Why Pursue Your MPH Degree? | Master's in Public Health Online
The realm of public health can, at first, seem nebulous to those who are not actively studying or working in the field. However, the public health industry as a whole touches many aspects of everyone’s day-to-day lives—and strives to make them better.
Many often assume that public health deals with individuals’ health needs once they’ve become ill, when in fact, public health focuses on supporting the overall health and wellness of a population, hopefully keeping people from becoming sick in the first place. This support may manifest in research endeavors, community support plans, vaccination efforts, initiatives to encourage healthy eating, education programs to discourage unhealthy habits (such as smoking or alcohol abuse), standards to protect employees in their workplaces, and promoting access to healthy food. With so many different functions and specializations, public health practitioners can hail from many different educational backgrounds.
Why Public Health Is Important
While many of the activities that public health workers focus on benefit local communities, some programs may extend to cover entire countries, or even span into international efforts. Along with prevention programs, public health tracks disease outbreaks, researches how poor health affects different demographics in varying ways, and even promotes laws to help a country protect its citizens.
These efforts can not only protect the population from ailment, but an investment in proactive public health programs can save money in future health care expenditures, as seen in the infographic below from the American Public Health Association.
Those with a background in public health studies, as well as those working in other areas such as social work, are often drawn to aspects of the public health field—especially with the desire to help the communities in which they live and work. Many find themselves wanting to take on more of a leadership role in their areas of work, or open more opportunities for their potential career path, which leads to an interest in a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.
Master’s in Public Health Online
By obtaining a Master’s in Public Health, you will learn how to craft, activate, and evaluate different public health programs, whether they be set in a neighborhood, school, research facility, health care environment, or governmental agency. An MPH will provide well-rounded knowledge of different public health theories, concepts, and models, while giving you the research and communication foundation needed to implement recommendations and enhancements.
If you’re already working in public health or another field, pursuing a master’s degree full-time can seem daunting. However, there are options, like Ashford University’s online Master of Public Health program that may allow you more flexibility in reaching your goals. Online courses allow you to access your coursework virtually from any device, anywhere you are, making squeezing in some reading during a lunch break or downtime more feasible. At Ashford University, we continually evolve our online programs and technology to give students the most seamless and integrated experience (in fact, take a look at our newest online classroom update!). Additionally, taking one class at a time, instead of a full course-load like in traditional schools, can often make digesting the information more manageable.
Master of Public Health Courses
An MPH curriculum often includes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services administration. Specific courses may include topics such as:
Introduction to Public Health Concepts
Social & Biological Determinants of Public Health
Applied Behavioral Science
Health Services Administration
Ashford University’s Master of Public Health also allows you to choose from two different track emphases: the Generalist Track or the Health Care Administration Track. A Practicum is also incorporated at the end of your studies in which you will gain real-world professional experience, which can likely be applied directly to your career.
Master of Public Health Jobs
Having a Master’s degree in Public Health will prepare you for a variety of careers. Those with an MPH may find job opportunities such as:
Health and Social Service Manager
Mental Health Program Manager
Community Health Program Coordinator
Clinical Program Manager
Clinical Research Administrator
Public Health Educator
Should you choose to obtain your Master of Public Health with Ashford University, you will have the added benefit of access to Ashford's Career Services, which can help you plan for and navigate your job search by providing support in areas like goal setting and interview preparation.
Written by Ashford University staff