Advanced public health professionals work in a field that requires specialized training, under job titles like Epidemiologist, Sanitarian, Biostatician, Disaster and Emergency Specialist, and Public Health Director or Educator. Roles like these require a specific set of public health skills that can only be attained through a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) program.
What does it take to succeed in the world of public health? Goodwin University’s MPH curriculum offers what you need to develop and enhance these public health skill areas, and forge a rewarding career.
1. Research and Analytical Skills
In the public health profession, you will be expected to draw on your abilities to conduct thorough and sound research. Even more, you will need to possess analytical skills to interpret your research and turn it into action! You see, methodology is not enough in an advanced public health career. In this field, leaders must use their research to make decisions, address public health needs, allocate resources, and affect large populations of people. Therefore, accuracy in your assessments is of the utmost importance.
In your second semester at Goodwin University’s MPH program, you will dive right into two required courses designed to help hone your research and analytical skills: one on methods, and the second on ethical issues.
2. Ethics and Empathy
Speaking of ethical issues—if you want to be working in public health, your standard of ethics should be sky-high. Whether you’re working with biohazards, vulnerable populations, or infectious diseases, the integrity of your actions will go hand-in-hand with mitigating risk. In fact, there is an entire 34-page Public Health Code of Ethics, published by the American Public Health Association (APHA), which is an important resource for all public health practitioners. The APHA includes the following “core ethical values” in no particular rank or order:
- Professionalism and Trust
- Health and Safety
- Health Justice and Equity
- Interdependence and Solidarity
- Human Rights and Civil Liberties
- Inclusivity and Engagement
Each of these points are inter-dependent on one another, if the promotion of public health is to succeed and do good for our communities. Sensitive public health situations require an ethically sound and empathetic public health professional.
3. Effective Communication
No matter your specific role in public health, communication skills are going to be absolutely essential in order to do your job well. As one Forbes says of “competent and confident” communication, “…there may be no skill more fundamentally important for realizing progress.” And isn’t “progress” the entire point of public health work?
An MPH curriculum is built to give you the confidence and decisiveness in your technical skills and education, to make you an efficient communicator and leader. After all, public health leaders must communicate with a range of individuals and teams, communities and populations. Communication is at the heart of their career.
You can beef up the talk to your walk, as well, with Career Services from your University. At Goodwin, these include benefits like mock interviews and employer networking events. Showing your strength as a communicator will start when you first shake the hand of your prospective new boss. Striding into the hiring process with a support system like Goodwin University at your back should put you at ease.
4. Critical Thinking
People who like problems are often attracted to the field of public health. Well, people who like solving them, anyway! The electives offered in the MPH program at Goodwin University teach real-life public health skills, such as: U.S. Healthcare Delivery Systems, Public Health and an Aging Society, and Introduction to Maternal and Child Health.
Learning what the core public health issues are in specific populations — including rural or dense communities, aging groups of people, and family health — will help you assess and diagnose problems, draw up a plan for action, and implement health programs that fit the population’s needs. This is a key area where you’ll want to demonstrate your strong critical thinking skills through specificity. Different populations require different solutions, and as a leader in public health, you will want to display and embody an attentiveness to diversity and cultural competency.
5. Politics and Policy Management
Whether you’re working in the field and collecting data, analyzing biohazardous materials in the lab, or creating reports for government organizations, politics and policy management are essential public health skills for your career. In fact, you will most certainly be touching policy in one way or another. You might be writing policy, implementing policy, evaluating policy, or actively trying to improve policy. All of the work that public health workers do is scaled for systems, and therefore, policy must be put in place in order for populations to receive the intended assistance. The course Public Health Policy will provide a strong foundation for your career, which you may build on with electives like Public Health Administration, Environmental Health Policy, and Public Health Economics.
The MPH degree at Goodwin University is focused on producing scholars who are equipped with the most important public health skills—the skills required for today’s competitive workforce. Working in public health is a dynamic way to make an impact on the world, and develop a rewarding career. Learn more about the advantages of Goodwin University’s Master’s in Public Health program online.
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.