As with many healthcare careers, there are specialties and subspecialties. Public Health is no exception. The growing need for qualified public health professionals (the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a faster than average 13% job growth between 2014-2024), has prompted colleges and universities to develop bachelor, master and doctoral degrees to help meet the need. While there are bachelor prepared entry level positions, most public health professionals hold a masters degree. Many of the master degrees are designed for the current working professional and are provided online. Best Medical Degrees has researched 25 Most Affordable Online Master of Public Health programs, which are accredited by the Counsel on Education for Public Health (CEPH). This ranking is ordered by tuition cost, length of program, concentrations and any national rankings the program, or school, may hold.
This specialty examines how the health of large populations and methods for reducing public health crises. Working in labs or offices, public health epidemiologists may be employed by local, state or federal agencies or health systems to develop information and educate the populace in safe practices to maintain a healthy community.
These public health specialists study statistical processes in the design and interpretation of results in public health research. Working primarily in government agencies, local and state public health organizations, research, medical device and pharmaceutical corporations, this public health specialty has a Bureau of Labor Statistics 20% job growth projection between 2014-2024.
The impact of the environment has long been a concern in America’s public health, from the early beginnings of community sanitation efforts to present day environmental pollution impacts. Public Health specialists in environmental health study the influence of chemicals and other toxins in communities. Working mainly in government agencies and academia, these specialists can expect a 15% job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of the breadth of environmental concerns, students may want to narrow their concentration on specific issues, such as global health, policy, molecular epidemiology or toxicology.
Social and Behavioral
This public health specialty utilizes social and behavioral theories as they relate to public health and possible identification and solutions to community health concerns. Social and Behavioral public health professionals will synthesize this information to design, develop and implement programs to address community health improvement.
Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness
One only has to recall the tragedy of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina or the Ebola scare, to understand the crucial role these public health professionals have in response to disaster and emergencies. These specialists receive training in emergency preparedness, response, recovery and containment of following a natural or manmade disaster. The employment opportunities for these trained individuals lies primarily in state, local and federal government agencies; but, employment may also be found in hospitals, private corporations, nonprofit agencies or universities.
This public health field studies health and illnesses in specific populations, such as veterans, to understand causes and patterns. Considered the bedrock of public health, the epidemiologist gathers information and their analysis provides scientists the ability to develop clinical or medical research to curtail disease and illness.