Public health is a field of study focused on preventing diseases and promoting wellness among communities, groups, and larger societies. This may draw upon concepts in sociology, health economics, public policy, statistics, community health, and health delivery systems. Students interested in earning their public health bachelors degree online can enjoy the flexibility of an asynchronous curriculum that allows them to continue working, as well as balance family responsibilities, while earning their education. Graduates in this field may find work with government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, or clinics.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
While some jobs may be available in the health care industry for those with a certificate or associate degree, there is often little room for advancement with this educational background. With a bachelor’s degree, students will receive the credentials they need to establish a career with long-term potential. In addition, a bachelor’s degree can be a great base for those interested in continuing on to graduate work in public health, health care administration, health policy, or other related fields. Online bachelor degree programs in public health usually takes four years of full-time study to complete, depending on level of enrollment throughout the program, and will provide students with a foundation in both industry knowledge and general education subjects.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student, you should make sure you research each school’s specific admissions requirements. With that in mind, below are a few common criteria to consider:
- High school transcript or GED test scores
- Previous college transcripts (if applicable)
- Minimum GPA (as determined by the school)
- SAT or ACT test scores (if required)
- Application form and fee
- Application essay (if required)
- Letters of recommendation (if required)
Inside a Public Health Bachelor’s Degree Program
Online public health bachelor’s degree programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. Predicted job growth in the health care industry has also helped to make this an appealing choice for many students. Courses commonly include topics such as health informatics, biostatistics, health management, health and cultural diversity, health promotion, research methods, epidemiology, and ethics in health care, among others. General education classes will cover composition, social science, humanities, natural science, and mathematics as well.
Online students have the flexibility to work around their personal and professional schedules while earning their degree. Most online classes run in an asynchronous format, meaning there are not required times students need to log in to the virtual classroom to “attend” class. Rather, they can set their own times to study, complete assignments, participate in discussion boards, and review materials, as long as set deadlines are met.
What’s Next for Public Health Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Graduates with a public health bachelors degree are equipped with the knowledge and skills to pursue jobs as health educators, social and community service managers, health care administrators, and other related positions. Jobs may be found with schools, hospitals, clinics, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for social and community service managers is expected to increase by 27% from 2010 to 2020. For health educators, this statistic was 37%. Both occupations demonstrate significantly stronger growth potential than the average of 14% for all jobs over this time period.
The average reported salary for social and community service managers in 2012 was $64,460. This was $53,100 for health educators that same year. Please note, these are only estimates and may not reflect actual starting pay in your geographic area. In addition, level of experience, educational background, economic climate, and the specific employer will also have an impact on salary. Master’s degrees often help students attain higher-level careers in public health.