Jan. 06 2022

New Book Highlights Diverse Career Paths in Public Health

As Columbia Mailman students prepare for a life in public health, a new book offers a look at the broad range of rewarding, meaningful careers in the field along with advice on how to get started. 101+ Careers in Public Health, 3rd Edition is co-authored by Heather Krasna, Columbia Mailman School Assistant Dean of Career Services, and Beth Seltzer, ‘08 MPH, a public health physician at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The book features interviews with 54 public health professionals, ranging from smoking cessation coaches to epidemiologists to public health geneticists. It also includes a unique, evidence-based career assessment tool specifically for public health careers; detailed descriptions of 120 different jobs; key resources; and concrete job search tips.

The Biden Administration aims to bolster the workforce with a budget of $7.4 billion—meaning thousands of new public health jobs will soon be available. There will be a wide range of opportunities, especially in local and state health departments which have been understaffed and underfunded for decades. There is also a major need for people who can bring new energy to the work. Thousands of public health professionals have retired or left the field, partly due to the stress of dealing with the COVID response and recovery.

Beyond the pandemic, too, opportunities abound, with job roles such as community health workers, health educators, data scientists, health equity leaders, immigrant and reproductive rights advocates, humanitarian and disaster preparedness workers, communications specialists, workplace safety researchers, hospital administrators, and much more.

“There has never been a more exciting and rewarding time for a career in public health,” says Krasna. “The field offers an incredible wealth of career opportunities with options for every interest and aspiration. This book is designed to equip readers to find and pursue meaningful jobs that help keep the public health, prevent disease, and promote well-being for everyone.”