Why Get a Public Administration Graduate Degree?

A graduate degree in public administration builds transferable skills in organizational governance, financial, human resources, program development and policy analysis.

Unlike a masters of business administration, or MBA, the masters of public administration, or MPA, gives graduates a background in managing many aspects of public sector, or nonprofit organizations.

The growth in the number of public administration degrees, particularly online degrees, in Canada and the United States means that the value of this graduate education training is increasing.

Public Administration Degree Increases Job Opportunities

Jobs for graduates of public administration or public policy programs include those with municipalities, states, provinces, the federal government, government agencies, non-profit groups and non-governmental organizations.

Examples of positions held by people with a masters of public administration include:

  • City Manager
  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Relations Director
  • Manager, Program Evaluation
  • Deputy Minister

Those with graduate public administration degrees find opportunities for promotion with current employers or are offered higher paying jobs with great levels of responsibility. At the same time, these graduates are in demand.

Public Management Jobs in Demand, Public Administration Graduates Needed

The Bureau of Labor Statistics with the U.S. Department of Labor reports that managers who can lead public sector organizations will be in demand over the next five years.

The job market boom for public administration graduates is much the same in Canada as the U.S. Universities in Canada have prepared for massive training to replace aging baby boomers as retirement levels increase in government jobs.

Many people are drawn to careers in public administration because of the variety of opportunities and the fact that these jobs are often unaffected by shifts in business cycles. However, changes in political leadership, such as a new city Mayor or other politician, can affect the number of people working in service to a public sector department or unit and the types of jobs available.

Online Public Administration Degrees for Working Professionals

In the U.S. and Canada, public administration or public policy degrees are also becoming more widely available as part-time and online degrees to offer the maximum flexibility to students. Some public administration degrees are offered through policy schools or policy institutes.

Many university programs in public administration offer courses to meet the needs of working professionals who may already be employed in a public administration role. Some degree programs also offer specializations in defense management, health policy, nonprofit management and governance.

The field of public administration enjoys a high degree of “interdisciplinarity,” taking from such fields as political science, urban planning, economics, sociology and gender studies. Most masters of public administration programs include courses in:

  • Microeconomics
  • Governance in public institutions
  • Quantitative statistics
  • Human resource management
  • Program evaluation
  • Financial management
  • Policy analysis

Public management needs are demanding that people possess the type of knowledge and skills that come from earning a graduate degree in public administration. A masters in public administration provides a range of leadership skills that are transferable and can apply to government, non-governmental and non-profit organizations.

Editorial Staff

Noah is a PhD student in modern European history who loves to find time for travel, learning new languages, and exploring the food in her New York City neighborhood.

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