Are you someone who likes to formulate policies, conduct research, or help people addressing their health? Are you someone who has a knack for improving the health of a community collectively by promoting a healthy lifestyle, conducting ground research on the prevention of diseases, and educating people on the importance of proper hygiene? Well, then you are a perfect person to jump into a fulfilling career of Public Health.

Public Health is defined as the science of improving the health of the communities by educating them and framing policies to promote a healthy lifestyle. It combines the applications of different disciplines such as science, medicine or statistics to monitor the health of people, investigate health problems in the communities, inform and educate them to create awareness, mobilize them to take favorable actions, evaluate the existing policies, and dig into new insights and solutions to health problems.

What are the job roles available in public health?

Under the umbrella term of public health, a wide variety of career options are available. Below is the list consisting of popular career paths in public health

  • Dietitian and Nutritionist
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health Educators and Community Health Workers
  • Microbiologist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Social and Community Service Managers

What are the skills of a public health professional?

Apart from doing a deep nosedive in the entire gamut of public health-related career options, there is a certain set of skills people need to tool themselves with to establish a career in public health. They are enumerated below:

  • Communication Skills – A strong command on verbal and written communication is an important prerequisite for efficient public health professional. 
  • Work Ethics – A public health professional must possess a strong sense of work ethics to deliver best results under any demanding circumstances. 
  • Policy Development – Framing and implementing health policies is one of the primary objectives of a public health professional. 
  • Teamwork – One needs to work in tandem with different people for the successful implementation of public health projects.
  • Analytical Skills – Collecting and analyzing the data related to health campaigns in order to identify the gaps in the policies require one to have sound analytical and assessment skills.  
  • Technical Skills – There is no substitute for having sound technical knowledge of your field to implement it in a real-world scenario. 

How to break into a career in public health?

Here, we are listing down a path you need to tread in order to become a public health professional. 

  • Obtain a bachelors degree in public health. It could be in the arts or in science, depending on the college. An undergraduate degree should give you a broad idea of a career in public health. 
  • Go for a master’s in public health which would help you in practicing the know-how of your profession. This will give you ample opportunities to assume leadership roles in a variety of public health settings. Masters programs in Public Health in Australia and Canada are popular among international students who want to pursue a career in public health.
  • Education is incomplete without a real-life experience of it. Go for pursuing an internship or a pre-professional experience especially if you are planning for a doctorate in public health. Choose a work experience which would help you to put your learning into perspective and aligns best with your career goals. 
  • Positions of medical scientists, advanced researchers or professors at the college or university level demand a doctorate in public health. The popular disciplines include chronic disease epidemiology, environmental health, and health policy and management.

Best Places to Pursue Public Health

Moving on to pursuing an education in public health, below is the list of top universities which are popular in offering degrees in public health.

  1. Harvard University
  2. Johns Hopkins University
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of Oxford
  5. University of North Carolina