Public Health Degrees

Careers in Public Health

What is a Public Health Degree?

""Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering - an image of death."" –Buddha

The greatest gift of life is our health. Without a healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy community, the quality of our life is diminished. If you're an advocate of healthy lifestyles, a degree in public health education can give you the tools you need to help educate others about their health.

Public health educators hold classes, seminars, and programs to teach communities and individuals about preventative health-related topics. Public health educators inform the public about a range of health topics from proper diet, nutrition, and exercise habits to preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Public health educators assess the needs of a community to determine what health issues need to be addressed. For example, a public health educator employed in a college town may hold a program to teach college students about the effects of binge drinking and how to avoid alcohol poisoning.

Public health educators may work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Medical care centers
  • Colleges and universities
  • Schools
  • Public health clinics
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private businesses

Depending on the environment in which a public health educator is employed, they must align their information with the demographics. Typically, public health educators work in offices; they may spend a lot of time away from the office while they conduct classes, programs, and seminars. Public health educators who work within a school will spend the majority of their time in classrooms. Overall, public health educators generally work a 40-hour work week, but night and weekend shifts may be required for events or meetings.

How can I get a Public Health Degree?

Entry-level public health educator positions require at least a Bachelor's degree in health education. The coursework that can be expected from a public health degree program include:

  • Theories and methods of health education
  • Skills Development for health education
  • Psychology
  • Human development
  • Foreign language classes are also very helpful.

To make yourself more appealing to employers, enroll in internships and gain as much experience during your undergraduate study as possible.

To advance in a public health educator role, a Master's degree in community health education, school health education, public health education or health promotion is required.

To be a successful public health educator, you must be comfortable working with groups and individuals and you must be comfortable discussing health issues with these groups. Strong communication skills are highly revered, as you will be speaking in public often to teach classes or give presentations. Speaking to that point, public health educators benefit from being creative and skilled writers to make their presentations more comprehensive and interesting. Finally, since public health educators work with a diverse population, they must be sensitive when teaching new health skills.

Many public health educators choose to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) to increase their employment opportunities, although many employers don't require the certification.

Help students, communities, and individuals become more educated about their health. It's only fair. Earn a degree in public health education and begin your pursuit towards a satisfying career.

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