What Can You Do With a Public Health Degree?

A public health degree offers graduates an array of opportunities to help people. From educational roles to overseeing entire departments, public health professionals have the option to choose a career that fits their personality. Many in this field often work in government roles or take on a career at a nonprofit organization or healthcare facility.

Public Health Worker Skills & Qualifications

Public health workers are highly interested in the needs of others and are determined to help society. In fact, simple, day-to-day tasks such as drinking tap water, dining in restaurants and using public transportation are all thanks to public health workers who have checked for safety and sanitization.

Some of the qualities often possessed by public health workers include:

  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Understanding the big picture
  • Strategic insights
  • Empathy
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership ethics
  • Data analysis

When it comes to pursuing a public health degree, students can choose a specific concentration such as nutrition, health education, health and policy administration or epidemiology. The multitude of concentrations allows students to dive into an area that’s important to them and become a professional in their desired field.

>>JWU offers a number of electives so students can see what fits them best. Some of these electives include chemistry, biochemistry, community nutrition, physics, macroeconomics, psychology and finance.

Public Health Careers

Numerous industries are seeking professionals with a public health degree, ranging from manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to community health and education. While there are many career opportunities, some require a master’s in public health or another advanced degree along with background checks, certifications, licenses, exams and/or experience.

Health Policy Analyst

Bachelor’s Degree Required

Health policy analysts create new health policies, assess existing ones and influence laws that impact community health. Some of the main responsibilities include analyzing statistics and data, creating reports to communicate their findings, managing health information databases and creating and distributing health policy newsletters to an organization or the general public.

jwu student and professor looking over research

When researching and analyzing the current health policy, health policy analysts may also need to discuss their findings with stakeholders, hold conferences with the community and interview with the media. Health policy analysts’ strong ability to effectively analyze data, paired with their vast understanding of the healthcare system, makes these professionals instrumental when it comes to creating policies that positively affect community health.

Research Assistant

Bachelor’s Degree Required

Research assistants are primarily tasked with analyzing and informing the community of existing public health trends and assisting with the development of health assessment reports. Oftentimes, research assistants are responsible for discussing the assessment reports in meetings and conferences. When first starting off in this profession, research assistants might be assigned more administrative tasks while in training.

JWU research assistant in lab

Health Educator

Bachelor’s Degree Required

Health educators teach behavior changes to a group or individual with unhealthy behavior. This is an important role that is needed to help prevent diseases and incorporate healthy life changes. Responsibilities in this position vary depending on where the health educator works but common tasks include improving existing health programs or developing new ones, developing classes and workshops to educate patients on healthcare and helping communities access healthcare information.

Professionals in this role possess strong skills in communication, public speaking, teaching and leadership. Graduates often pursue careers in government and hospital settings, outpatient care centers and family services.

>>Students learn all about health education planning and health promotion programs through the Health Education and Planning course. This course also focuses on community analysis including social assessment, epidemiological assessment, behavioral assessment and environmental/ecological assessment.

Medical Technician

Bachelor’s Degree Required

Medical technicians work in clinics, labs, community health care centers and hospitals. Some of the tasks involved in this position include collecting patient samples, testing, analyzing and reporting specimen results, preparing tissue samples and observing vital signs. A strong understanding of computerized lab tools is critical in this role along with superior analytical thinking, effective communication and a deep understanding of lab protocols and equipment operation.

jwu students in PA lab

>>JWU students gain hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art labs, preparing them for their future careers in the public health industry.


Master’s Degree Required

Biostaticians play an integral role when it comes to providing resources to assist various populations such as controlling an epidemic. These professionals research and analyze different factors that influence the health of a community or population and then study the effects of the administered treatment. They can also be tasked with determining which factors lead to certain medical issues and then evaluate the risks for specific treatments to those issues. jwu student using microscope in biology lab

Biostatisticians are often hired by pharmaceutical companies while a clinical study is being conducted to research how effective a medication is on the population. Not only do biostatisticians work with clinical trials, they also work on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, interventional studies and statistical genetics.


Master’s Degree Required

Similar to biostatisticians, epidemiologists evaluate the cause and treatments of infectious diseases. While biostatisticians focus on statistical theory, epidemiologists focus more heavily on the cause and effect of diseases. Two of the main tasks conducted by epidemiologists are distribution, identifying patterns, trends and frequency of a disease, and determination, exploring the underlying causes. Epidemiologists not only study diseases but they observe any external factors that may lead to illness or injury. They also thoroughly research pandemics, noninfectious diseases and natural disasters.

jwu student conducting research in lab

>>In JWU’s Epidemiology course, students learn how to evaluate information on the distribution and causes of disease and epidemiologic methodologies used in health related areas.

More Careers Graduates Pursue with a Public Health Degree

  • Public Health Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Demographer
  • Public Health Advocate
  • Behavioral Scientist
  • Public Health Social Worker

About JWU’s Public Health Degree

JWU’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health Degree prepares students to make an impact on their community and improve individual and community outcomes. Through courses in health education and health care systems, students learn to communicate health and wellness principles to diverse populations and collaborate with health and wellness teams. 

Through science courses in epidemiology and life science, students learn how to uncover patterns of population health and disease. Students can also learn about community nutrition, childhood development, aging, psychology, mental health and substance use. JWU’s hands-on approach to learning encourages students to get involved in one of many research and internship opportunities, ranging from local community health agencies to national and international organizations.

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