First-destination outcomes for 2015-2018 public health graduates: Focus on employment

Christine M. Plepys, Heather Krasna, Jonathon P. Leider, Emily M. Burke, Craig H. Blakely, Laura Magaña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives. To improve understanding of the future public health workforce by analyzing first-destination employment outcomes of public health graduates. Methods. We assessed graduate outcomes for those graduating in 2015-2018 using descriptive statistics and the Pearson χ2test. Results. In our analysis of data on 53 463 graduates, we found that 73% were employed; 15% enrolled in further education; 5% entered a fellowship, internship, residency, volunteer, or service program; and 6% were not employed. Employed graduates went to work in health care (27%), corporations (24%), academia (19%), government (17%), nonprofit (12%), and other sectors (1%). In 2018, 9% of bachelor's, 4% of master's, and 2% of doctoral graduates were not employed but seeking employment. Conclusions. Today's public health graduates are successful in finding employment in various sectors. This new workforce may expand public health's reach and lead to healthier communities overall. Public Health Implications. With predicted shortages in the governmental public health workforce and expanding hiring because of COVID-19, policymakers need to work to ensure the supply of public health graduates meets the demands of the workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-484
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

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© 2021 American Public Health Association Inc.. All rights reserved.


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