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MPH or MSOT? I have been struggling with deciding if I should pursue a MPH or a masters of science in Occupational Therapy?

I am very indecisive, especially when it comes to choose a career and one that pays well. I was leaning towards a MPH however Occupational Therapy has been in my head lately also because I feel as I am going to be " licensed" or " qualified" and I will always find a job easily, compared to a MPH, while the jobs are endless with a MPH I can't help but to think that I'll just be working in an office all day typing and doing paperwork. :( help will be deeply appreciated. career occupational-therapy medicine career physical-therapy public-health medical mph

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Fab’s Answer

I would encourage you to think about if you want to be working directly with patients providing care daily, or if you want to be working more at the program, hospital, or systems level to improve health. If you want to work directly helping patients, occupational therapy may be a good path for you. If you are interested in supporting programs, hospitals, or systems, an MPH might be a good fit.

There are many directions you can take an MPH, such as hospital administration, non-profit management, data analytics, communications, epidemiology, policy, research, etc. Many public health jobs are very team-based, and while some do require paperwork and sitting at a desk, each role is so different! For example, a health educator may lead an after-school cooking class teaching teens about nutrition and how to prepare healthy snacks, while a data analyst may build reports for a behavioral health program and analyze patient data. You may find it helpful to read some online job descriptions for occupational therapists and some more specific public health jobs (health policy analyst, program coordinator, program evaluator, epidemiologist, hospital operations manager, etc.) to see what aligns with your interests and what type of degree is required.
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LaTonya’s Answer

Jay E,
Choosing a career can cause some angst. I would suggest that you start searching for jobs via your industry job sites, usajobs.gov or indeed.com using some of the keywords Fab S offered in her response. Review the requirement for travel to see if that will satisfy your balance on the job. It appears that you don't want to be stuck just doing paperwork, which is apart of every job. However, if you worked with an organization or company that required you being in the field, that may help to offer balance to sitting behind a desk the majority of the time.

I would encourage you to first start within and ask how you want to share your skills, talents and abilities in helping others. Set a vision for your career. Does the coursework in either MPH and/or MSOH support it? Are their minor programs in either field on the grad level? What about certificate programs you can add to one of the degree programs? That way, you have coursework in both.

I hope that helps!

LaTonya
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