There are a lot of reasons to major in public health if you have an interest in medicine and a strong calling for the protecting public safety. Then again, if you are not thick-skinned and ready to take on some of the world’s major health problems, then you might not be able to stomach the work. Working in public health is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who are very strong caretakers. Here are the pros and cons of majoring in public health.
Pro: Find a Job with a Strong Sense of Purpose
If you’re the type of person who needs to feel as though the career you choose really makes a difference in the world, then a master’s in public health from a school like University of San Francisco is definitely a great choice. With a Masters in Public Health, you can work directly with individuals and develop intimate relationships with your patients or you will work on finding real solutions to global health crises.
Con: Competitive Career
If you do want to work in the higher rungs of public health, then you are going to have a lot of people to compete with. There are only so many jobs that are offered by the major government agencies, such as the WHO, CDC, FDA and UN, so if you want to have a high paying, senior position, then you are going to have to pay some serious dues. However, if you love every step of the process, then you could potentially be responsible for solving some of the world’s most challenging health epidemics one day. Plus, in the meantime, you will be helping all kinds of individuals that need you all along the way.
Pro: One Year to Complete
Most master’s degrees take at least two years to complete. However, earning you MPH only takes one. That means that you can get your education quickly and then get out into the field and start helping people. If you feel passionately about your work, then you will want to start making a difference right away. Once you do get out into the workforce, there should be a ton of jobs waiting for you, so you will have a lot of options to choose from.
Con: Senior Positions Require Higher Degrees
If indeed you do want to work your way up the rungs of the ladder so that you can work on a more global scale, then you are definitely going to need to figure out exactly what you want to specialize in and then finish a doctorate program from a highly reputable school. This takes a lot more time and costs a lot of money. So it may take you quite a few years to save enough money to begin a doctorate program, but if you are clear on the trajectory of your career path then it will all be worth it. In the end, what could be more rewarding than saving hundreds, or even thousands of lives over the course of your lifetime?