Online Degrees in Public Health
Public health professionals work to affect positive changes in the health and well-being of all people, engaging in everything from national campaigns to promote healthy eating to community initiatives to increase access to affordable health care. Public health professionals can be emergency responders, nurses and physicians, epidemiologists, educators, and policy makers. From establishing vaccination programs to teaching children how to live healthy lives, employees in the public health professions make a powerful difference in people's lives.
The distinction between clinical health careers and public health professions is that clinicians treat individuals, while public health professionals work with entire populations, focusing on disease prevention and education about healthy living. The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) reports that the biggest challenge in advancing health care is not in finding new medical breakthroughs, but in the application of population-based prevention programs.
Today's public health professionals work in education, administration and management, policy, community practice, and research. Job titles for public health workers include the following:
- Health scientist
- Policy analyst
- Health care administrator
- Health educator
- Research associate
- Data analyst
Public health professionals work across a wide range of settings, including public and private foundations, academic or governmental institutions, research laboratories, consulting companies, crisis centers, relief agencies, regulatory agencies, hospitals and clinics, health care industries, and national or global health care organizations.
There are a wide range of campus-based and online degrees in public health available, and interested students may also pursue degrees in a closely related field such as nursing or public policy. Professionals typically complete undergraduate coursework in biology, mathematics, biostatistics, epidemiology, anthropology, behavioral science, information technology or education.
The ASPH recommends that professionals earn at least a master's degree in public health. Public health degrees at the graduate level include:
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA)
- Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
- Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professional degrees are most applicable to those looking to practice in a health care or community education setting, while academic degrees such as the PhD or MSPH may be more appropriate for those interested in research. Students may also choose to earn a dual degree, adding a specialty in business, nursing, medicine, dentistry, social work, public policy or law.
Public health professionals earn a diverse range of salaries depending on the specialty and employment setting. As health care professionals, many public health workers stand to benefit from the explosive job growth in this sector, and many public health careers are growing faster than average.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth for health educators will reach 18 percent during the decade from 2008 to 2018. The mean annual wage for health educators in 2010 was $50,270. Epidemiologists are projected to see a 15 percent increase in openings from 2008 to 2018 with mean annual wages of $68,280. Openings for medical and health service managers are expected to grow by 16 percent over that same period, with mean annual salaries of $93,670.
- Top employers in the public health sector include governmental agencies, research laboratories, public clinics and social service organizations.
- Many agencies require administrators and other professionals to hold master's degrees.
- Job growth in many public health fields is predicted to be between 15 and 20 percent from 2008 to 2018.
Online Degree Programs in Public Health
Capella courses focus on real-world application, so you’ll gain skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.
Waldorf College offers quality, regionally accredited online degrees. As a friendly Liberal Arts College, we have been providing academic excellence for more than a century. Come see what it’s like to learn with a school that truly is ALL ABOUT YOU!
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the same curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same degree, quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
Want to study at a UK university without leaving your house? The University of Liverpool offers online Masters and Doctoral programmes.