Current Challenges in Public Health
These days, there are many public health jobs available all over the world, but let’s face it – they don’t pay very well. Also, they tend to be very demanding. They require long hours of work, and very specific skills and training. However, in the end, they are not very prestigious, and the salaries are not that high.
Back in 2011, when I left my public health job at the US Army, I was also feeling frustrated with the pace of my work. I felt like management had been terrible at most of my public health jobs, and therefore, we were unable to get much work done. So even though I had gone into this field not to make money, but to do good – I really wasn’t getting much good done.
Whether you are new to public health – just graduating with a doctorate or a master’s degree – or you are like me, and have been in the field awhile, you can see the writing on the wall. With the pandemic and all the other problems with health and healthcare it exposed, these public health jobs have now become very abundant – but they are literally no fun. With the anti-mask and other anti-vaccine sentiments out there, some public health jobs now are downright dangerous.
Public Health Rebrand to Data Science
What does it mean to do a public health rebrand to data science? What it means is that if you are a public health practitioner, you are already way ahead of the programmers and engineers in the data science field in some ways – specifically, when it comes to health domain knowledge, and knowledge of research methods and statistics. But as you probably realize, you are way behind them in other ways. Programmers and engineers use different terminology for the same things we talk about in public health. Their terminology tends to come from business and management – topics we really do not formally study in public health. So there is the issue of translating our research knowledge to a different domain.
But there is also a big culture difference. From 2002 to 2003 and then again from 2004 to 2008, I worked in an IT department. The vibe of the IT department is exactly the vibe of the data science field – spontaneous, informal, innovative, improvising, creative, non-hierarchical, and energetic. On the other hand, public health has a totally different vibe – deliberate, calculated, formal, structured, hierarchical, historical, academic – and above all, ponderous and slow. Just compare any SAS webinar (aimed at public health practitioners) to webinars for software aimed at other data scientists, and you can see the culture difference.
So even if a public health practitioner can blow away a typical data scientist with her research and statistics skills, it can be very daunting – even scary – for such a person to try to integrate herself for the first time into a data science team.
Public Health Rebrand to Data Science Program
This one-year online program is designed specifically for public health practitioners – such as people with a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) or equivalent. The program will provide you a data science learning community outside of your workplace to enable you to have data science experiences so you can prepare for and get integrated into a data science team in a new career and job position.
- One-on-one mentoring with a dedicated data science mentor
- Personal goal plan with educational resources and experiences designed specifically for program participants
- Participation in a supportive learning community of others doing a public health rebrand
- Support for changing job positions, and becoming integrated in a new data science position
- Professionally-facilitated events aimed at providing professional support, networking, and hard and soft data science skillbuilding
- Mentoring support on short notice (“emergency support”)
Want to Find out if the Public Health Rebrand Program is Right for You?
If you schedule a 30-minute Zoom meeting with me, I will go over the program with you, and ask you questions about your opinion about the program. This will help determine if the public health rebrand program is right for you.
Program participants can set up their payment plan here.
Updated September 21, 2022