What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Public Administration

By University Staff

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA)

According to the International City-County Management Association (ICMA), public administration may be “the hottest career you’ve probably never heard of.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) supports that argument. Indications are that jobs in public administration will continue to grow and will grow faster than average for several years throughout both the government and non-profit sectors. 

If you have already completed your bachelor’s degree and are looking to take your career to the next level in either the public or private sector, then an online master’s degree in public administration can help prepare you for a variety of different roles. Take a look at these five career opportunities and see if they align with your goals.

1. Urban planner

As an urban or city planner, you will be tasked with keeping communities prosperous and healthy, as you will be in charge of monitoring the fluctuating population growth in your community. You will specialize in the use of land for public facilities by creating programs in the specific jurisdiction you are assigned to. These public facilities can include schools, libraries, and parks, among others.

2. Non-profit and NGO director

As a director in a non-profit or NGO, you will oversee different departments in your organization. Often times, if a non-profit or NGO is smaller in size, the more involved the director is likely to be in each department. These departments can include marketing, fundraising, human resources, and accounting.

3. Personnel manager

While the title personnel manager can be broad, the general duties remain the same. As a personnel manager, you will be tasked with managing a company’s employees. Employment, training, support, and managing records are just a few things that you will be in charge of. 

4. Policy analyst

As a policy analyst, you will be tasked with analyzing the potential effects of a government policy or program that is under consideration. Such programs can often have positive and negative impact on the public. Having someone such as a policy analyst can help determine if a certain policy is worth pursuing. 

5. Legislative advisor

Legislative advisors, or legislative assistants, are professionals that work in the offices of senators and congressmen. They can assist and support these representatives by drafting and monitoring legislation, providing research, and leading public relation and communication initiatives. 

Additional Reasons to Pursue Your MPA

Today’s society is also more cognizant of social priorities, and corporations are taking notice. Many companies hire individuals with an MPA degree to help develop more socially conscious programs and policies. 

An MPA degree is flexible and is useful across multiple occupations and sectors. It is because of that flexibility that there is so much potential in government, non-profit, and corporate organizations for those with an MPA. ICMA noted in 2006 that “nearly two-thirds of city, town, and county managers surveyed, possessed a master’s degree in public administration, public policy… or other advanced degree” and that’s just local government. 

The U.S. government is the largest employer in America. In the non-profit arena, individuals in positions such as community service program managers and providers also hold master’s degrees (OOH, 2018). Other opportunities exist in emergency management, research, and the growing number of non-governmental organizations engaged in public-private partnerships. Each of these positions require professionals who understand the unique challenges of mission-based public management, as well as public service values. Careers in Government noted that “options are endless and the services in the government are always changing.” 

Pursuing a master’s in public administration will help equip you with the skills needed to explore jobs in various market sectors, both public and private. To learn more about the University of Arizona Global Campus Masters with a Specialization in Public Administration degree program and discover the benefits associated with this online degree, contact an advisor today.

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Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.