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Public Health Career Planning

“The healthy society, like the healthy body, is not the one that has taken the most medicine. It is the one in which the internal health-building forces are in the best shape.”

Robert K. Greenleaf, from Servant Leadership: A Journey Into Legitimate Power and Greatness.

What Does a Public Health Professional Do?

Public health workers assess and monitor the health of populations and then work to improve access to health care services and prevention education programs. Public health professionals work in many different areas, including: research, grant writing, legislative advocacy, prevention, peer education, program administration and outreach services. Read more about the range of careers in public health.

Personal Motivation in a Public Health Career

Individuals who are interested in a career in public health should possess a strong desire to contribute to the greater good of a community or population. Read more about what motivates public health workers in these interviews with practicing public health professionals.

Master of Public Health Degree Programs

Leaders in public health come from a variety of undergraduate and post-graduate degree programs, including education, law, research, psychology, social work, nursing and medicine, but all are committed to improving the health of individuals and at-risk populations.

A Master of Public Health degree enhances career opportunities by providing students with qualitative and quantitative problem solving skills and professional training in communication and leadership. The U.S. Department of Labor indicates that a master’s degree is a standard credential for management-level employees in the fields of medical and health services.

Public Health Research, Practicum Settings and Internships

Internship and research opportunities are essential to understanding the practical application of public health knowledge and skills. The real-world experience gained in research, practicum, or internship settings is highly regarded by potential employers. Most Master of Public Health degree programs include research or practicum training experience as part of the curriculum. For example, the Loyola University Chicago Master of Public Health program includes faculty-mentored research, practicum and capstone experience components to help graduates solidify their skills and apply their expertise to actual public health problems.

Topics on this page

  • What Does a Public Health Professional Do?
  • Personal Motivation in a Public Health Career
  • Master of Public Health Degree Programs
  • Career Goals in Relationship to an MPH Degree
  • Public Health Research and Internships
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