(NAPSI)—If you or someone you know is exploring careers that make a difference, consider the fast-growing field of professional health communication.

As the health care industry continues to dominate the U.S. economy, the market demand for health communicators has grown quickly. Those with master’s degrees constitute the core of this increasingly popular profession. As the World Health Organization (WHO) put it, “Health communicators have a unique opportunity to provide meaningful input in improving and saving lives.”

The Problem:

Not many people know that they can get a degree in professional health communication studies or how to go about it.

An Answer:

To make it easier for working professionals to earn advanced credentials in the health communication field, Boston University Metropolitan College offers a fully online Master of Science in Health Communication (MSHC) program.

Admission to the program, which has received global and national recognition for outstanding work, is handled on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Expert’s Opinion

“Health care is personal and it touches everyone,” said Leigh Curtin-Wilding, Program Director for Boston University’s Online Health Communication Graduate Program. “Considering today’s pace of technological advances, scientific breakthroughs, the needs of an aging population and other trends up ahead, how can consumers and patients be assured they’re making the best choices for their health? Who will advocate for the unmet needs of at-risk populations? The chances are high that a professional health communicator will be involved in this work.”

Health Care Is Big

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for all health care occupations is expected to grow 18 percent through 2026 and add more jobs than any other occupational group. Professional health communication opportunities are found at federal, state and local agencies, public relations and marketing agencies, hospitals and commercial organizations, consulting firms, health insurance companies and many other areas.

Added Curtin-Wilding: “There was a time when a public health degree was the gold standard for this discipline. But we live in a connected world now. The scope of modern health communication spans research, community engagement, advocacy and the use of multimedia communication, including digital tools and social marketing. Our graduates are prepared to lead the way with skills in these areas, as well as up-to-the-minute knowledge in health care policy, biology of disease, epidemiology, marketing, public and media relations, writing and health literacy.”

The Boston University MSHC was the first program of its kind taught entirely online. It offers rolling, year-round enrollment for the 10-course master’s program, which can be completed in 18 months, on average.

In 2016, BU introduced a new graduate certificate in Visual and Digital Health Communication. Usually completed in less than a year, the four-course certificate program features online studies in Social Media Strategies & Tactics that includes membership in the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Students also study Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age, an online course blending design theory with hands-on know-how needed to produce visual assets such as logos, infographics and health care−specific explainer videos.

Purposeful Career with Many Different Paths

Joseph Krause, of Summit, N.J., earned his Master of Science in Health Communication from Boston University’s online program in 2012. His degree helped him co-found AchieveIt, a business specializing in strategy execution for organizations primarily focused in health care.

“When I attended my Boston graduation, I met many of the classmates I’d previously formed relationships with during my online studies. We talked about how we planned to use our newfound degrees—I had no idea how many different directions this program could take you in, professionally,” said Krause.

Learn More

For further facts, visit www.bu.edu/online/programs/graduate-programs/health-communication/.

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