Very healthy job prospects
Public health focuses on populations, promoting health, preventing disease and providing good health care. It is a very diverse sector and people often specialise in one area - promotion, health service management, global or environmental health.
The Hong Kong government is a major potential employer of public health graduates. The Department of Health, the Centre for Health Protection, the Centre for Food Safety and the Hospital Authority all offer vacancies to graduates. Job prospects therefore remain positive.
Many youngsters are attracted to public health as a field of knowledge. Some want to be researchers and the tools of epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as teaching in health education and health service management, equip them for a wide variety of work opportunities. Those wishing to work in poorer communities and with NGOs in both Hong Kong and further afield find public health good training. Pay scales depend on competence and qualifications.
In the wake of the Sars outbreak, we must be aware of the risk of new diseases emerging. We need well-educated and competent public health practitioners who can respond to the threats posed by infectious diseases.
Professor Sian Meryl Griffiths, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, CUHK