Do you desire an influential and rewarding career? Do you aspire to work in the healthcare field, but are unsure if you want to become a doctor or nurse? If you enjoy working with people and hope to make a difference in the lives of others, you might consider a career in public health.
According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), “In the past century, public health initiatives have improved lives worldwide, including increasing life expectancy by almost 30 years in the United States.”
Much like the field of healthcare, public health is focused on helping others. It is a field designed to protect, as well as improve, the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations at both a personal and global level. Does a degree in public health require as many years of education as medical school? It can, but it doesn’t have to. There are many fulfilling, thriving, entry-level public health jobs that can be achieved at the Bachelor degree level.
It is common belief that, to land a good job in public health, you need to earn a Master’s degree. This is not always the case. While a Master’s degree will qualify you for many advanced, clinical positions in the field, a Bachelor’s degree in public health will position you for many immediate, entry-level public health jobs. As a leading healthcare school in Connecticut, Goodwin College knows this firsthand. Many of our graduates have gone onto to become successful influencers within the public health arena. Here are just some of the many entry-level public health jobs they’ve landed – jobs that, with a bit of education, experience, and dedication, you can achieve, too.
- Health Promotion Specialist
Much like the name implies, health promotion is at the heart of this entry-level public health position. Health promotion specialists work towards preventing disease and injury by promoting healthy lifestyles in individuals, organizations, and populations. They raise awareness of healthy behaviors, disease and disability, as well as other health-related issues. But their role also goes much beyond promotion and advocacy – these professionals not only promote things like healthy eating habits, but also develop and implement strategies to put them into action. They work directly with individuals, organizations, and communities to increase awareness of good health, as well as develop programs to enhance the health of the people within those populations.
If you choose to pursue health promotion, you may work with the public on campaigns such as smoking cessation, obesity, substance abuse, or sexually transmitted diseases. You may also pursue a research-centric position or organize exhibitions and events around better public health. To become a health promotion specialist, you will need to have good communication and project management skills. You must also work well with others, and have a strong ability to motivate your team members. A Public Health Bachelor’s degree will not only qualify you, but also put you at a great advantage, for landing an entry-level job as a health promotion specialist.
- Child Development Specialist
If you enjoy working with children and have an interest in psychology, a position as a child development specialist is a great career choice. Child development specialists spend much of their day-to-day engaging with children, observing and evaluating their developmental needs on a cognitive, behavioral, and social level. Through arts and craft projects, gross motor games, speech assessments, and an array of mental development tests, child development specialists work to identify any health-related issues or developmental delays in a child and further initiate a plan to remedy those needs. These professionals work closely with children as well as their teachers, parents, and healthcare providers to ensure that everyone is involved in and aligned with the care or therapy plans.
To become a child development specialist today, you are required to hold at least a Bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, such as public health or psychology. You should also have great patience and communication skills, for these will enable you to work effectively with children on a regular basis.
- Public Health Educator
Similar to health promotion specialists, public health educators work to increase health awareness and healthy behaviors among individuals, communities, and organizations. Their end goal, like many public health jobs, is to improve the health and well-being of others. However, public health educators are unique in that their role revolves around education: teaching people how to prevent or manage health conditions, teaching people about chronic and infectious illnesses, teaching people how to live healthy and happy lives, and further evaluating the effectiveness of all those educational efforts. Much of their work is also research-based: researching methods for education, researching new policies and programs for health education, and researching the educational and healthcare needs of different demographics.
If you desire to pursue an entry-level job as a public health educator, you will need to graduate from a Bachelor’s degree program in public health. Here, you will learn how to create and implement strategies that will shape the health of an entire population or organization. You will learn how to inform others about preventative healthcare, and develop training programs for workers and organizations.
- Community Health Worker
Community health workers are at the forefront of public health, serving as the liaison between health educators, health promoters, and the greater communities for which they serve. These workers play an active role within populations, working directly with their people to facilitate and improve overall health. Their responsibilities are versatile. On one end, you may find a community health worker hosting discussions and hands-on training with an organization about health prevention in the workplace. On the other, you may find a worker implementing healthcare programs within a low-income community, or increasing their access to quality healthcare resources. Sometimes, community health workers will perform certain health services (such as first aid) within a population.
Today, a Bachelor’s degree in public health will give you a great boost when applying for this entry-level public health job. This advanced level of education will equip you with essential knowledge in social work, epidemiology, psychology, occupational health, public safety, health science, and administration – all of which are applicable to the role of a community health worker.
- Health Administrator or Assistant Administrator
Healthcare administrators, also known as health services managers, are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating health services within clinical facilities or organizations. Their primary role is to ensure that the healthcare services provided to patients are of the highest quality and effectiveness, while simultaneously complying with current laws and regulations. While healthcare administrators typically work in hospitals and clinical settings, they do not provide direct patient care. Rather, they work on the administrative side, representing the facility at necessary meetings, monitoring budgets and finances for the organization, keeping record of facility services, and developing organizational goals.
Healthcare administrators typically require at least a Bachelor’s degree, with specific coursework in health administration, public health policy, and ethics in healthcare. Collegiate coursework in accounting or leadership are also a plus for this position. With the right education under your belt, you are sure to land an entry-level job as an assistant health administrator, in which you will work directly with the top-level administrator and make daily decisions for the organization.
You see, there are many entry-level public health jobs that do not require a graduate degree. Goodwin College can help you find the position that best meets your interests and needs. If you choose to pursue your Bachelor’s degree in Public Health at Goodwin College, our Career Services team and extensive network of healthcare employers will be here to provide you with a lifetime of placement and counseling support — forever and for free. Learn more about earning your Public Health degree at Goodwin by calling 800-889-3282 or visiting www.goodwin.edu/majors/public-health.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.