Career Development

Career Planning

Public Health Major Career Planning Options

A career in the field of public health can be rewarding for many reasons, most importantly it provides a means to serve local, national and international communities working towards improving people’s health and well-being. This is done through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Rivier University public health majors acquire knowledge and skills in the areas of health behavior, research and statistics in health, environmental health, epidemiology, and health administration. Students will obtain a greater understanding of health-related issues and their impact on society. A required field-based experience provides an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of healthcare planning and information handling skills. Review Rivier’s Department of Nursing and Health Professions program for additional information on this degree.

Public Health Skills/Knowledge

•   Apply concepts of data collection methods and statistical analysis to inform evidence-based practices as an essential part of public health practice
•   Identify population health challenges and prevention approaches to address community health issues
•   Demonstrate understanding of the science of human health and disease in promoting and protecting health across the life span
•   Assess community dynamics to identify stakeholders and networks for collaborative partnerships for community approaches to community health
•   Construct and evaluate an effective health promotion message using critical thinking skills and creativity
•   Interpret quantitative and qualitative research data using case study analysis
•   Evaluate the cultural context of program design and implementation effectiveness
•   Differentiate between the characteristics of the US health care system and other countries
•   Discuss the importance of health care policy and concepts of legal, ethical and regulatory dimensions of health care, public health laws, and roles of government
•   Demonstrate effective communication skills in verbal and written formats
•   Apply systems thinking approaches to develop effective public health programs.

Career Paths in Public Health

Public health is an exciting and growing field that offers an ever-increasing variety of challenging and diverse career opportunities. Medical experts agree that the coming decades will require major advances in health service delivery and disease prevention for populations around the world. Career paths include fields such as: environmental health; epidemiology, health services administration/management, internal/global health; maternal & child health; nutrition, public health laboratory practice; public health policy & practice.

Public Health graduates may work as…
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.)
Community Organizer
Disease Investigation Specialist
Emergency Preparedness Responder
Environmental Health Inspector
Food Inspector
Geriatric Care Manager
Health Educator
Health Information Technician
Health Marketing & Communications Specialist
Health Worker
Outreach Specialist
Public Health Advisor
Policy Analyst

Public Health graduates may work within…

Bio-Medical Laboratories
Colleges and Universities
Community Mental Health Centers
Community Organizations
Consulting Firms
Consumer Advocacy Organizations
Local, State & Federal health departments
Federal and state Health Agencies
Health Insurance Companies
Health Service Delivery Organizations
International Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Pharmaceutical Companies
Public Health Services
State Legislative Committees

Ways to Increase Employability:

•   Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours.
•   Seek experience as a volunteer, intern or paid employee with social service or non-profit organizations.
•   Become familiar with government and community resources available for those in need.
•   Develop a wide range of skills such as presenting, grant writing and fund raising, as professionals in nonprofit organizations may fill multiple roles.
•   Develop writing, research and public speaking skills and the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.
•   Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area, i.e. public health, environment, urban issues.
•   Obtain part-time, summer, internship or volunteer experience within public health the intended age group in various settings such as pre-schools, day cares, camps, community agencies, adult centers, YMCA’s, etc.

Rivier University Organizations related to Public Health

•  Rivier University Institute for Global Health Project

Rivier University Sources of Information

•  Rivier University Faculty Advisors, & Department of Nursing and Health Professions Resources
•  Professionals Working in the Field
•  Professional Organizations

Professional Organizations Related to Public Health

Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy
America’s Health Insurance Plans 
American Association of Public Health Physicians
American College of Healthcare Administrators
American College of Healthcare Executives
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
American Dietetic Association
American Geriatrics Society
American Health Care Association
American Industrial Hygiene Association
American Lung Association 
American Public Health Association
American Statistical Association
Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology 
Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health
Association for Prevention Teaching & Research 
Global Health Council
Infectious Disease Society of America 
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of Health Data Organizations 
National Center for Health Education
National Commission for Health Education Credentialing 
National Environmental Health Association
National Forum for Health Care Quality Measurement and Reporting
National Network for Immunization Information 
Society for Epidemiologic Research 
Society for Nutrition Education 
Society for Public Health Education
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry