Public health is everywhere. From the air we breathe to the places we work, public health keeps us safe from sickness and injury—and public health professionals, many of whom hold a public health degree, are working diligently behind the scenes to help us live longer, healthier lives.
If you’re interested in careers in public health, you’ll need a BS in Public Health, a Master of Public Health (MPH), or a PhD in Public Health degree. Whether you pursue it on campus or online, a public health degree can qualify you for a variety of different public health initiatives, many of which might surprise you.
While certainly important, public health isn’t all about epidemiology (the study of disease). We’ve rounded up seven unexpected ways you can put your on-campus or online public health degree to work.
Children and adolescents bullied in school—and, surprisingly, their bullies—often develop a set of physical symptoms. Because of this, bullying is increasingly being viewed as a public health issue.* Public health professionals are working to combat this issue by educating health providers and the public on recognizing and preventing bullying.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO),† seat belts can reduce fatalities by up to 75%. A good-quality helmet can reduce severe head injury by more than 70%. Those statistics owe much to public health professionals. From cars and trucks to motorcycles and bikes, public health professionals have led the way to keep Americans safe on the road through legislation and campaigns promoting the use of seat belts, air bags, and helmets. They’ve also worked to promote greater awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.
Air pollution comes in many forms, from car exhaust to secondhand smoke. From pushing for stronger industrial air pollution legislation in the halls of Congress to promoting nonsmoking policies in and outside public buildings, public health professionals are leading the charge to keep the air we breathe cleaner.
Thanks to public health professionals, we can feel confident that the water from our faucets is safe for our daily needs, such as drinking, bathing, and brushing our teeth.
While we don’t typically think about it, public health is a big part of the workplace. From monitoring the impact and use of harsh chemicals on the job to injury-preventing ergonomics, public health professionals work to ensure employees are safe and healthy in the workplace.
When natural disasters strike, public health professionals are mobilized to keep populations around the world safe from communicable diseases, contaminated water, foodborne illnesses, and much more. By acting quickly and coordinating with government agencies and aid organizations, public health professionals keep those impacted by natural disasters safe from health issues that often arise after hurricanes, earthquakes, and more.
WHO has designated domestic violence, which affects one-third of women worldwide, as “a global health problem of epic proportions.”‡ Public health professionals, many of whom hold a public health degree, are working to eradicate violence against women in the U.S. and abroad through legislation and public awareness.
Public health degree—online or on campus?
If the above careers in public health interest you, you may be ready to pursue a public health degree. But should you enroll in a public health degree at an accredited online university or on campus at a traditional brick-and-mortar institution?
When researching public health degree programs, it’s important to be realistic about your nonacademic obligations. Many students juggling work and family commitments find that an online public health degree program at a university meets their needs, as it enables them to study on their own schedule, without the need to travel to a campus.
Ready for a career in public health? Explore how Walden University’s online public health degrees can help change your world and the world of others.
Find information on costs, occupation types, completion rates, and median loan debt for these programs at www.WaldenU.edu/programdata.
* The Huffington Post, “Bullying Increasingly Seen as a Public Health Issue,” on the Internet at www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/bullying-public-health-issue_n_4241468.html (viewed online May 12, 2015).
† The World Health Organization, “10 facts on global road safety,” on the Internet at www.who.int/features/factfiles/roadsafety/en (viewed online May 12, 2015).
‡ The World Health Organization, “Global and regional estimates of violence against women—Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence,” on the Internet at www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/violence/9789241564625/en (viewed online May 12, 2015).