Your last semester is almost over and you are starting to consider employment options. While this can often seem like a worrisome venture, you can alleviate some stress by devising an employment-finding strategy. Once you have completed your online masters public health courses or traditional masters degree, it is time to implement that strategy.
Public health is a diverse and growing field, resulting in many employment vacancies. According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers that require a masters degree in public health are expected to gain 22-37 percent more job openings by 2020. This is much higher than the national average of anticipated growth. To fill these growing positions, you must know how to find employment after receiving your public health degree with the below strategies.
Explore Possible Career Paths
There is a range of careers available after you have received your Masters in Public Health. Whether you attended online masters public health courses or a traditional university, you are prepared to gain employment in this growing field. Below are available public health careers both within the government and private sectors:
- Public Health Nurse
- Medical Investigator
- HIV Training Assistant
- Outreach Worker
- Public Health Advisor
- Environmental Health Jobs
- Public Health Engineer
- Sanitarian Specialist
- Water Resource Specialist
- Clinic Manager
- Research and Outreach Coordinator
- Mental Health Specialist
- Clinic Program Coordinator
The above careers are common for professionals who have received their Masters in Public Health. Each career pathway has its own responsibilities, salaries and other benefits. A good deal of these careers will deal directly with people in need of healthcare, while others will help coordinate policies and procedures regarding public healthcare.
According to Dr. Christine Traxler, a medical writer for Bio Careers and a practicing doctor, several of these career opportunities will require additional certifications. These certifications refine your current training and allow you to specialize in one area of public health. Not all positions will require an additional certification however; once you have decided on a public health specialty, it is wise to determine if it requires additional certifications.
Places to Seek Employment
Once you have decided on one of the above public health specialties, the next step in finding employment is looking for job postings. Careers in public health are primarily within the government and nonprofit sectors. Below are several areas to begin pursuing public health employment:
- Government Websites – Navigate to the city or state department of health’s website. This website will generally contain several job listings available within your area. For example, the New York State Department of Health provides regularly updated job postings and resources for finding employment.
- Job Posting Websites – Many of the same popular job posting websites that cater to other careers will also contain job postings in the field of public health. Browse job postings in your area that cater to your specialty. Additionally, there are job posting websites that cater entirely to public health careers. The American Public Health Association provides a service, called Public Health CareerMart, which allows employers to post job openings nationwide.
- Nonprofit Organizations’ Websites – You have likely been exposed to intriguing nonprofit organizations throughout your schooling and interest in the field of public health. If this is the case, navigate to their website and see if they have any available postings. Even if they do not, send them an email with your resume and express your interest in their organization.
Ensure that you put together an impressive resume before applying for any position. Your resume should highlight areas of your employment and any relevant job experience you may have. It should be no longer than one page and contain strongly persuasive bulleted statements.
Put Your Best Self Forward: Interviewing Skills
You know which career you want, you’ve sent out your resume and received a response! Now it’s time for the interview, the most important step of the entire process. Trudy Steinfield, a contributor for Forbes and employment trends expert, suggests the below tips for nailing the interview:
- Hone your interviewing etiquette, by having practice interviews with friends and family.
- Maintain eye contact throughout the interview; greet the interviewer with a friendly handshake and smile.
- Thoroughly understand the job. Study the job posting and conduct background research as necessary. Steinfield recommends knowing every aspect of the prospective job in and out before the interview.
- Perhaps the most basic and important interviewing skill is to dress appropriately. Wear your finest business attire.
- Thoughtfully listen to every question and provide on-target answers.
- Prepare a few compelling questions for the end of the interview. Questions should not have anything to do with compensation or benefits, but clarifying questions about job responsibilities.
- Know the next step. Will they contact you or should you follow up?
Finding Employment Can Be Stress-free
You can have a stress-free job seeking experience by using the above strategies for finding employment after receiving your public health degree. Decide on your specialty, visit websites that post public health careers and put your best foot forward in the interviewing process. Good luck!
Al Nixon is a student of human resources and will be entering the workforce this winter, when he graduates.
Photo: Malcolm Tredinnick