25 Reasons why an MPH is Worth it!
Written By: Raymond Aguirre, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPN
Public health is a vibrant field that catches the interest of many individuals. It’s no surprise that degrees like the MPH are very popular. Whether you are just starting to consider an MPH or are seriously committed to advancing your career in public health, you may be wondering, “Is an MPH degree worth it?” This article lists the top 25 reasons why an MPH is worth it and hopefully, at the end of it, you will be convinced that an MPH is something worth your while.
IS A MASTER’S IN PUBLIC HEALTH WORTH IT?
(Following 25 reasons will convince you why an MPH Degree is totally worth it.)
1. The future is bright in public health.
Among the top reasons why an MPH is worth it is because of the strong job outlook for public health professionals. As an MPH graduate, you can qualify for positions such as an epidemiologist
, which is projected to grow faster than average this decade. There are other occupations that you will be able to get and likewise, they are projected to experience growth.
2. There is a great salary potential.
Salary is also one of the biggest reasons why a master’s in public health is worth it. The salary range is wide, but public health managers, for example, can earn more than $100K every year
. There is definitely a financial reward to this degree and definitely something worth considering if you plan to invest in this degree.
3. You will qualify for many exciting careers.
A graduate degree in public health is a pathway to many occupations. These positions vary, but they can all be very exciting. An MPH can lead to careers that suit different personalities, from research to community education. Some examples of job titles include epidemiologist, biostatistician, infectious disease specialist, emergency management specialist, occupational health and safety specialist, social service manager, and public health educator.
4. An MPH degree opens the doors to government positions with great benefits.
As an MPH graduate, you will most likely apply for jobs within various government agencies. There are many perks to being a government employee, which include family health coverage, long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts, among many others
. Most notably, however, is that government positions typically come with a pension plan, and not many jobs nowadays have this type of retirement plan.
5. You will have job security.
One of the top reasons why an MPH is worth it is that it has the potential to lead to secure jobs. Public health is an essential public service. Thus, public health professionals, especially those with advanced degrees like an MPH, are more likely to work in positions that can weather economic instability, such as recessions. An MPH will not only open opportunities for you, but also give you the peace of mind in knowing that you are less likely to lose your job.
6. An MPH can make you more marketable.
An MPH is worth it because it shows prospective employers your determination to advance in your field. They also know that because of the extensive training that MPH programs provide, you will likely be able to offer unique solutions that will benefit their organization or their company. In other words, you will be seen as having a competitive advantage.
7. Having a master’s degree in Public Health is a good complement to other careers or credentials.
Many types of professionals decide to get a graduate degree in public health. This includes doctors, nurses, therapists, among others. Even those who are from non-healthcare professions such as law
may be delighted to know that they can also pursue an MPH degree. A master’s degree in public health works perfectly for professionals who are looking to supplement their careers, rather than completely changing it.
8. Many MPH programs are created with working professionals in mind.
One of the biggest reasons why an MPH is worth it is that it can fit around the lifestyle of fully employed people. There are online, self-paced programs that can be completed any time of the day or night. This means that you will not have to worry about missing class or having to leave your job to go to school.
9. There are many cost-effective options.
While some MPH programs can be costly, there are many others that are more budget-friendly and are properly accredited
. As long as a program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
(CEPH), you can be rest assured that you are getting quality education.
10. You will have opportunities to specialize.
An MPH curriculum contains general classes that all students will have to take. However, many programs also have several tracks to choose from. Some of these specialty areas include epidemiology/biostatistics, health promotion and disease prevention, environmental health, global health, and health care management. Each track focuses on a unique aspect of public health practice, and you can choose one that appeals to you the most. In doing so, you become an expert rather than just being a generalist.
11. An MPH degree can make it easy for you to pursue a dual degree.
It is not uncommon to find MPH programs that are part of a dual-degree program. For example, there are schools that allow you to attain both an MPH and an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing). This is one more reason why a master’s in public health is worth it because not only do these types of programs further enhance your professional value, but they also give you the opportunity to pursue your diverse academic interests. Getting an MPH as part of a dual-degree program spares you the dilemma of picking one field of study over another.
12. You will have many opportunities for fieldwork.
If you are the type of person who likes to work outdoors, then an MPH is right for you. Many jobs in public health require you to go into the community to do various things. You may be asked to provide education at a community clinic, or you may be asked to inspect business establishments for compliance to public health standards, among other things. In any case, an MPH can potentially allow you to break free of office or facility settings.
13. You can advance healthcare through research.
An MPH is worth it if you have a thirst for improving the health of others but do not necessarily want to provide direct patient care. Research is an important component of a good healthcare system and, by getting an MPH degree, you will have the skills and the tools to perform this kind of work.
14. You can provide care for the underserved.
Public health professionals take care of entire communities regardless of their race, gender, religion, or ability to pay for healthcare. There are certain government programs, such as those for black infants
that help ensure the well-being of vulnerable populations. Public health professionals are the core of these programs and, if you get an MPH, you could be one of these special people.
15. You will be well respected in your community.
Public health professionals are highly regarded individuals because they provide essential services to the communities in which they work. As a graduate of an MPH program, you will be seen as an expert who can provide solutions to various pressing problems.
16. An MPH can lead to leadership positions.
Another reason why an MPH is worth it is it makes you highly qualified for executive leadership positions. MPH programs will prepare you not just in the scientific aspects of public health, but also in the management and administration of organizations. This sort of preparation makes an MPH graduate a strong choice by employers for leadership positions.
17. An MPH degree will hone your ability to be an effective educator.
One area of public health practice is community outreach and education. This is a specialty that gives you the opportunity to speak directly to the public about various research-based health topics. Most of these topics are full of jargon and technical terms that may not be understandable to the layperson. An MPH degree will help you develop the skills you need to simplify complex information for other people to understanding.
18. An MPH degree can help prevent career stagnation.
Because of the diversity of occupations that you can do with an MPH, there is a lesser chance that you will feel stuck in your career. You can choose to move between the different types of public health practice throughout your career depending on your needs and evolving interests.
19. You will become a better citizen.
Public health is a far-reaching field that touches many aspects of our lives. As an MPH graduate, you will be exposed to information that delves into the intricacies of society in great detail. Having this knowledge will not only benefit you intellectually and professionally, but you will also increase your awareness and involvement in some of the most important issues in your community. An MPH, in other words, can make you a more engaged citizen.
20. You can affect healthcare on a wide scale.
As an MPH graduate, you may find yourself working in community settings such as rural clinics and other types of local health centers. However, there are also plenty of opportunities to utilize your skills on a national or even global scale. With an MPH degree, you literally have the opportunity to change the world.
21. You can help prevent disease.
There are many diseases in the world, from the relatively benign common cold virus to more serious ones like cancer and the coronavirus. As an MPH graduate, you are in a position to engage in disease prevention
efforts and help people avoid the devastating effects of disease. You can potentially save lives and make the world a safer, healthier place for all.
22. You can help contain diseases.
Sometimes, even the best efforts at preventing disease can fall short of expectations. Disease is a fact of life. But as a public health professional, you have a role
in controlling the spread of diseases. MPH graduates are trained in containing outbreaks, which can potentially many lives.
23. There are opportunities for autonomy.
If you value independence in your career, then an MPH is worth it. Although you may be working for an employer, certain positions not only permit but actually require autonomy. Public health researchers, for example, have leverage in designing their teaching methods to fit the communities they serve.
24. An MPH degree can provide self-enrichment.
Learning is a gratifying experience and that could not be truer with an MPH degree. Public health is a highly interesting field of study and those who study it may find that not only is it appealing on a professional level, but also on a personal level.
25. You will have a great sense of accomplishment.
Deciding whether a master’s in public health is worth it may ultimately boil down to factors that go beyond tangible benefits such as salary and job prospects. Acquiring an MPH degree is not an easy feat, and you may find that the idea of overcoming a challenging graduate program is worth all the time and effort it entails.
Summing It Up
Hopefully, the list above has answered your question, “Is an MPH degree worth it?” What you have read here are just 25 reasons why an MPH is worth it. You will probably learn more in the future because a graduate degree in public health is fulfilling in many ways. Not only does it offer personal benefits, but you will also become a steward of society. You will help in addressing some of its most pressing needs and providing a service to many individuals, some of whom have limited means to help themselves. An MPH degree offers many benefits that you will probably not find with other degrees.
Raymond Aguirre RN, BSN, PHN, CHPN
Raymond M.E. Aguirre is a registered nurse with years of experience in the medical field. He currently works as a public health nurse and has years of experience in home health, hospice, and skilled nursing facility settings.