With the recent spread of COVID-19 — a pandemic that has caused a global economic shut down and thousands of hospitalizations — public health is more relevant and critical than ever. And as a result, public health professionals are in high demand.
Public health professionals are dedicated to protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is realized by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and — of course — responding to infectious diseases, such as a novel coronavirus.
If you are an aspiring public health professional, you likely have a drive to help others. You want a career that will make a difference. You want to promote healthy living and wellbeing within your community, or among larger populations. Before diving into this career, however, you may be curious to know what the advantages are of working in this field. You may be wondering, “Why is public health important?” and further, “What importance will I have in this field?”
Here, we will break down the importance of public health in our communities, and the role that future students can play in building more aware and healthy populations. Spoiler alert: In the wake of the pandemic, it is more important than ever.
The Importance of Public Health
“Working at the community level promotes healthy living, helps prevent chronic diseases and brings the greatest health benefits to the greatest number of people in need.” — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC states that chronic diseases are among the leading causes of death and disability within the United States. Here are some of the statistics surrounding chronic disease in our country today:
- Half of all adults in the United States have a chronic disease.
- 1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure.
- 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year.
- 7 in 10 deaths among Americans are caused by chronic disease.
- For every $1 spent on health care, 75 cents is spent on chronic disease and factors that increase their risk.
Of course, failing to uphold public health within a community can lead to a wide variety of healthcare concerns. Those chronic diseases we mentioned before — such as diabetes and heart disease — increase when a community’s overall health and wellbeing is neglected. The CDC reports that 90% of the nation’s annual healthcare expenses are for people with chronic health conditions. This reinforces the simple fact that public health professionals are critical to our country’s health and wellbeing.
When you pursue a degree in public health, not only are you investing in your future, you are investing in the future of those you serve. Whether you dream of working for the World Health Organization (WHO), or underprivileged children in your home city, you will make a profound and meaningful impact with a career in public health.
Overall — and without any consideration to our pandemic-stricken world — public health professionals are always in demand. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are expected to grow 14% over the next several years, much faster than the average for all other careers. Employment of community health workers and health educators specifically will grow 13% and 11%, respectively, by 2028 (twice as fast as the average for all occupations), with over 14,000 jobs being added to these fields.
And it’s a good thing there is such anticipated growth. Millions around the world are alive today thanks to public health initiatives like clean air and water standards, family planning, road safety laws, tobacco restrictions, and vaccinations. Here in the U.S., public health programs like these have increased the life expectancy of Americans by nearly 30 years!
Just what can you do with your public health degree, exactly? Some of the graduates from Goodwin University’s bachelor’s degree program go on to pursue the following roles:
- Community Health Worker
- Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Health Promotion Specialist
- Public Health Educator
- Public Health Program Coordinator
- Research Assistant
These are just a few of the choices for public health graduates, and they all offer exciting and rewarding careers. Of course, public health professionals must be properly educated and trained for the important work within the health care industry.
The public health program at Goodwin University prepares students for a lifetime of incredible, meaningful work. This bachelor’s degree offers students classes during the day or evening, with coursework available online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format of the two. This provides that much-needed flexibility to complete your degree without having to put your life on hold.
And if you are looking to further your education in public health, you can also transition into our Master’s in Public Health program — also offered entirely online, for your convenience. Graduates of this program go on to pursue meaningful, advanced roles in public health, such as:
- Disaster and Emergency Specialist
- Public Health Director
- Public Health Educator
Are you ready to jumpstart your career? Learn more about the Public Health courses at Goodwin University today. Call us at 800-889-3282 or visit www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/public-health to learn more.
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.