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Ways to Maximize Your Public Health/Health Science Education (Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate)

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[Alright all, I’m back with another post for the public health and health science fanatics out there. Thank you again for those who shared my first blog post from this channel! WOW, I received so many positive feedback and I am glad to see that the post is benefiting so many people.] 

So, the 2020 year has started and one goal to set for the year is to move up in your career. For example, have you ever been in a situation where you stumble across an opportunity that requires a degree? You’re probably thinking to yourself “Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I had to pull an all-nighter for an exam” or “I just got settled in my career, why do I have to go back now?!”.  

As mentioned before, jobs are becoming more competitive to the point where you have to have the sufficient amount of educational training in adjacent to your applied work experience. But do not fret! There are public health programs that hold high recognition for Public Health, nationally and globally. Here are some #FrancesDeanTwistTips on finding the best program for you! 

Think about which area(s) interest you the most.  

Public Health has grown so much, and the area(s) that one can pursue within it is a non-exhaustive list in itself. Do you want to focus on obesity prevention for low-income individuals? Research the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the immune dysfunction caused by HIVOr would you rather design data visualizations charts to show the shift in opioid overdose? Knowing what interest(s) catch your eye will help as you search for schools that offer research and course opportunities related to said interests. 

Conduct research on appropriately accredited/recognized schools 

As noted, many pathways in furthering one’s public health career involve some type of network and/or connection. Given the growth and saturation within the Public Health sector, it’s important to establish networks beyond work and/or school. Some schools have great career fairs and centers for those looking into Public Health. The only way to find out is to reach out to the respective admissions or career committee and ask! 

To date, there have been concerns about attending for-profit and/or non-CEPH accredited schools. If one is already employed with a lengthy amount of experience and just needs an accessible degree for the sake of fulfilling a requirement or goal (e.g., promotion), then you probably don’t need to worry about this concern. However, if you are looking for a degree in hopes for a jobI would make sure to check out the school’s competencies for their graduate public health program and see if they align with the requirements of the job and/or program (fellowship, internship, certificate) you are checking out. 

List out factors that you would like out of a school 

Cost, Community and Care – AKA my three C’s – is what I rely on when deciding on something I want out of an academic institution.  

Be sure to ask yourself the following questions before reaching out to representative and/or receiving an acceptance letter… 

  • Cost – How much does my attendance cost for the year (including tuition, books, cost of living, etc)? Are there funding opportunities I can seek out (with the school and outside of school)?   
  • Community – what is the demographic at the school? Are there students groups that I can join to continue my personal and professional interests? 
  • Care – does this school have the resources for me whenever times get tough? Are there places outside the school that I can access in case of a medical emergency?   

Brainstorm ways to fund your degree 

Aside from using my guide listed, START EARLY on searching for scholarships and funding, whether it’s with the school or externally. Studies show that those who apply early are more likely to receive aid than those who apply last minute (source).  

Finally….APPLY AND BEST OF LUCK!!! 

As you can see above, you will never know what can be accomplished until you put your foot forward and do your due diligence in finding the best programs for you. There is no perfect formula to finding a program; however, but being persistent, goal-oriented and responsible will surely stand out in your applications. Thanks for reading 🌞

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