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EXERCISE Health

Reasons why students choose career in public health

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The health care industry” (which includes both social and healthcare services, 

in addition to hospitals) is one of the nation’s largest employers. 

This field is projected to create more job opportunities than any other in the next eight years. 

The public health career requires extensive knowledge about medicine and patient care

 but also has its share of hazards because there can always be potential safety risks when working with people.

But before you make your decision on whether or not this type of work is for you, 

you should look at some possible reasons why students choose this career path.

Sense of public service: Some students who choose this career path do so because

 they feel like they make a difference in their communities and like to help people in need.

 Flexible schedule: It is the nature of the job for this career to be busy or boring at times; 

you can’t work when there isn’t an emergency. But when you’re not busy, you have downtime, 

which can also be used to study or perform other tasks for school or other activities. 

Students pursuing this type of career are often interested in school and take advantage of 

this time by studying so that they can better themselves academically through continuing education.

Variety: At times, you can be exposed to so many different types of people and situations and learn so many different things.

Pay: Even though this career can be difficult, it can also be financially rewarding. 

Some jobs may require students to work long hours but the job itself may be rewarding and they may earn good pay after a few years of experience.

Career advancement: In some cases, a public health-oriented degree might lead to 

a path that leads to more employment opportunities with the government, 

such as becoming a physician assistant or epidemiologist.

 Job security: Many students might choose this career over a more traditional desk job because 

the emergency nature of the job provides a sense of security 

 even though at times there can be a lot of uncertainty in emergency situations. 

As an emergency medical technician, students know that they could be sent out on calls

 at any time and that they’ll have to work with different types of people, but they also know that the call could come at any second.

 Job satisfaction: According to ASHP’s Health Care Career Center, 

“Employees in public health careers are motivated by their desire to improve lives and well-being” 

for not only themselves but also their communities.

 Personal fulfillment: This career path also allows students to learn and grow 

both personally and professionally and to strengthen their interpersonal relationships.

 Diversity: Whether it’s working with different types of patients or because students might be exposed to different parts of the world,

 this career provides a unique opportunity for students to work with others from different cultures, races or ethnicities.

 Job security: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 

“Employment in health care is expected to increase by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than average” 

(www.bls.gov). This means that there are plenty of opportunities for students who want to pursue the public health career path.

We hope that students will consider pursuing this type of career in order to be able to fulfill their desire for education, 

community service and job satisfaction through a career in public health. After all, life is full of uncertainties. What’s the worst that could happen?

Read about Russian physician Alexander Varshavsky (1904-1970) and his World Health Organization (WHO) mission to wipe out malaria in Brazil in the 1940s 

Public health is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the socioeconomic and behavioral factors

 that affect the health and well-being of individuals and communities. 

Public health includes a wide variety of professionals: epidemiologists, biostatisticians, community health workers

public health physicians, nurses, environmental scientists, social workers and many others. 

The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) is a national, bilingual, not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1902. 

The Association represents more than 5,000 public health professionals across Canada.

 Its mission is to support and advocate for public health issues, 

and to advance the work of public health practitioners through leadership and information.

Water sanitation and hygiene promotion is a cross-cutting theme

 for all major health initiatives and it has been identified and prioritized by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

as a critical issue facing the world today.

 Improving access to water supply and wastewater facilities reduces infant mortality worldwide by 32 percent 

while expanding access to improved sanitation reduces it 14 percent. tamayose et al. found that the two most cited reasons students chose a career in public health were

The MDG4 target of reducing by two-thirds the mortality and disease from diarrhea, and pneumonia between 1990 and 2015 was achieved.