6 Best Bachelor’s Degrees for Doing Good in the World
Not everyone is interested only in earning the highest possible paycheck, You want to do good in the world — and to make sure you have as big a positive impact as possible, you need a degree. Education will provide you with the knowledge and skills you will use to change the world for the better, and it can introduce you to important people and organizations to help you make a difference. There’s just one question: Which of the following degrees will you pursue?
Public Health Degrees
If you have learned anything from living through a global pandemic, it should be this: Public health matters. Public health professionals are responsible for researching and developing programs that protect the health of individuals and communities. Unlike healthcare providers, who tend to focus on individual cases, public health workers maintain a big-picture perspective on health, putting time and energy into strategies for improving health conditions for all. Public health is a broad field of study that includes dozens of disciplines, such as behavioral science, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology and health services administration.
Political Science Degrees
Much of the wrongdoing in the world is caused not necessarily by individual action but by systemic injustice. Various systems within society advantage some with disadvantaging others; for example, in some places, it is easier for the ultra-wealthy to avoid paying taxes while the lower-middle class lose a significant amount of their income to taxation. Whatever wrong you perceive in the world, there is likely a flawed system behind it — and the best way to fix flawed systems is with government regulation. A political science degree will prepare you for a career in public service — in local, state or federal government — so you can tackle systemic injustices with knowledge and skill.
Criminal Justice Degrees
The criminal justice system is vast and complex, especially in America, which boasts the largest number of prisoners per capita in the world. However, the criminal justice system does not always function properly to protect everyone’s rights and safety equally. Though you do not necessarily need a criminal justice degree to participate in the criminal justice system — you can work in law enforcement, corrections and other sectors with on-the-job training — a degree can give you important insights into the history, structure, strengths and weaknesses of the criminal justice system as it works today. Then, when you acquire employment in the system, you will be armed with more knowledge and skill to make a positive impact.
One of the most selfless careers, social work involves helping the community’s most vulnerable members acquire stability and success. Social workers tend to be in direct contact with people who critically need social support, and thus, social workers can provide invaluable good to individuals and communities through assisting with access to career guidance, insurance, medical care, abuse intervention, legal representation, and counseling and more. Most social workers have a minimum of a master’s degree, and unfortunately, social workers are not well-compensated for their immeasurable contributions to their community. Still, if you are only interested in doing good, social work is an excellent career option to consider.
Mental health is only just becoming a respected component of a person’s well-being, but as interest and enthusiasm for mental health treatment grows, more people will need reliable access to mental health professionals, and the field of mental health will need to continue progressing in the knowledge and understanding of the human mind. Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is the first step to becoming a qualified mental health caregiver, as it provides a foundation in the structures, functions and behaviors of the mind. To practice as a clinical psychologist or become a psychology researcher, you will need to pursue advanced degrees and other credentials, but this degree is a vital first step to doing good in the world of mental health.
The natural environment is a mess, and it is all humanity’s fault. Fortunately, if the safety and success of the natural environment matters to you, there are some steps you can take to restore and preserve it — with a degree in ecology. Ecology is the study of the relationships between organisms and their environment. You can specialize in fields like restoration ecology, conservation or revegetation, all of which will give you insights into how you can work to keep native plants and animals happy and healthy despite human activity.
By no means are these the only degrees that allow you to do good in the world. In fact, any degree might give you the knowledge and skill to make a positive difference in some small or significant way. What’s important is that you maintain your core value of progressive change as you follow your passions throughout your career.