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As I am a science student and have completed my bachelor degree in nursing I can build my career in Health sector too. I always keep my eyes on market trend and did thorough research about the field in which I can build my career. In health sector, I particularly want to do further studies in Public Health. The public health field is constantly evolving in response to the needs of communities and populations around the world. The fundamental mission of public health is to improve the circumstances and behaviours that affect health so that all people can attain it through the practice of public health policy, research of public health issues and the education of future leaders who ultimately will translate that research into practices and policies to improve the health of people regionally, nationally, and globally.
Master of Public Health program is an emerging discipline with the potential to create a competent and effective public health workforce, contributing significantly towards the delivery of essential public health services.
Career opportunities in public health are huge, mainly in India, due to the triple burden of health problems such as communicable and non-communicable diseases and environmental health problems, disasters/calamities. To address current and future public health challenges, the health sector needs to focus on a continual influx of multi-disciplinary, public health professionals. Indian Government has taken many initiatives in the last decade which has built in scope and future dimensions for public health professionals. The promotion of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005, public-private initiatives like the Public Health Foundation of India and, some programs and policy initiatives, have opened up avenues for work for these professionals.
Also, organizations like WHO, McKinsey & Company, UN Children’s Fund, PHFI, The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc. hire such postgraduates. Working in the public health sector would be a challenging task because of the need to address the health goals of the community. Thus, to work as public health professional I want to pursue a master degree which will give in depth knowledge of public health and also give research and practical work component during the studies.
I did research about various courses of public health available in my home country India. In India universities like Parul University (Vadodara), Indian Institute of Public Health (Gandhinagar), Public Health Foundation of India (Gandhinagar), Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), Amity University and Manipal University etc. are offering Master of Public Health course and Indian Institute of Public Health (Gandhinagar) offering Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health Management (PGDPHM) and Associate Fellow of Industrial Health (AFIH). For admission universities require scores in a relevant entrance examination like NEET PG/AIIMS PG, which is conducted at national level. The universities are having limited number of seats and getting an admission into the university is really tough because of the caste reservation system. After the exam, we have to wait for many months and still, our admission depends on the reservation, which is tough and time taking. Indian Universities have an intake only once in a year if I did not score well I have to wait for one long year in order to secure admission into the university. Moreover, Indian Universities emphasize mainly on theoretical knowledge and students lack practical experience of working on new technologies. Also, universities not including case discussions, practical exercises, lab work & equipment’s, field visits, seminars, journal clubs, collaborative learning, group discussions, assignments, hands-on training, internship, and dissertation. I believe that practical knowledge is more important to be able to work successfully. Considering all the facts, I have decided to study Masters from Abroad Country. International education will give me a global perspective and helps in developing my social skills, cross-cultural skills, improving communication skills, personality development and building networks. Abroad education provides opportunities for personal growth and development by gaining self-confidence and life experience.
As I planned to study overseas, I started searching for similar programs in public health in countries like USA, UK, Australia and Canada and compared on the program, program requirements, admission criteria, course structure, tuition fee cost, living expenses, climatic conditions, visa conditions and so on. In USA, University of San Francisco provide Master of Public Health with annual tuition fees of USD 46,900, and University of California provide Master of Public Health with annual tuition fees of USD 45,484 in addition to that cost of living is around USD 22,000. For admission in any university in the USA universities regard a TOEFL/IELTS and GRE score and each state follows a different core curriculum of courses creating students of varying standards of education and the cost of education is slowly increasing every year. The dollar is becoming more powerful in the market leading to increased tuition expenses. Even with financial assistance, the cost of education in U.S.A is leaning towards the more expensive end moreover in recent times some universities are losing their accreditation and with multiple issues of Indian student deportations, I cannot take chances in my career so I did not prefer to study masters in the USA. Coming to Canada, Canadian Institutes offering Master of Public Health at universities like Western University, University Of Alberta, Queen’s University, and University of Waterloo for a duration of 2 years with an average tuition fee of CAD$ 20,514.00 (Rs.11,22,557) per year and living expenses are CAD$16,000 which is affordable. But the outrageous climatic conditions are not favourable as I cannot adjust to cold temperature in winters temperature goes down below -20 degrees centigrade so I did not prefer Canada. Whereas coming to UK, universities such as University of Glasgow provides Master of Public Health with annual tuition fees of ?22,500, University of Bristol provides MSc Public Health with annual tuition fees of ?20,500, and University of Nottingham provides MSc Public Health with annual tuition fees of ?19,575 in addition to that cost of living is around ?16,000-?18,000 and the intensive learning is completed in just a year. UK universities mostly offering 12-18 months course and the degrees are not accepted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and employers in India also the cost of living and course fees are too expensive for me so, I did not preferred UK for studying masters. After looking into all the countries above I have decided to pursue my master’s in Australia as the course cost and cost of living (AU$ 20,290) is affordable to me and Australian degrees are recognized all over the world, and the education system in Australia is primarily based on immense problem-solving skills in the context of a real-world scenario in any field also the climate of Australia is similar that of Asian climate so, I have decided to pursue my higher education in Australia.
Australia is a leading global education provider with some of the world’s best facilities and educators and according to 2016-2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings’, Australia is home to 6 top universities offering Clinical and Health courses making Australia a top destination for overseas students to study higher education in public health. Education system of Australia provides great learning methods enriched with globally ranked universities recognized for excellence in many disciplines and have most modern facilities, highly experienced educators and advanced infrastructure like modern laboratories, well-equipped classrooms and outstanding libraries. Australia’s public health courses and programs are recognised worldwide. The programs prepare the students from different background and disciplines to define, assess, and solve public sanitation and nutrition problems. Training on the coursework and incorporation of projects help students to become successful health care professionals. Australia be responsible for the world’s most rigorous protection for international students through ESOS. Selecting Australia for higher education is like selecting a culturally enriched, kind and pleasant nation with safe university campuses and high quality education. As I want to build up my career in health sciences taking into account my capabilities, educational background and career goal, I decided to do post-graduation from Australia. This nation is a perfect combination for me to undertake quality education and with an international exposure that will enrich my capabilities and skills. Universities in Australia provide different kinds of scholarships for local and international students. Australian education has a solid international reputation for excellence. Talking about the safest place, as the world knows Australia is the safest country in the world beside this, it has a multicultural society, cultural diversity, peaceful, Multi-Lingual, safe and welcoming environment. In addition to this, The Australian education system is very practical and systematic with cosmopolitan culture. My study in Australia will give me the best platform to succeed in my career and prepare myself for the challenges of the workplace. And finally I am confident that the technical knowledge that I acquire in the Australia will help me in playing a constructive role in career progress.
Research about education provider in Australia:
Some of the Australian universities that I researched for Master of Public health programs are University of Melbourne offering Master of Public Health with an annual tuition fees of AUD 46,688, University of Sydney offers a similar Master of Public Health with an annual tuition fees of AUD 46,500, Deakin University offering Master of Public Health Study with an annual tuition fees AUD 36,000 per year and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) offering Master of Public Health with an annual tuition fees AUD 30,300. I prefer to study Master of Public Health course at Queensland University of Technology because the tuition fee is comparatively very less and affordable for me, the course structure is well planned for both the years with basics and core subjects, also exists a vast range of opportunities, particularly QUT is reputable for its research facilities and lab work resources and the department web site revealed a very strong faculty involved in extensive research in the area of Health Science. This has strengthened my determination to study Master of Public Health program at QUT University.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT):
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) stands 2nd in Australia according to Times Higher Education young university rankings, 2017 and is one of Australia’s leading universities. With a vision for improving real-world learning for future students QUT offers broad range of degrees for a successful career. QUT has received 100 Australian Awards for University Teaching to date, so I’ll be taught by award-winning teaching staff. QUT’s staffs are regularly recognized with national awards for their excellence in teaching. Courses are regularly reviewed and updated to maximize career opportunities and ensure learning reflects industry developments. They prepare students for career by providing real-world learning experiences and opportunities to develop contacts in chosen industry, put education into practice, and develop problem-solving and teamwork skills, and get an exposure to the real world of work in chosen field. QUT’s Faculty of Health has International partnerships with top universities, government departments, industry organisations and research institutes. Health students have admittance to learning environments that feature leading industry equipment, virtual technology and simulation facilities. Clinical experience is an opportunity to learn about patients across a variety of social and cultural groups, ages and conditions. The laboratories make great lecture theatres where I can gain practical skills using industry-standard equipment along with world-class teaching facilities. Leadership, Development and Innovation (LDI) Program will help me discover my strengths and leadership style through a range of free workshops such as leadership foundations, emotional intelligence, intercultural competence, organisational and community leadership and so on. I chose QUT because they offer tons of hands-on experience. I think it’s really important, as when you go out into the working world at an International level, this is what you need. Not just theories in your head, you need to know how to apply these in your job as well. QUT well-known the world’s first Creative Industries Faculty, and they finance heavily in collaborative learning and interdisciplinary research environments. QUT is having best infrastructure and 2 campuses with all required facilities: Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove. My course is available at Kelvin grove campus, Brisbane. The campus has a library, purpose-designed collaborative learning spaces, and specialized facilities like health clinics and performance spaces. Brisbane is safe and welcoming city and the capital city sited on the banks of Brisbane river of Queensland. It is one of the fastest growing cities of the world and Australia’s third largest city, known for its vibrant urban precincts, outdoor lifestyles, friendly locals, suitable climate and safety by world’s standards. Brisbane is well connected to the suburbs by public transport network consisting of buses, trains and trams. I have searched for the accommodation in Brisbane from websites like urbanladder.com, and gumtree.com it costs around 250 AUD to 270 AUD per week. I will confirm my accommodation after I receive the visa.
Graduate Certificate in Communication for Health:
QUT has offered me Graduate Certificate in Communication for Health and it is pathway to Master of Public Health program. I will be studying Graduate Certificate in Communication for Health course at the QUT International College. It is six months course and course consists of 48 credit points. The Course structure having three majors such as Nursing, Environmental and Public Health. I have chosen Public Health major on my interest and I will be studying two communication units and these units enhances my academic English language skills, and two Health units. The core units of the major are Communication 1, Communication 2, Epidemiology and Health Statistics. Graduate Certificate in Communication for Health gives me knowledge and skill in a Public Health discipline, also develops my English language skills and academic literacy for postgraduate level. After successful completion of this Graduate Certificate, I will progress directly into Master of Public Health Program at QUT University.
Master of Public Health is one and half year course and I have to complete 192 credit points of which I will get 48 credit points from Graduate certificate in Communication for Health and hence I need to complete another 144 credit points. In Master of Public Health I have chosen Health Service Management as my major. During the course I will be studying the subjects like Population Health, Contemporary Health Management, Leadership in Health Management, Chronic Conditions Prevention Management, Research Methods in Health, Concepts of Environmental Health, Health Information Management Perspectives, and Quality Management in Health. Two elective units i.e. Promoting Health Ageing, and Cost-effectiveness Analysis for Healthcare and a project with 24 credits to gain practical skills relevant to industry.
On completion of Master of Public Health I will obtain core skills in epidemiology and biostatistics, and an understanding of contemporary and challenging population health issues with Health, Safety and Environment specialization. The course will help me to focus on developing policy, programs and strategies that will foster and encourage healthy, equitable and sustainable environments and communities. I will be able to work with a diverse range of individuals, community groups and representatives in addition to developing population and community programs, interventions that can be implemented in specific settings such as schools, workplaces and hospitals. I will attain the required skills to focus in the development of effective programs that address a number of national and state health priority areas including physical activity, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, mental health promotion, injury prevention and skin cancer prevention. As a an effective health promotion practitioner I will have the ability to be involved in the facilitation and development of effective partnerships with government and non-government agencies to collaboratively address health issues and work towards positive health outcomes like planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs, informing and working collaboratively with other health professionals on population health issues, designing, developing and implementing public information campaigns using radio, television, newspapers, pamphlets, posters and websites.
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