What can you do with a Masters in Public Health?

What can you do with a Masters in Public Health?  This is a common question for many different undergraduate students.  The answer though, might be just as obvious.  With a Masters in Public Health you can work in many different career paths from government organizations to pharmaceutical companies to hospitals.  The MPH Degree allows you the flexibility to choose your own destiny, while still provided excellent skills for each of those professions.

Health Care Management

The first notable option is a career in Health Care Management.  This career itself has multiple other avenues but essentially you will be using your skills to solve complex problems in the health care system.  This can include hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and small clinics.  The primary responsibility is to help these organizations to run effectively and efficiently.

One misnomer is that many health care professionals such as doctors and nurses understand how to run businesses.  While this is true in many cases, it is absolute truth that their training is in the actual delivery and care of health care rather than business.  Because of this gap in training, and the necessity for those individuals to practice, there becomes an extreme need for people to help run these organizations.  Therefore, an MPH Degree can provide you with excellent skills to cover this gap for those providers.

Health Policy

The second option for MPH students would be a career in Health Policy.  Generally, the student would be tasked with solving problems from a policy perspective within a hospital or more likely a government organization.  The key here is that the individual would be analyzing complex issues that impact whole populations such as a group or a community.  There are actual many different areas within health policy itself.

For example, health policy careers can allow people to help other improve their insurance coverage situation through nonprofits or government laws.  The recent health care reform was developed with the assistance of many health policy employees who have training in public health.  Another example would be to help with regulations of healthcare.  States and the Federal government highly regulate healthcare from the practice of medicine to insurance.  Public health students can impact these laws through lobbying or working in a Department of Public Health.

Global Health

A third option for those interested in work abroad would be developing a specialization in global health.  Thus far, we have discussed health care management and health policy; these two issues can be extremely local.  However, global health attacks some of the similar problems on a much greater scale.  By working with global organizations you have the opportunity to impact far greater populations.

Examples include working with various groups that support getting rid of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa or dealing with global substance abuse.  An MPH degree can help you explore health care issues in different countries from reducing high risk behaviors to disasters and bioterrorism.  Above all, a career in global health will give you the perspective needed to create a healthier world.


Although there are many different career paths, these are only some of the major categories.  A Masters in Public Health Degree can certainly help you in many different areas of health care.  Although it might seem confusing, the options for careers are actually endless in this growing field.  Please feel free to search our MPH Degree Directory for your future Masters in Public Health Degree.

August 22, 2012


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