Why Public Health Workers Should Have an Advanced Degree

by Jenn

Our world is ever-changing; new diseases, infections, and treatments are constantly emerging. These events play a chief role in the day-to-day lives of people. Thus, keeping the public safe and aware of these recent occurrences is critical. The division of healthcare that keeps the public safe and well informed is public health. Public health is a vital part of the healthcare system; it controls and prevents disease, promotes healthy lifestyles, and provides health education. Moreover, it plans and implements various health policies and researches topics about health. 

If you plan to enter this career, then you can choose either an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree in public health to begin work. However, if you are already a part of this field and working, you would know that an associate degree is just the tip of the iceberg, and you still have so much more to learn. Advanced degrees in public health are academic degrees that help you discover your career and gain experience. People mostly choose advanced degrees after their bachelor’s to sharpen the skills necessary for completing their career goals. However, it still confuses many people whether to pursue an advanced degree or not? Is it worth it to spend money on achieving an advanced degree? To answer these queries and explain why public health workers like you should pursue an advanced degree, jotted down are seven reasons.

  1. To Expand Your Current Knowledge

To cope with the ever-growing field of public health, the expansion of knowledge is necessary. The more knowledge you have, the better you will be at providing help to others. To supplement your current education: there are various programs available. You can choose either an MPH degree program, DrPh program, or Ph.D. program. These advanced degree programs teach courses: such as management sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health problem solving, and computer that provide public health workers with the latest knowledge needed to understand local and global health. Moreover, they also equip public health workers with technical, analytical, and communication skills necessary for disease prevention. These programs also provide specializations to public healthcare workers enabling them to work in the area of their interest.

  1. To Open Up Career Opportunities

The chances of public health workers attaining good jobs increase with a better skill set and up-to-date knowledge. Public healthcare workers with advanced degrees catch the eye of most employers and secure positions that are more advanced. There are various jobs for public healthcare workers, such as epidemiologists, healthcare administrators, nutritionists, health information technicians, and public health directors. Moreover, skilled public health workers can take up leadership roles and become policymakers of the present and future. Thus, the professional prospects of public health workers with advanced degrees are numerous.

  1. To Help Others

After completing an advanced degree, the possibilities of helping others increase. Expert public health workers work with individuals, communities, and populations from all around the globe. They influence, educate, and protect others. They participate in the policy-making of their area and the world by devising plans that can control disease and prevent injuries. Furthermore, they answer the questions of the public, raise awareness on current health issues, and help implement safety protocols. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, public health workers taught us the proper way to wash hands, wear masks, and sanitize our homes. Thus, public health workers leave a huge impact locally and globally. 

  1. To Research On Health Issues

The healthcare system does not have answers or treatments to many health issues. New diseases appear almost every decade, and their disastrous effect leaves the world tense and unstable. However, experienced public health workers are essential for studying these health issues and managing health threats. Public health workers with considerable knowledge and expertise analyze the frequency and distribution of a health problem. Moreover, public health workers research the causative agent of a disease, the various determinants, and measures necessary for disease control. They not only gather information on new outbreaks but also address current persistent health issues of the world.

  1. To Understand The Socio-Economic Condition Of The Public

Public health workers provide service to the community, but they must understand the public to do so. The social and economic conditions of a society or population play a vital part in the health of individuals. Thus, public health workers must be well aware of the social situation of society. Expert public health workers study how cultures, religions, and races affect a community’s behavior towards a particular health decision. Resultantly, public health workers can pinpoint behavioral and lifestyle problems within a society that need correction. It also aids in finding disparities regarding health and healthcare within various populations. Similarly, public health workers take into account the economic conditions of a community or individual when making health decisions.

  1. To Handle Health Emergencies

Accidents and emergencies can occur anytime, and one should always be ready for them. However, the public is not prepared for such catastrophes most of the time. Thus, it becomes the public health worker’s job to tackle emergencies and train others. With an advanced degree, public health workers procure the strength and expertise required to face the emerging challenges. During pandemics, public health workers screen the public for disease, educate the public on disease prevention, run statistics to keep track of infected patients, and implement health guidelines set by the government. They also distribute vaccinations within various populations. 

  1. To Receive A Higher Salary

As public healthcare workers with advanced degrees tend to take up high-level jobs, thus they earn more. High-level positions along with monetary benefits provide good job security and post-employment benefits. The salary of public health workers further increases with a particular specialization. For example, epidemiologists make up to $ 97,000 yearly, and biostatisticians make around $150,000 per year.  

A healthcare system is incomplete without public health workers. Public health workers provide all the necessary information about the disease, its spread, and potential victims. They assess the healthcare system and take part in policy-making. Moreover, public health workers prevent disease and promote health. They not only take administrative roles but also work in the field. However, public health workers cannot perform these duties without an advanced degree. The fore-mentioned reasons signify the importance and need for an advanced degree in public health.

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