If there is anything we have learned from the outbreak of COVID-19, it is that we need well-qualified, well-trained public health professionals to help keep us safe. These professionals work tirelessly to prevent the spread of disease, protect the population’s well-being, and find solutions to threats facing our communities today. If you are considering a career helping others, rest assured there are many majors similar to public health that you can pursue.
You can also rest assured the job outlook is bright, as public health professionals are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment of Public Health Service Managers to grow by 32 percent over the next several years, eight times faster than the average for all occupations in the country. About 51,800 openings for medical and health services managers are also projected each year, on average, until 2030. These are just some examples of how fast the industry is growing.
Why the big boom in public health? Many of these job openings are expected to be the result of the aging Baby Boomer population as they begin to retire. The aging population is also remaining active later in life, so the BLS anticipates an increased demand for healthcare services overall.
If you are thinking about a career in public health, but you are not sure what path to pursue, read on. Here we will explore some of the majors you may be interested in, and how they compare to one another.
- Public Health
If you are looking to create a better, safer, and healthier world, you can always pursue a public health degree at the undergraduate or graduate level. A bachelor’s in public health is a great option for students just entering college, who want to learn about topics like epidemiology, public health policy, occupational health, community health, and public safety. A public health major can prepare you to respond to public health emergencies, combat infectious disease outbreaks, and reduce the impact of chronic issues like obesity and pollution. A master’s in public health (MPH) can take these skillsets to the next level, if you already have a bachelor’s degree and are now looking to get into a public health related career.
Of course, this major is not similar to public health, but is fully centered around the field of public health. For those who have interest in the broader field of public health, this degree path is a great choice. Public health majors can go on to fulfill careers working on the frontlines of community health situations, creating campaigns for better healthcare access, researching the latest disease outbreaks and treatments, and ensuring environments are safe places to work, play, learn, and live.
- Health Science
Health science is a growing sector of healthcare, and it is also an increasingly popular major among college students. This is largely because of the numerous career choices now available to graduates holding a health science degree. Depending on your career goals, you can choose to pursue an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in health science. The bachelor’s program at Goodwin University offers students four different tracks, depending on their career goals:
- Environmental Health
- Health Care and Administration
- Bachelor’s Degree Completion
- Health Care Career Exploration
Students can explore a range of courses within the health science curriculum, such as nutrition and human health, healthcare administration, alternative medicine, and more. These topics are all critical to the greater field of public health, making health science a great choice for those looking for a public health related major to pursue in school.
Nursing is, perhaps, the heart of the healthcare system. Caring, compassionate nurses are needed now more than ever before. These dedicated, hard-working professionals have a great impact on their community. Nurses that work in public settings, such as hospitals, community centers, and outpatient clinics get to experience the rewards of helping patients first-hand, every day of their careers.
To become a Registered Nurse (RN) today, you must first pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in Nursing (ADN). You must then become licensed in your state of work. There are many different paths to becoming an RN, depending on your career goals.
There is an accelerated option for aspiring nurses who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another, non-nursing field of study, making the process to become a nurse easier and quicker for those with education under their belts.
No matter which path you choose, pursuing a nursing degree is a smart investment for your future. RNs earned a median pay of $75,330 in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the job is expected to grow 9% over the next several years.
- Healthcare Administration
If you’re interested in becoming an important part of the healthcare industry, but you are looking for more organizational work, you may be perfect for the field of healthcare administration. This is a hands-on management role that involves critical tasks such as:
- Managing staff
- Assigning tasks to staff
- Overseeing training
- Supervising departments closely
A bachelor’s degree in health science with a healthcare administration concentration can prepare you to understand the policies, business challenges, strategies, and roles specific to the healthcare delivery system. You will emerge from a program like this prepared to successfully enter the healthcare field.
- Human Services
Much like a nurse, someone who is caring and compassionate may want to consider a career in human services. These professionals help address the pressing needs of the public. Through your work, you will make a positive impact on the lives of others and improve the quality of life for the many people in your community. A human services degree can prepare you with the skills and knowledge needed for success among all ages and walks of life – from toddlers to seniors, and those who are struggling with a disability, an addiction, homelessness, domestic abuse, or mental health issues. If you have a knack for guiding others through challenging moments, then a career in human services may be the perfect fit for you.
Like the many others mentioned, a human services program may be studied on the associate or bachelor’s degree level. Graduates of the programs at Goodwin go on to pursue the following roles:
- Case manager
- Rehabilitation specialist
- Youth worker
- And many more
These are just a few of the examples of great majors available to those interested in healthcare who do not wish to spend many years in medical school. There are many different paths to pursue in the greater health field, depending on your passions, aspirations, and timeline. You can take your pick from these majors similar to public health as you work toward achieving your goals.
Learn about the many programs offered at Goodwin University. Call us at 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University 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 University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.