Phd health education online degrees prepare students to become experts in assessing and fulfilling community wellness needs. While enrolled, students will learn how to research current issues faced by different populations. They will then determine the best possible ways to educate people about those issues, thereby establishing long-term prevention strategies. After implementing a program, they will evaluate it for efficacy, which will then allow them to determine if they need to alter or improve upon the program. The best phd health education programs will include classes over employee supervision and communication, which will help students learn how to manage people in an organizational setting. Upon graduating, students will become program coordinators, postsecondary teachers, or health education managers.
Why a Ph.D. Degree?
Earning a doctoral degree is the best way to qualify for research or academic positions. Although a master’s degree can help students become high-level health education professionals, a doctorate is the best way to improve those job prospects. These degrees can also help students become published within their fields. However, students who are only interested in becoming health educators, rather than research experts and advanced program developers, may only need a bachelor’s degree to find employment.
Getting Into a Ph.D. Degree Program
Admission requirements into doctoral degree programs in health education vary. Typically, however, students are expected to hold the following before applying:
- Bachelor’s degree in a health field.
- Work experience in a health field.
- Recommendation letters.
- Statement of Intent.
Inside a Health Education Ph.D. Degree Program
Students who pursue health education at the doctorate level will study statistics, epidemiology, and health program development. They will also conduct research in areas related to health program evaluation. In particular, they will take classes like organization of health programs, behavioral foundations of health education, and the psychology of aging. Students may also be required to complete a practicum.
Prior to graduating, students will be required to complete a dissertation, which is a research project in their field. They will collect, analyze, and interpret data, and then write papers over their findings. Before earning their degree, they will need to defend their research in front of a committee. Depending on the length of the dissertation process, students can be enrolled in the degree program for a total of five to eight years.
What’s Next for Health Education Ph.D. Degree Holders?
Students who graduate from health education programs may become medical and health service managers. This is a career that is growing faster than the average, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. In 2012, the average annual salary was $98,460. Keep in mind, however, that salary figures are typically contingent upon experience as well as education.
As an alternative, students may also become postsecondary teachers. In this position, they can teach future health education professionals about the field. The BLS reports that the position averages $77,500 annually, with career growth projected at 17% by 2020. As with the health service field, wages will vary.