What can you do with a public health degree? You might pursue a job with the National Institutes of Health, perform research at a think tank, or fight tuberculosis in Africa. Here are a few of the careers you might hold as a public health professional.
National Institutes of Health
At the National Institutes of Health, for example, you might serve as an epidemiologist, studying the origins and movements of disease. In the 1980s, NIH epidemiologists worked together to find the source of the HIV/AIDS virus and to understand its modes of transmission. You might also conduct research that leads to important decisions about public health policy, such as whether to recommend alternative health treatments for certain conditions.
Public Health Careers in the Nonprofit Sector
Public health graduates also work at health-related nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There, they might craft strategies for addressing pressing health concerns, such as malaria and tuberculosis.
You might go to a developing country, administering public health programs and services in high-risk areas, such as those devastated by natural disasters or affected by high prevalence of HIV and AIDS. In these endeavors you might work for humanitarian relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, or Catholic Relief Services.
Health Education Careers
Public health workers are often involved in efforts aimed at educating the public about health concerns. They might launch an anti-smoking campaign or head up fertility awareness workshops that seek to curb the incidence of teen pregnancy. A health-oriented think tank might hire someone with a public health degree to conduct research that will form the basis of public health education projects.
Public health careers serve an important role in society. With a degree in public health, you might pursue one of these exciting paths, travel to exotic places, help disadvantaged people, and improve the overall quality of life for people around the world.