Careers in Public Health Education

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The University of Southern California offers students in their Master of Public Health program a range of diverse and rewarding opportunities for personal growth and professional experience. The degree prepares graduates to be on the front lines in the delivery of public health education services and produces skilled, compassionate professionals to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Image via St. Louis University.

Public health educators generally focus their efforts on groups of people, from families to communities. They develop educational campaigns and programs that promote healthy habits and environments, and their duties tend to be more research-oriented and project-based. They analyze data about target demographics and develop evidence-based programs that are specific to the groups they serve.

Because of the balance of advisory and teaching duties, there is a range of specialized roles that a Master of Public Health graduate can choose for a career, such as:

Health Coordinator

Health care coordinators provide patient care and act as their advocates to educate and assist them in navigating the health care system. They are responsible for the administrative aspects of patient care and typically work in health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities providing non-medical support to nurses and patients. While they don’t provide care themselves, they do help to evaluate patients to determine what their specific needs are with the goal of ensuring that their patients have access to the type and quality of care that they need.

Health Promotion Specialist

If you have strong communication skills and an interest in influencing the health choices that people make, then consider a career as a health promotion specialist. Specific tasks may range from giving face-to-face advice to individuals to researching and developing strategic policies to promote better choices to a wider group, such as healthy lifestyle campaigns. Health promotion specialists can be found in a range of settings, including hospitals, local community groups, prisons, schools, and workplaces.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, public health educators and community health workers can expect to see a 13 percent growth in available jobs between now and 2024. And while a bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement, those with a master’s degree will have more opportunities for specialization and to grow into leadership roles. The Master of Public Health Online at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California helps students learn the skills needed to motivate individuals and communities to achieve better health through behavioral and environmental changes.