While many young science-minded individuals focus their aspirations on medical school, a Masters in Public Health provides an opportunity for those passionate about healthcare to expand their expertise beyond the walls of a hospital into a variety of institutions and organizations.
The MPH focuses on leadership in public health–allowing graduates the ability to be hired in a number of outlets. From high-level roles in state, federal and international health organizations, to positions in research settings or the private sector, an MPH offers a versatile career path.
Participants acquire skills during the course of an MPH from a number of disciplines. Students become proficient in leadership, business, communication, education and medical subjects.
Typically the MPH degree takes two years to complete.
Any individual with an undergraduate degree may pursue a Masters in Public Health. Although it is not a clinical degree, an MPH is recognized by many states in the U.S. as an ancillary clinical professional degree. This means an individual with an MPH degree can perform certain functions in clinical and hospital environments apart from directly providing care.
Many hospital systems hire MPH staff to study disease trends with the intent of fighting infections, especially those that are hospital-based. Outside of the confines of hospitals, MPH’s are often valued in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology market research space–advising clients on trends and market potential.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require the expertise of individuals with MPH degrees to manage both local and international disease outbreaks such as the current Ebola crisis in West Africa.
The demand for various types of public health professionals increases every year. With increased levels of research centered around sanitation and nutrition, governments are recognizing the need to understand the most efficient and cost-effective methods to improve the health of their population.
One of the most significant movements in the public health realm is an emphasis on education and preventative measures for countries struggling with public health issues.
For example in Cuba, the government has implemented an extremely effective public health system that pushes for education and prevention. Even without sophisticated technology, Cuba has been able to increase control of infectious diseases, reduce infant mortality, and make progress in the way of managing chronic disease.
In fact, Cuba’s life expectancy is the same as that of the United States–an impressive feat when comparing the infrastructure of the two countries.
An MPH offers a number of career paths in many industries. The need for the comprehensive degree is only expected to increase, especially as the international community continues to work together to fight infectious disease in developing countries.
– Caroline Logan
Sources: Online MPH Degree.net, Harvard School of Public Health: MPH Program, Oxford Journals, Upstate.edu