The U.S. health care system is being strained by diseases that could be avoided or mitigated with the right preventive care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease, with about 610,000 people dying each year. An estimated 9.4 percent of the U.S. population — approximately 30.3 million people — was living with diabetes as of 2015.
At the same time, health care spending is rising, placing a financial burden on both the system and its patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that in 2017, health care spending grew by nearly 4 percent across the nation, climbing to a total of $3.5 trillion — or about $10,739 per person.
To enhance the health of the nation while maintaining affordability, many communities are leveraging public health strategies that focus on preventive care. If you are looking for a flexible way to become a part of this effort, one option is to get a degree online in public health.
How to Get a Degree Online in Public Health
The CDC Foundation defines public health as “the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities.” While doctors, nurses, and other medical providers typically treat patients who already have a disease or injury, public health professionals aim to promote wellness by interceding before a problem arises. These interventions can include educational programs, research, policy changes, and services aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of communities at the local, state, regional, national or even international level.
If you are interested in protecting and improving the health of individuals and communities, consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree. In a BSPH program, you will acquire the critical knowledge and skills related to health behavior, physical and social environment, and public policy required to have a positive impact on health at local, state, national, and international levels.
An increasing number of students are choosing to get a degree online. In a BSPH program with a remote learning option, you will be able to complete your courses at the time and place of your choosing, simply by logging into an online platform. This flexibility can make it more convenient to advance your education while balancing other professional and personal responsibilities, such as a fulltime job, family obligations, or military deployment. Otherwise, the curriculum and degree requirements are typically the same as an in-person program.
To get a degree online in public health, you should start by exploring career options to determine the program that will best align with your interests.
Jobs With a Public Health Online Bachelor’s Degree
A BSPH degree will prepare you for an entry-level public health role in a variety of health agencies, including governmental health organizations, nonprofit health groups, community-based companies, and educational agencies.
Positions in these settings can include the following:
- Public health specialist: The responsibilities of this role vary based on workplace but generally include working with a team to advocate for and implement public health initiatives.
- Health educators: As the name suggests, these positions are dedicated to educating community members about behaviors that can improve wellness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for health educators is expected to increase by 16 percent between 2016 and 2026.
- Health care social worker: In this specialized facet of social work, professionals provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support they need to navigate health challenges, such as terminal or chronic diseases.
Your National University Degree
Ready to jumpstart your career in public health? We make it simple to get a degree online with National University. In our Bachelor of Science in Public Health program, available both on campus and online, you will explore the core principles of public health and their relationship to the health status of communities at all levels — acquiring the skills and knowledge you need to make a tangible difference.