Is a Public Health Degree Worth it?

by Gayle Morris BSN, MSN
• 3 min read
Is a Public Health Degree Worth it?

Believe it or not, many educators, epidemiologists, consultants, and administrators took similar degree paths to reach their current positions. A degree in public health can lead to any one of these rewarding careers, and should be worth considering if these options sound appealing to you.

In this article, we break down some of the advantages and disadvantages of a career in public health, along with factors to consider when deciding whether a public health degree is worth it.

Featured Online Programs

What to Know About Getting a Public Health Degree

Students pursuing a public health degree learn how to promote and defend individual and community health using critical thinking and analysis. Public health careers are often service-based and can allow you to influence policy issues related to disease prevention, drug use, and emergency response.

Christopher Lee, who holds a master of public health (MPH) degree and has worked in startups, healthcare, and advocacy, notes that because the discipline is so broad, it can be difficult to make generalizations about whether a degree in public health is worth it — particularly from a financial angle.

"The type of work varies greatly, so the expected salaries (and earning potential as you advance) also vary greatly," says Lee.

Still, there are a few things to keep in mind as you consider this education path.

A Public Health Degree is Versatile

Because public health is so broad, students typically have the opportunity to choose a specialization. Common specializations for public health majors include the following options:

NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Popular Resources

Resources and articles written by professionals and other nurses like you.