What Can You Do With an MPH? 5 Health-Focused Careers to Consider

Oct. 11, 2021 by Adriana Thompson

MPH male student with glasses looking at computer

The COVID-19 pandemic launched the field of public health into the spotlight, providing a glimpse into the essential work these instrumental professionals perform.

If you're thinking about entering the public health industry or advancing within it, it's no wonder you're considering a Master of Public Health (MPH). This advanced degree opens the door to meaningful work and equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to assume leadership roles.

5 Health-Focused MPH Careers

What can you do with an MPH? There are job opportunities across industries and fields, many of which require skills beyond public health, like communication, statistical analysis, and teaching.

Let's take a closer look at five common MPH careers.

1. Biostatistician

Biostatisticians collect and analyze data related to factors that impact human health. They may draw information from existing studies or from a study they conduct. Biostatisticians then analyze the data gathered from their research and produce reports. Public health officials and other leaders use this information to guide decisions that directly impact populations.

As a biostatistician, you can research a range of subjects, such as:

  • Infectious and non-infectious diseases.
  • The efficacy of new medical treatments.
  • Behaviors that may increase health risk.
  • Environmental factors that may impact health.

Biostatisticians make significant contributions to the public health field by conducting studies, compiling data, and conveying results.

What skills are needed?

  • Research
  • Mathematics (specifically statistics)
  • Analysis

Where do biostatisticians work?

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Government entities
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Public Health Educator

Public health educators are responsible for teaching specific populations of people how to live healthy lifestyles.

To be an effective public health educator, you must understand the predominant health issues that face each population you serve, which typically requires collecting and analyzing data. You'll use the information you glean to develop programs that educate each population about the most prevalent health issues.

Through engaging campaigns and programs, public health educators share information about:

  • Illnesses to which a population is most vulnerable.
  • Health services and treatments available.
  • Healthy habits that minimize health risks.

You may also be responsible for training other community health workers and healthcare providers on the programs you design.

What skills are needed?

  • Foundational knowledge of health
  • Communication
  • Teaching

Where do public health educators work?

  • Government entities
  • Hospitals
  • Individual and Family Services (Social Services)

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical Research Coordinators (CRCs) manage the day-to-day activities of clinical trials. A clinical trial is a study conducted to determine the effectiveness of a treatment for a health issue.

As a CRC, you'll likely be responsible for:

  • Ensuring that clinical trials comply with the regulations of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and other policies and procedures required by the study's sponsors.
  • Confirming that clinical trials comply with the established plan (aka "protocol").
  • Training personnel involved in the research project to follow correct protocol and regulations.
  • Coordinating the trial participants and tests.
  • Collecting data throughout the trial.
  • Assisting with compiling reports for regulatory agencies (like the FDA) and sponsors.
  • Helping compose closeout documents when the study is complete.

You will also handle financial aspects (e.g., maintain the budget, review billing) and work with trial participants to prepare them for the study.

What skills are needed?

  • Analysis
  • Administration and management
  • Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations

Where do clinical research coordinators work?

  • Government research institutes
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Epidemiologist

Epidemiologists study diseases, how they begin, how they spread, and ways to treat the diseases. Using data generated through research in addition to historical data, epidemiologists analyze and present their findings.

Their work helps guide public health policy as well as responses to epidemics (diseases that spread over a specific geographic area) and pandemics (diseases that spread across countries and continents).

As an epidemiologist, you can expect to:

  • Collect data from historical records, in the field, or both.
  • Analyze data to search for patterns and trends.
  • Conduct studies in the communities affected.
  • Develop reports with conclusions and predictions based on data.
  • Communicate your findings to the decision-makers (e.g., public health officials, doctors, policymakers).

What skills are needed?

  • Foundational scientific knowledge
  • Analysis
  • Management

Where do epidemiologists work?

  • Government entities (e.g., Centers for Disease Control)
  • Hospitals
  • Universities

Health Policy Analyst

Health policy analysts help propose new health-related policies and track and improve existing policies implemented by governments, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.

There are two primary industries in which health policy analysts operate: government and healthcare facilities.

The policy analysts who work with governments (local, state, or federal) or lobbying firms need a working knowledge of the legislative process for altering existing policies and proposing new ones. The policy analysts who work with healthcare facilities must know the existing regulations with which organizations must comply.

As a health policy analyst, you have the opportunity to evaluate and propose a full spectrum of policies, ranging from the day-to-day procedures in a healthcare facility to the national regulations the federal government imposes.

You'll also be tasked with communicating policies effectively to various stakeholders (e.g., hospital administrators, political action committees, nonprofit boards).

What skills are needed?

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the healthcare system
  • Analysis
  • Communication

Where do health policy analysts work?

  • Government entities (e.g., local health department, Veterans Health Administration)
  • Hospitals
  • Lobbying firms

Master of Public Health at Concordia University Texas

So, what can you do with an MPH? Turns out, there are quite a few options! The roles above only scratch the surface of the many MPH careers available.

If you're eager to enter or advance in this field, the Concordia University Texas Master of Public Health (MPH) will equip you for meaningful work in public health.

The Concordia MPH offers:

  • A flexibly, fully online program.
  • Individualized attention.
  • Ease of entry (no GRE or previous experience in public health required).
  • Experienced faculty with diverse professional backgrounds.
  • Valuable networking opportunities.

 

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