8 Degrees to Pursue to Give Back to the Community

By Shannon Gurnee
In Education
June 20, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about 8 degrees to pursue to give back to the community.

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Community service is a vital component in building resilient, vibrant communities. It’s an often overlooked yet fundamentally crucial aspect of society. And in our quest to contribute to society and create meaningful impacts, the role of education cannot be overemphasized. 

Not just any kind of education, but the pursuit of higher education programs designed to cultivate in us the skills and knowledge needed to give back to the community effectively. This is where our discussion begins, exploring eight degrees that you can pursue to contribute positively to your community.

Each degree we will explore offers unique opportunities and platforms to create change and foster development in various aspects of community life. From health to social work, environmental conservation to public policy, these degrees are gateways to transforming our world, starting from our local communities.

The Intersection of Education and Community Service

In an increasingly interconnected world, the bond between education and community service has become more profound. Fields of study like Public Health, Social Work, and Environmental Science can provide the theoretical foundation and practical skills to enact change in our communities. 

One area where we’ve seen significant advancements is the accessibility of these degrees through online platforms. For instance, obtaining a master’s degree has traditionally required a substantial commitment of time and resources. However, with the emergence of online education, this dynamic has shifted significantly.

Take, for example, masters of public health programs online. The ability to study public health online offers students the opportunity to develop the requisite skills and knowledge to address public health challenges without the constraints of traditional campus-based programs. These programs offer flexibility and the opportunity to learn from diverse professionals in the field, positioning graduates to be catalysts of community health and well-being.

By embracing this intersection of education and community service, we can prepare ourselves better to be effective contributors to our communities, thus amplifying our collective impact on societal health and prosperity.

8 Degrees to Pursue to Give Back to the Community

Degree 1: Public Health

Public health, a degree devoted to protecting and improving the health of people and their communities, is a prime example of how education can directly impact the community. Public health practitioners work relentlessly to prevent health issues from arising and spreading within communities. They do so by educating people about health risks and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Potential careers in public health are varied, from epidemiologists who study disease patterns to health educators who provide resources and knowledge to their community.

Degree 2: Social Work

The mission of social work is to improve human well-being and work to meet the basic and complex needs of people, particularly those who are oppressed, vulnerable, and living in poverty. A degree in social work equips you with the skills necessary to assess the needs of an individual or community and offer the support they need.

As a social worker, you can work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, and private practices. You could play a vital role in helping individuals, families, and groups cope with problems they’re facing to improve their lives.

Degree 3: Environmental Science

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field focused on resolving environmental issues for the betterment of the community. With an environmental science degree, you can contribute to understanding and solving environmental problems like pollution, deforestation, and climate change.

As an environmental scientist, you may work in a lab, a field, or an office, conducting research, writing reports, or advising policymakers. With this degree, your work will directly contribute to creating a healthier environment for your community to thrive.

Degree 4: Education

Education is the backbone of a thriving community. It equips individuals with the skills they need to succeed, fosters economic growth, and cultivates a sense of civic duty. Obtaining a degree in education allows you to play an integral part in this process, providing you with the tools necessary to shape the minds of future generations.

With a degree in education, you can work in a multitude of settings, not limited to traditional classrooms. You can become a curriculum developer, designing inclusive and comprehensive study materials, or a policy maker, influencing the course of education at a district or national level. Your contribution can make a significant impact on individual lives and the community at large.

Degree 5: Urban Planning

Urban planning is crucial for orderly growth and development in cities, towns, and other urban areas. A degree in urban planning empowers you to design healthier and more sustainable cities, taking into account factors such as population growth, infrastructure needs, and environmental impact.

Urban planners have a pivotal role in shaping the future of their communities. They work on various scales, from a city block to a metropolitan area. They also work across different fields, including transportation, housing, public spaces, and environmental protection. As an urban planner, your work can make cities more livable, sustainable, and inclusive.

Degree 6: Nursing

Healthcare is a fundamental right, and nurses are on the front line, ensuring that individuals receive the care they need. Whether you choose a nursing school in Philadelphia or one in Denver, a degree in Nursing gives you the clinical skills and medical knowledge to serve your community effectively. In addition to technical skills, nursing also cultivates empathy and communication skills.

As a nurse, you can work in hospitals, clinics, schools, or home healthcare. You could provide preventive care, educate patients about health conditions, and provide emotional support to patients and their families.

Degree 7: Nonprofit Management

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in community development, providing essential services, advocating for social causes, and filling gaps where public resources fall short. A degree in nonprofit management provides you with the necessary skills to lead these organizations effectively.

As a nonprofit manager, you would be involved in strategic planning, fundraising, program development, and community outreach. You would be instrumental in guiding the organization’s mission, ensuring it serves the community’s needs most effectively. This degree can be a gateway to creating meaningful change and providing critical services to your community.

Degree 8: Counseling Psychology

Mental health is an essential aspect of community well-being, yet it’s often overlooked. A degree in counseling psychology prepares you to provide vital mental health services to your community. It equips you with the understanding and skills necessary to guide individuals through life’s challenges.

Counseling psychologists work in a range of settings, including private practices, hospitals, schools, and community centers. They help individuals manage mental health disorders, cope with stress, and navigate personal issues.


Education is a powerful tool in shaping our communities. The degrees discussed in this article provide pathways for individuals to contribute significantly to their communities. Whether through healthcare, education, environmental conservation, social work, or public policy, these degrees empower you to make a difference. The opportunity to give back is not just a responsibility but a privilege that can lead to a fulfilling and impactful career.

About Has 2212 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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