If you have ever watched World War Z (2013), then you have seen a glimpse of what public health is. (Yes, this does mean that if there is ever a zombie plague, you may be the one to save us all.) Zombies not your thing? Don’t worry, finding vaccines to diseases is not all people in the field of public health do. Whether you are interested in biology, psychology, or public policy, there are a plethora of things you can do in the field of public health! Are you interested in studying and finding a solution to childhood obesity? Do you want to help save babies by teaching people about the importance of breastfeeding? Do you want to volunteer for the Peace Corps one day? It also doesn’t hurt that the demand for public health jobs are on the rise. Still interested? Well, this article is here to tell you more about public health.
What is Public Health?
According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), public health aims to improve and protect human health by promoting healthy lifestyles, and researching and preventing infectious diseases. You can do this through various ways, whether you decide you want to go into public policy or medicine. So what does this mean? It means that a major in this field will be multidisciplinary, meaning you would not only be taking biology or public policy classes but also classes such as “Culture, Lifestyle and Health.” It taps into a plethora of disciplines and allows you to a little bit of each while still focusing on one thing, which is health. So if you are interested in just about everything, public health would be a great choice for you!
What skills will you gain?
Since this major allows you to learn so many things in various disciplines while being able to tie everything you learn together, this major will provide you many skills in many areas. As a public health major, you will learn how to conduct experiments and research in different environments, whether that be in a lab or not, as well as analyse and act on the results you get. You will learn effective and persuasive writing and oral communication so that you will be able to talk about different health topics. Various universities like to add a global element to their major, so you will also have a chance to learn more about other cultures and develop a bigger worldview. All of this will allow you to develop better critical thinking skills that are useful in whatever you do.
What jobs can you have in the Public Health field?
There are a lot of things you can do with a public health degree. But what if your school doesn’t offer a public health major or you love your current major too much to change, but would still love to go into public health? Good news! You can still work in this field! A lot of people don’t really go into public health until they get their masters in public health. So whether you are an international relations major or biology major, you can still do good work in public health. Here are some of the jobs people have in public health.
- Health Educator
- Public Health Officer
What colleges or universities have Public Health programs?
It wasn’t really until recently that colleges started having an undergraduate major in public health, so you won’t find a public health major in many schools, while some may offer a minor. However, there are definitely many awesome programs that will help prepare you in this field whether you choose to get a masters or not. Here are some that you should definitely go check out!
- Johns Hopkins University – Public Health Studies
- Tufts University – Community Health
- UC Berkeley – Public Health
- George Washington University – Public Health
- University of Southern California – Multiple Concentrations
- Tulane University – Public Health