Limits...
Educational Attainment of the Public Health Workforce and Its Implications for Workforce Development.

Leider JP, Harper E, Bharthapudi K, Castrucci BC - J Public Health Manag Pract (2015 Nov-Dec)

Bottom Line: Ascertain the levels of educational attainment among SHA employees, as well as the correlates of attainment.Women had lower odds of having a bachelor's degree than men (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.6).This makes efforts to increase availability of on-the-job training and distance learning all the more critical.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: de Beaumont Foundation. Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Leider and Mr Castrucci); and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Arlington, Virginia (Drs Harper and Bharthapudi).

ABSTRACT

Context: Educational attainment is a critical issue in public health workforce development. However, relatively little is known about the actual attainment of staff in state health agencies (SHAs).

Objective: Ascertain the levels of educational attainment among SHA employees, as well as the correlates of attainment.

Design: Using a stratified sampling approaching, staff from SHAs were surveyed using the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) instrument in late 2014. A nationally representative sample was drawn across 5 geographic (paired adjacent HHS) regions. Descriptive and inferential statistics were analyzed using balanced repeated replication weights to account for complex sampling. A logistic regression was conducted with attainment of a bachelor's degree as the dependent variable and age, region, supervisory status, race/ethnicity, gender, and staff type as independent variables.

Setting and participants: Web-based survey of SHA central office employees.

Main outcome measure: Educational attainment overall, as well as receipt of a degree with a major in public health.

Results: A total of 10,246 permanently-employed SHA central office staff participated in the survey (response rate 46%). Seventy-five percent (95% confidence interval [CI], 74-77) had a bachelor's degree, 38% (95% CI, 37-40) had a master's degree, and 9% (95% CI, 8%-10%) had a doctoral degree. A logistic regression showed Asian staff had the highest odds of having a bachelor's degree (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8; 95% CI, 2.2-3.7) compared with non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanic/Latino staff had lower odds (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-0.8). Women had lower odds of having a bachelor's degree than men (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.6). About 17% of the workforce (95% CI, 16-18) had a degree in public health at any level.

Conclusions: Educational attainment among SHA central office staff is high, but relatively few have formal training of any sort in public health. This makes efforts to increase availability of on-the-job training and distance learning all the more critical.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Percentage of Public Health Workers With Any College Degree (Top) and With a Public Health Degree (Bottom), by Degree Type and Respondent Age (Category)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4590526&req=5

Figure 1: Percentage of Public Health Workers With Any College Degree (Top) and With a Public Health Degree (Bottom), by Degree Type and Respondent Age (Category)

Mentions: Overall, a relatively small proportion of the workforce had a degree in public health at any level—17.0% (95% CI, 15.9-18.0). This varied considerably by demographic characteristics such as age (Figure 1) and position type (Figure 2). Among all administrative staff, about 2.3% (95% CI, 1.5-3.0) have a degree in public health at any level. About 11.5% of clinical and laboratory staff (95% CI, 8-14), 31.4% of public health sciences staff (95% CI, 30-33), and 10.6% of Social Services and All Other Staff (95% CI, 9.1-12.1) have a public health degree of some type. Replicating the logistic regression and substituting attainment of any public health degree as the dependent variable showed some variation regionally (see Appendix Table 2). Only one category of supervisory status was more likely to have a public health degree of any type (executive, P = .015) than the reference category (nonsupervisor). Women had higher odds of having a public health degree of any type than men (OR = 1.5; 95% CI, 1.15-1.99). Compared with non-Hispanic white staff, Hispanic/Latino staff and American Indian/Alaskan Native staff were less likely to have a public health degree of any type (P < .001 for each, respectively). No other statistically significant differences across racial/ethnic groups were observed. Compared with staff in administrative positions, those in the public health sciences were much more likely to have a public health degree (OR = 18.4; 95% CI, 13.3-25.3). Staff younger than 40 years had higher odds of having a public health degree than those older than 40 years. Among central office employees of SHAs, epidemiology, communicable disease, noncommunicable disease, injury, and oral health were the program areas that had the highest proportion of staff reporting a public health degree at any level (Figure 2). However, no area saw a majority of its workers with a degree at any level in public health.


Educational Attainment of the Public Health Workforce and Its Implications for Workforce Development.

Leider JP, Harper E, Bharthapudi K, Castrucci BC - J Public Health Manag Pract (2015 Nov-Dec)

Percentage of Public Health Workers With Any College Degree (Top) and With a Public Health Degree (Bottom), by Degree Type and Respondent Age (Category)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4590526&req=5

Figure 1: Percentage of Public Health Workers With Any College Degree (Top) and With a Public Health Degree (Bottom), by Degree Type and Respondent Age (Category)
Mentions: Overall, a relatively small proportion of the workforce had a degree in public health at any level—17.0% (95% CI, 15.9-18.0). This varied considerably by demographic characteristics such as age (Figure 1) and position type (Figure 2). Among all administrative staff, about 2.3% (95% CI, 1.5-3.0) have a degree in public health at any level. About 11.5% of clinical and laboratory staff (95% CI, 8-14), 31.4% of public health sciences staff (95% CI, 30-33), and 10.6% of Social Services and All Other Staff (95% CI, 9.1-12.1) have a public health degree of some type. Replicating the logistic regression and substituting attainment of any public health degree as the dependent variable showed some variation regionally (see Appendix Table 2). Only one category of supervisory status was more likely to have a public health degree of any type (executive, P = .015) than the reference category (nonsupervisor). Women had higher odds of having a public health degree of any type than men (OR = 1.5; 95% CI, 1.15-1.99). Compared with non-Hispanic white staff, Hispanic/Latino staff and American Indian/Alaskan Native staff were less likely to have a public health degree of any type (P < .001 for each, respectively). No other statistically significant differences across racial/ethnic groups were observed. Compared with staff in administrative positions, those in the public health sciences were much more likely to have a public health degree (OR = 18.4; 95% CI, 13.3-25.3). Staff younger than 40 years had higher odds of having a public health degree than those older than 40 years. Among central office employees of SHAs, epidemiology, communicable disease, noncommunicable disease, injury, and oral health were the program areas that had the highest proportion of staff reporting a public health degree at any level (Figure 2). However, no area saw a majority of its workers with a degree at any level in public health.

Bottom Line: Ascertain the levels of educational attainment among SHA employees, as well as the correlates of attainment.Women had lower odds of having a bachelor's degree than men (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.6).This makes efforts to increase availability of on-the-job training and distance learning all the more critical.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: de Beaumont Foundation. Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Leider and Mr Castrucci); and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Arlington, Virginia (Drs Harper and Bharthapudi).

ABSTRACT

Context: Educational attainment is a critical issue in public health workforce development. However, relatively little is known about the actual attainment of staff in state health agencies (SHAs).

Objective: Ascertain the levels of educational attainment among SHA employees, as well as the correlates of attainment.

Design: Using a stratified sampling approaching, staff from SHAs were surveyed using the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) instrument in late 2014. A nationally representative sample was drawn across 5 geographic (paired adjacent HHS) regions. Descriptive and inferential statistics were analyzed using balanced repeated replication weights to account for complex sampling. A logistic regression was conducted with attainment of a bachelor's degree as the dependent variable and age, region, supervisory status, race/ethnicity, gender, and staff type as independent variables.

Setting and participants: Web-based survey of SHA central office employees.

Main outcome measure: Educational attainment overall, as well as receipt of a degree with a major in public health.

Results: A total of 10,246 permanently-employed SHA central office staff participated in the survey (response rate 46%). Seventy-five percent (95% confidence interval [CI], 74-77) had a bachelor's degree, 38% (95% CI, 37-40) had a master's degree, and 9% (95% CI, 8%-10%) had a doctoral degree. A logistic regression showed Asian staff had the highest odds of having a bachelor's degree (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8; 95% CI, 2.2-3.7) compared with non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanic/Latino staff had lower odds (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-0.8). Women had lower odds of having a bachelor's degree than men (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.6). About 17% of the workforce (95% CI, 16-18) had a degree in public health at any level.

Conclusions: Educational attainment among SHA central office staff is high, but relatively few have formal training of any sort in public health. This makes efforts to increase availability of on-the-job training and distance learning all the more critical.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus