Should I get an MPH? What are the job prospects? Where can an MPH degree holder work?
This post answers all your questions.
Is a Masters in Public Health Worth It?
A Master’s in public health is an interdisciplinary program designed to equip students with knowledge, skills, and expertise to excel in the public health field.
MPH offers several limitless career opportunities and creates an avenue for you to make a difference in people’s lives.
Is a degree in public health worth it? Well, let’s find out.
Increased job outlook
Today, there’s an increasing demand for public health workers in the health sector. The job outlook will be above the national average in the coming years.
This means public health workers will quickly get a job. With the pandemic ravaging the world, there’s a need for awareness in society. Thus there’s a rising need for public health workers.
Give room for specialization.
Typically, you’ll need to undertake all the courses at the start of your MPH program. However, over time, you can specialize in a given area.
Some specialty areas include biostatistics, global health, epidemiology, environmental health, healthcare management, health promotion, and disease prevention.
Depending on your preference, you can specialize in any of these public health fields. MPH avails the opportunity of becoming a specialist instead of a generalist.
Another factor that makes MPH a worthwhile investment is the room for leadership roles. Earning a master’s in public health makes you a leader in a specific field or organization.
You’re not only taught the rudiments of healthcare, but you’re also prepared to take up managerial and administrative roles in organizations.
Due to the professionalism exhibited by public health workers, employers prefer them for leadership positions.
Obtaining a master’s in public health is quite promising and rewarding as it promotes job security. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that public health jobs will grow by 15% in 2029.
Demand for epidemiologists will grow by 5%. With many people suffering from various diseases, there’s a need to create awareness. Hence, the numerous job opportunities available for public health workers.
Travel opportunities around the world
Why choose public health? This may likely be the question on your mind.
Public health isn’t possibly a convenient career path to choose. As a public health worker, you may be required to travel to war-ridden areas or regions ravaged by epidemics to help eradicate diseases.
To improve global health, you’ll need to work with citizens from other countries. This promotes diversity and integration since you’ll work with individuals from different cultures.
Depending on the country you travel to, you may have to learn their local language and way of life.
Improve global health
Public health workers make a difference in their community and the world.
They create public policy and organize international programs to promote health and prevent disease outbreaks in developing countries.
These public health professionals collect, organize, evaluate and interpret data to develop healthcare outcomes. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization focus on promoting health worldwide.
Research forms the crux of public health.
Public health is your forte if you don’t want to provide direct patient care but wish to improve healthcare through research. Research is instrumental in delivering excellent and adequate healthcare.
As a public health worker, you have the latest information about diseases and preventive measures.
Opportunity to pursue dual degree programs
MPH affords you a chance to pursue a dual degree. At some schools, you can earn both a master’s in public health (MPH) and a master’s of science in public health (MSPH).
Obtaining a dual degree increases your career options and skillsets. With a dual degree program, you can work in various fields. MPH is a multidisciplinary discipline that supports your career goals.
For example, to work in a lab, you may need to major in public health, biology, or chemistry for extensive knowledge of a subject matter or health issue.
Complement other careers
Perhaps you’ve previously earned a degree and wish to advance your career; MPH may be a good choice. Doctors, nurses, and other professionals looking to supplement their careers by pursuing an MPH degree.
An MPH degree with professional certifications boosts career opportunities, making them sought after in the job market. To acquire higher-paying jobs in public health, you must have a vast knowledge of clinical medicine and public health.
A medical practitioner who understands public health principles, i.e., the etiology of disease, symptoms, and clinical data, has a competitive edge over other physicians with little knowledge of public health.
Provides a sense of fulfillment
Besides the salary and job possibilities, studying Master’s in public health seems rewarding, fulfilling. Contributing to the overall health of many gives your life meaning and satisfaction.
Public health jobs are pretty demanding, challenging, and satisfactory.
Offering your skills and time to the sick and hurt gives you a sense of purpose and fills you with pride, knowing you’re impacting another life.
Help tackle disease
Whether working in a lab or office, public health professionals are at the frontline of healthcare, dealing with disease outbreaks and preventing illnesses.
Preventative care forms a significant part of public health. As an MPH graduate, you’ll work on projects to control outbreaks, prevent debilitating effects of diseases, save lives and promote a healthier environment.
If you specialize in epidemiology, you can work in emergency response with organizations like WHO, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), or the federal government.
You can also work with non-profit organizations that tackle health crises or improve the health system after an outbreak.
Boost career growth
Due to the diverse career options in MPH, you’re less likely to be stagnant in your career. When you feel stuck, you can transit to other areas of public health.
Depending on your preference and interest, you can move to other specializations like biostatistics, health promotion, etc.
Focus on social justice
Public health focuses on promoting social justice and improving people’s lives in society.
Earning a degree in public health broadens your knowledge about health outcomes and helps you create tailored health programs for communities.
As a public health worker, you learn society’s intricacies, which will help you do your work efficiently.
MPH programs are tailored to suit many professionals
A plus about MPH programs is that they’re most suited to meet people’s lifestyles. This means that you can run your MPH program even if you’re working.
Most MPH programs are held online, with coursework completed at your pace.
Opportunity for fieldwork
If you enjoy working in the fields, an MPH degree may be a good option.
Most public health jobs require you to work in communities, create awareness, and educate individuals about healthcare. MPH enables you to take a break from office settings.
While we’ve listed reasons to pursue an MPH, you should ask yourself specific questions. This will help you make informed decisions.
Why do I want to pursue an MPH degree?
What are your reasons for earning an MPH degree? Answer this question. It would be best if you didn’t pursue additional qualifications because it’s a popular trend.
An MPH program requires investing your time, efforts, and money. Thus, you should consider the outcome and source of inspiration. Know your why and what you hope to achieve with the degree.
What are my career goals?
What area of healthcare piques your interest?
Does it fit an MPH career path? Consider this before starting any program. Some specialty areas that might interest you include epidemiology, public health education, clinical research, etc.
How will it fit into my schedule?
What’s the schedule of your degree program? Depending on your plan, you can opt for a full-time or part-time option. If you’re not busy, you can choose a full-time schedule.
In addition, online courses are suitable for people looking for a flexible program. If you hope to complete your MPH program within two years, look for schools or programs that offer this.
Is an MPH Program Suitable for Me?
While a master’s in public health seems rewarding, you should know when to start the program.
If you’ve only been working for a year or two, you might want to put off the program until later and gain more experience. You’re less likely to get a higher-level job with your MPH degree if you have less work experience.
It’s ideal for building your skills before delving into public health. Get certifications and volunteer at NGOs. This helps your public health career.
There are no right or wrong answers to the questions above. This will guide you in your decision-making. It will help you know if an MPH degree is a right choice.
Is An MPH Worth It?
Guess we’ve been able to answer your question: is a master’s in public health worth it? While we’ve stated the reasons to pursue an MPH, the ball is in your court.
Consider your options. Think about the pros and cons of studying public health. This will help you decide if an MPH is a good choice or not.