Community Health Degrees

The Advantages Of Earning A Community Health Degree

A community health degree offers students with a versatile degree necessary for a multitude of carer options within the health care system, governmental agencies, and community based programs promoting health and wellness. Community health degree programs provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand modern health issues and the functions of health care organizations, as well as the skills necessary to coordinate services and improve health care options within communities. As the health care industry expands due to technological changes, population expansion, and medical advances, the demand for qualified professionals within the specialized field of community and public health is expected to increase significantly.

Many students with training in political science, nursing, and business choose to advance to community health degree programs to refine skills as they manage family and job responsibilities. Most colleges and universities have developed innovative online programs to meet the educational demands of students unable to attend on campus instruction. Most online programs feature smaller classes, with groups of 25 students or less, who receive virtually the same educational experience as students who attend on campus courses. Online courses also offer students the advantages of a more personalized degree and 24 hour access to course materials and instruction. Additionally, online degree programs give students the ability to interact with other classmates and instructors through one on one interactions via Internet chats. Most students find completing their degree online one of the most convenient, affordable means of increasing knowledge and skills necessary for personal, educational, and professional success.

What Students Learn Within A Community Health Degree Program

Community health degree programs offer specialized instruction regarding public policy, the health care system, ethics, public health care issues, health care services, psychology, health care laws, sociology, and natural sciences. Community health care programs offer students the ability to gain employment as health educators at medical facilities, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations ensuring communities are healthier. Most community health professionals are required to complete studies at a bachelor degree level though most organizations of employment prefer candidates with master’s degrees. Many students begin studies within associate degree programs in the discipline of human sciences. Courses at an associate level include: academic strategies for human services professionals, introduction to human services, human behavior and environment, survey of social problems, applied skills for human services, prevention and crisis intervention, introduction to psychology, business communications, information technology and society, English composition, general psychology, introduction to helping skills and process, culturally sensitive human service practice, human services applications, topics in mathematics, abnormal psychology, management and administration in human services, first aid and responding to emergencies, marriage and the family, fundamentals of speech, counseling theories and techniques, human anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, and child psychology. Graduates who complete associate degree programs may advance to employment or advance education into higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs give students additional training, knowledge, and skills that are required for employment as professionals in the field of community health. Most bachelor degree courses include: introduction to probability and statistics, our community: our health, health promotion/disease prevention, health and health systems, environmental health, epidemiology, communication skills for career development, concepts of health promotion, context of health care delivery, principles of epidemiology, introduction to research methods and analysis, behavioral and cultural issues in health care, aging across the lifespan, health informatics, ethical and legal issues in health care, interdisciplinary perspectives in health care, current issues in health care policy and practice, public and global health, personal health and wellness, nutrition across the lifespan, fit and well: core concepts in exercise science, stress management and wellness, strategies for health communication and wellness, human disease and prevention, and an internship. Students who complete bachelor degree programs may gain employment or advance to graduate level studies.

Master’s degree programs offer students the ability to specialize skills and knowledge necessary for supervisory or administrative positions within various public or private organizations. Courses at a master’s level include: foundations of health behavior and health education, administrative and leadership in public health, biostatistics, health concepts in epidemiology, environmental health, community health education, assessment and planning in health education, evaluation in health education, research methods, current health issues, health interventions, human sexuality, dying and death, international health education, global health, cross cultural health communication, practicum experience, and an internship experience. Graduates who complete master’s degrees often advance to employment or doctoral degree programs.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the knowledge and information necessary to qualify as experts within the field. Doctoral level courses include: health education; applied dissertation; practical research planning and design; integrity and ethics in leadership; educational governance, organizational dynamics, and social change; health behavior theory and research; foundations of learning; finance and budgeting; quantitative and qualitative research methods; instrucitonal design; student assessment; faculty evaluation; educational technology; educational law; fund raising/endowment management; proposal preparation; educational program planning and evaluation; community health assessment; state and local health planning; evaluation of community health services; public health finance and policy; international health policy; public health history; geriatric health; community based health care; cultural change in geriatrics; death and dying, life and living; multivariate analysis of learning; research design and analysis; quality assurance and accountability; and instructional technology in course development. Graduates from doctoral degrees often advance to jobs as researchers or instructors within colleges and universities.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Community Health Degrees

Graduates who complete community health degree programs may qualify for a wide range of careers dependent upon level of education, area/s of specialization, geographic location, and related work experience gained through internships, on the job experiences, or volunteer experience. A community health degree offers students knowledge based in the quickly expanding field of health care and public policy. Many graduates work with as community health workers improving and promoting the health of community residents. Some graduates with advanced degrees work within politics, lobbying for public policy changes and securing funding for improving health of entire communities. Other graduates may work within global health care networks extending health care to communities throughout the world. Graduates with associate degrees may work as administrative assistants or case workers within governmental agencies, community health programs, or non-profit organizations. Graduates with bachelor degrees may work as assistant professors in health education based organizations, vocational schools, or sometimes colleges and universities. Graduates with master’s degrees often work as health and wellness program directors, health educators, health care administrators, clinical studies coordinators, or community health services directors. Graduates with doctoral degrees generally work as top executives, lead researchers, or professors within health organizations, research facilities, or colleges and universities.

Salary Range For Graduates With Community Health Degrees

Graduates with community health degrees gain the educational basis necessary to build long term, lucrative careers upon. Earnings for graduates with community health degrees vary tremendously and are based upon educational, organizational, and geographic factors. As with most occupations, graduates who complete advanced degrees, gain work experience through internships, volunteering, and on the job training, and who live within urban areas generally have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less experience and education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports earnings for graduates with community health degrees employed as health educators earn salaries ranging from $33,170 to $60,810 annually. Graduates with associate’s degrees who work as administrative assistants generally earn $23,160 to $36,020 annually. Graduates with bachelor degrees employed as assistant professors or health educators earn $41,600 to $63,827 annually. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs and work as health care administrators earn $62,170 to $104,120 annually. Graduates with doctoral degrees often earn $41,600 to $121,080 professors and researchers within university settings.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Community Health Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete community health degrees will find ample opportunities for employment as factors such as medical advances, technological changes, rising costs of health care, aging and expanding population, and increased awareness and demand for preventative health promotion contribute to job growth. Graduates who complete formal training programs, specialize their training, and gain work experience through volunteering, internships, and on the training will find increased employability. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects job growth for health educators to increase by 18 percent through 2018 at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations.

As government agencies, employers, insurance companies, and individuals focus upon preventative health and wellness to offset rising health care costs, the role of health educators is anticipated to become more prominent to educate the public regrading lifestyle changes necessary to improve health. Most individuals with undergraduate degrees begin employment within entry level employment and advance to managerial or administrative positions upon meeting work experience and continuing education requirements. Graduates with advanced degrees at a master’s or doctorate level, often begin employment within supervisory positions and advance to research or teaching positions within colleges and universities.

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