitation and immunization programs against infections diseases.

Sometimes international aid is distributed as a response to a natural disaster or civil war. But in poor nations around the world even in the best of times there is a constant need for international workers to address the daily health needs of millions of people. The demand for workers that have the kind of knowledge possessed by graduates with a degree in public health is ongoing and far reaching.

Graduates with a degree in public health may seek a career with international assistance groups in part because such careers sound exciting and include travel opportunities. But most graduates with a degree in public health who choose relief work with international agencies do so out of a strong and compassion filled desire to put their training to the service of mankind in need. And most make this career choice without reference to their own financial improvement.

The world is full of challenges to human health and well being. Graduates with a degree in public health are fortunate to be able to use their training in careers that are so productive and life enhancing where ever they may work.

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