5 career tips for Public Health Professionals

Written by Guest Contributor

Public health professionals have some of the most fulfilling careers in the world. Though these roles can allow one to have a tremendous impact on public health and wellbeing, many of these roles can come with a tremendous amount of pressure and stress. Knowing how to mitigate these negative aspects is key to thriving as a public health professional.

In addition, one can benefit from a clear understanding of how to advance one’s career in the field of public health. Here are five career tips for public health professionals.

Communication and employee relations

Those looking to advance their careers in the space of public health, especially nurses, can benefit significantly from having highly-developed communication skills. In fact, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership names communication and relationship management as one of the core competencies that nurses should have when moving into executive nursing roles. Being able to communicate with others effectively is a vital aspect of any leadership role, and this is especially true when it comes to nurses in leadership positions.

Understanding the healthcare environment

Public health professionals looking to advance their careers need to have an in-depth understanding of the current healthcare environment. This is particularly true for nurses looking to move into executive nursing positions.

Depending on which sector one wants to pursue a career in, such as government or even a small clinic, having a nuanced understanding of these particular healthcare environments will help one develop the insights necessary to thrive in these various environments.

Earning an advanced degree

Though there are many roles in the public health space that require only a Bachelor’s degree, those that intend on pursuing executive roles will need to obtain at least a Master’s degree. A Master’s degree can help provide individuals with the training that they will need to work in an administrative function and lead others in the workplace.

In fact, there are graduate programs tailored specifically to those looking to advance their professional career in the field of public health. By taking advantage of the training and prestige that comes with a graduate degree, one will better qualify for executive and managerial positions in the field of public health.

Knowledge of business practices

Though it may not seem obvious, those looking to land executive roles in the field of public health will have to have a thorough understanding of business practices and be comfortable dealing with financial information. Though one may not be directly treating patients, those in executive roles can make a huge impact through the management of their organization’s resources and budgets.

Being able to understand and efficiently allocate budgets is a key aspect of executive roles in the public health space. Those who intend on advancing their career in the space will benefit tremendously from having an in-depth understanding of business and financial practices.

Understanding data and how to utilize it

Like many other fields, data has become an increasingly important part of public health. Being able to accurately decipher and glean insights from data is a vital part of executive roles in the public health space. Pursuing these roles means becoming familiar and comfortable with data. This can range from becoming familiar with specific applications and software that gather and collect data and understanding how data can be useful in various situations.

Having a deep familiarity with data and how to utilize it will give one a leg-up when applying for executive positions, showing employees that one is qualified to deal with data sets and utilize them in their positions.

Advancing your career in public health

The amount of professional roles in public health is estimated to grow rapidly in the next decade. Taking the initiative to qualify oneself for these roles can pave the way for a fulfilling career that allows one to reach their potential as a public health professional. By taking the steps to gain skills and further one’s education, one has the chance to advance in a growing field that is hungry for new talent.

About the Author:
Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups and Fortune 500 companies in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up businesses.

About the author

Guest Contributor