Four rewarding careers for students who want their work to help others

Zilber College alumna canvassing a neighborhood in Milwaukee County.

Want your work to directly help others? Here are four careers that have a positive impact.

The rewards of some careers go far beyond a steady paycheck, insurance benefits and retirement savings. They also allow you to directly help others and make the world a better place.

“I think my favorite day is where you see your efforts having an impact,” said Alex Kohn, co-deputy director for WIN Recovery, a nonprofit organization that assists women leaving treatment facilities or prison. “It’s being able to make an impact in your community and see a change in a positive way. It’s that feeling of pride, and it’s worthwhile.”

Here’s a look at four careers in which you can make a difference.

  1. Public health professional

Public health experts took center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic, informing policy and spearheading the fight against the virus.

But public health professionals fill a wide range of roles that support, protect and improve community health. They can be found in hospitals and government agencies. But they also work in lab settings as epidemiologists, behind desks in data-centric roles, and out in the community as educators and advocates.

The variety of roles and responsibilities means that it’s easy to find something that speaks to you, said Kohn, who earned her master’s degree in public health from UWM.

“As I continued to take classes, I got to pinpoint what I was the most passionate about, which was substance use and misuse,” she said. “But there are so many little niches that you could do.”

The average salary for a public health practitioner with a bachelor’s degree is $61,000, according to PayScale. That can ramp up quickly for those with advanced degrees or high-demand specialties.

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