Earning a Master’s of Public Administration degree requires a year or two of study and gives an advantage when applying for jobs at all levels of government and all types of industry. Degrees may be earned in traditional brick-and-mortar schools, as well as online courses. A regular course of study requires students to study throughout the year, but some programs tailor the study to the student’s needs. Part-time or weekend study is an option.
All levels of government hire holders of MPA degrees. Local government work for the MPA holder involves jobs in city management, social services, community affairs, general services, financial administration, budget analysis and city operation and management. Counties, municipalities and school districts look for an MPA degree when hiring.
Regional governments employ master’s degree holders in the legislature, administrative services and judiciary. Work with the legislature may include drafting new bills, consulting on budgeting issues, researching issues and auditing programs. The judicial branch at the regional level hires MPA holders to assist trial courts. Specialized master’s program courses with an emphasis in government stress skills required for employment.
National-level work for the MPA degree holder involves employment working in technical and administrative issues. Agencies, including the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting Office, use graduates with a master’s degree in public administration. Congressional offices also employ MPA holders, as do the local administrative offices of the office holders. Congressional committee work involves specialists who have earned a master’s degree in public administration.
There are less numerous opportunities for the master’s of public administration holder on the national level than other levels of government. There are service opportunities, however, at the highest levels of the judicial branch. The Executive Branch also employs the MPA holder in cabinet-level offices. MPA graduates are frequently hired as representatives to trade groups, economic advisors, budgeting administration and all national-level departments, including executive-level divisions. Independent agencies at the national level use MPA holders to work with the General Services Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Small Business Administration.
Nonprofit organizations and public-sector businesses also hire graduates with a Master’s of Public Administration to assist in administrative work and in development to attract sponsors and donations. The private-sector jobs involve think tanks and public research agencies, as well as consulting and contracting companies. Political groups and private lobbyists use MPA degree holders to craft and execute message campaigns using the employees’ training in public policy and statistical abilities. Large corporations and health care companies employ people with MPA certificates to work in personnel and human resources, marketing, sales, management and budget offices.
“The Public Administration Theory Primer,” H. George Frederickson and Kevin B. Smith, 2003
“The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance,” Lester M. Salamon, editor, 2002