College graduates are more likely to earn a bachelor’s in health sciences or social work, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study found that graduates of public health, social work and nursing were more likely than those with other majors to earn degrees in health or health care.
A bachelor’s from the public health or social science major ranks as one of the highest in the country, the report said.
Public health and social work degrees are also more likely for graduates of nursing than other majors.
More: The researchers, who were not involved in the study, found that those with a bachelor degree in public health were slightly more likely, on average, to be employed in health care compared with other professionals.
The average earnings of those with the degree were also higher than those who did not have a bachelor, the study said.
The report did not specify the specific reason why people with a public health degree were more than twice as likely to work in health services.
“We wanted to determine if there is an educational advantage for those with an associate’s degree, and we didn’t find any evidence to support this,” study co-author Dr. Robert P. Schoen said in a statement.
A doctorate in social work or health practice, for example, is a two-year degree, meaning the amount of credits earned does not increase in proportion to the length of the degree.
The report found that the average associate’s degrees were three to five years long.
In contrast, associate’s programs offered a bachelor of science degree that had a one-year average of 4.7 credits, or 1.3 credits per year.
The median associate’s course was 3.4 credits, which was nearly three times longer than the average bachelor’s course.
“While public health is a diverse field and it is possible that the association between health and health care has a stronger relationship with associate’s than bachelor’s, it is more likely that associate’s education provides a better degree of control and flexibility in the work environment,” the report noted.
Researchers say they can’t predict whether the findings hold for other fields of study.
But they hope the data will help inform health policy makers.
“If we want to know whether we can develop new strategies to better prepare graduates for jobs that require a bachelor or master’s degree in health, we need to understand the nature of the job, the degree, the curriculum and the curriculum’s quality,” said study coauthor Drs.
Susan K. Leichtman, M.D., and Jeffrey B. Schubert, Ph.
In a statement, the American Academy of Family Physicians, a leading medical society, said it is “deeply disappointed” by the findings.
“It is disappointing that some of the nation’s leading health care leaders and clinicians are advocating that a bachelor and master’s in public administration or health psychology can be the most valuable credential for students and clinicians.
These findings underscore that these professions are not a prerequisite for many jobs, including those requiring medical licensure, which are required for a variety of professions,” the statement said.
“The profession is not just for the elite.
It is a critical component of our healthcare system.”
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