Most people associate the term “public health” only with social worker jobs, but a public health professional is trained to fill many different roles. The term “public” when referring to online public health degree graduates refers to those skilled in public advocacy. They work in positions that allow them to speak, or “advocate,” for those who have no “voice,” such as the disabled, the abused, the poor, the mentally ill, and the handicapped. The public health industry offers numerous rewarding career opportunities for those with a desire to help improve the life conditions of others.

Public Health Associates Course Information

An online public health degree at the associate level is a 2-year program, and can be used to obtain entry level positions in the industry or as a stepping stone toward a higher diploma. There are 5 core areas in the curriculum: health services administration, environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and health education and behavioral science. The diploma prepares graduates for positions in health care facilities, hospitals, and governmental and public health organizations.

Public Health Bachelor Course Information

Most schools offer public health degrees at the graduate level only, but there are a few colleges that offer an online public health degree at the bachelor level. The bachelor public health 4-year degree is a good choice for those wishing to seek entry level employment and possibly pursue an advanced degree at a later date. Many students opt for a healthcare administration BS instead and combine it with a public health masters. This qualifies them for higher salaries and more advanced positions in the work sector.

Public Health Masters Course Information

Because the public health bachelor’s degree is becoming increasingly rare, most online public health degree programs for masters do not require it. Because acceptance requirements vary among schools, applicants should inquire which bachelor’s degrees are accepted for entrance to the MPH (Master of Public Health) program. Generally, a field related bachelor diploma is required. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are usually a requirement for entrance into an MPH 2-year program. Many students combine the MPH with a medicine, law, social work, or nursing degree.

Public Health Doctorate Course Information

Holders of the PhD in public health typically land positions in social work and health care administration. While salaries vary, MGMA reports that in 2004, administrators of 26+ physician practices had a median salary in excess of $132,000. Most doctorate public health programs require 4 years to complete. The initial 2 years consist primarily of coursework and comprehensive exams. Once exams are passed, the remaining 2 years are utilized for dissertation research and writing.

Public Health Degree Career Outlook

Due to so much congressional activity in the area of health care, this is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. A public health degree at any level offers exceptional promise of a position after diploma completion. Available positions can match job candidates to need. Some examples are advocating foster care for abused or neglected children, shelter and housing for the homeless, or treatment facilities for the sick. The primary focus of the public help discipline is to help those in need, and there will always be job positions available dedicated to helping the less fortunate.

The ability to pursue an online public health degree makes it even more appealing for those wishing to seek a career heavily focused in helping their fellow man. Degrees at any of the offered levels give graduates the skills and education they need to succeed in this challenging yet amazingly rewarding career.

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