what are the core areas of public health

The Areas of Public Health: Which Area Should You Study and Specialize In?

The public health sector touches more industries and aspects of society than you might imagine. Public health is recognized as a priority in universities, community centers, hospitals, and job sites. However, this discipline also influences the way health apps are designed, how new infrastructure and industrial construction are considered, and even decisions around government funding. Public health is a concern not just for epidemiologists and doctors, but increasingly everyone around us. As a result, there are many areas of public health in which you can grow a successful career.

Where should you start? Consider specializing in a public health concentration that aligns with your career goals and interests. First, however, you’ll need to choose a degree program that offers this level of variety and flexibility.

Building Core Public Health Knowledge

In order to specialize in a certain area of public health, you will need to complete specialized training and coursework in this concentration. Before you can do that, however, you will need to develop core, fundamental knowledge within the field of public health. A Master’s in Public Health (MPH) program will provide you with both the foundational knowledge and the specialized skillsets needed to succeed.

Goodwin University’s Master’s in Public Health program, for example, is a 42-credit experience. 33 of those credits are obtained through core public health curriculum requirements. For example, all public health professionals should learn about research methods, policy, epidemiology, and biostatistics, regardless of their ultimate specialization. Additionally, core competencies include a taste of public health specialties, including:

  • Environmental health
  • Global public health
  • Emergency health management
  • Occupational health
  • Infectious diseases

Authors for the journal Frontiers in Public Health agree that multidisciplinary learning is the key to modern public health innovation. They argue particularly for more integration of leisure studies and other areas of research that might not seem to be squarely on this subject, into today’s public health studies. Goodwin University’s MPH program methodology, in which students expand on core studies by choosing a specialization, is exactly the type of forward-thinking degree program that will help graduates shine amongst other job applicants.

Choosing a Public Health Area of Concentration

After 33 credits, the training wheels come off and MPH students can choose to dive more deeply into one of three areas of public health, to obtain nine final credits.

Option 1: Global Health

Is travel a passion of yours? Are you unafraid of conflict zones, such as war, epidemic, toxic contamination, and famine? Do you see yourself helping people around the world obtain access to health assistance in myriad ways? Global public health studies will prepare you for a variety of public health issues and teach you how to plan and implement programs for diverse communities. In addition, the global health specialization offers training in economics and funding scenarios, which is possibly the most essential component driving a health campaign’s success.

Option 2: Community Health

Do you love your local community? Public health professionals are needed in hospitals and other community healthcare centers to help activate outreach, education, and policy direction. Impress a positive influence upon certain populations, or even the general population in your area, by pursuing the community health concentration. You’ll learn about program planning, urban health, and how to facilitate and distribute services to match your unique community’s needs.

Option 3: Health Policy and Management

Does the opportunity to evaluate and tighten the mechanics of public health programs get your wheels turning? You might be an excellent leader of health policy and management, whether at the local, state-wide, or federal level. This concentration leans towards research rather than hands-on fieldwork. Students take classes on public health law, economics, U.S. policy, and study policy as prevention.

Considering a Specialized Career

MPH graduates find fulfilling careers in areas of public health like emergency management, private health insurance, healthcare administration, and public health education. By design, you may choose any Goodwin University MPH concentration and find a niche within any of these public health career areas. For example, think outside of the box with exciting public health career examples like the below.

Can you picture yourself as…

  • A fundraising coordinator for an emergency public health program, to combat the spread of AIDS in a developing nation?
  • An epidemiological specialist for the U.S. government?
  • A data collection specialist for a health insurance agency studying diabetes pharmaceuticals?
  • An executive director for a public health initiative that provides healthy meals to impoverished children?
  • A public health officer at a nursing home who coordinates physical education, movement plans, and obtains equipment and resources for residents?

A career in public health means working for a cause that matters deeply to you. This will keep you motivated for the good of your clients or community.

Goodwin University’s MPH program is designed to be just as flexible in its educational delivery format as it is in curriculum flexibility. Students may decide to attend full-time or part-time, and there are six times throughout the year when students may begin the program. Additionally, it is possible to complete your MPH in as few as 12 to 15 months, 100% online! Students remark that they found purpose and balance in this program and believe it has set them apart from other rising public health leaders as they launch their careers. To learn more about how Goodwin University could help you reach your goals as a public health professional, visit us online today or reach out to admissions by dialing (800) 889-3282.