ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Public Administration Careers

Updated on February 7, 2018

Advanced degrees have almost become a necessity in today’s competitive job market. The MPA (Master of Public Administration) is one of the most popular graduate degree programs. Earning an MPA provides a great opportunity for career advancement as well as limitless opportunities to serve the community. The MPA program provides courses that prepare students for leadership in the workplace, whether it’s in the public sector or the private sector.

The MPA degree is most suitable for employment in the public sector. The MPA is also appropriate for employment in non-profit agencies. MPA graduates also become leaders in the private sector as administrators and entrepreneurs. Courses focus on solving problems in government settings although MPA graduates can succeed in a variety of career fields. Students often utilize case studies based on real life situations to develop strategies and solve problems. Students also conduct research on various aspects of management in government and non-profit agencies.

MPA Program Structure

Core Courses

Most graduate programs offer core courses and concentration courses. Core courses are classes that are required for all students to graduate. These courses tend to be more general in nature and provide a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of public administration. These courses are also heavily based in theories and the history of public administration. Core courses in public administration are focused on policy analysis, decision making, and basic concepts of management in government and non-profit settings.

Concentration Courses

Concentration courses, as the name suggests, are courses that concentrate on the specific area of study that the student would eventually like to put into practice after graduation. Similar to undergraduate studies, students take general education courses then take more specific courses tailored to their preferred profession. Concentration courses prepare students for their specific interest in public administration. Here are some of the typical concentration areas offered by most MPA programs:

Non-Profit Management- Students take courses in grant writing, grant management, and program evaluation. Students also learn about grant management and budgeting for non-profit agencies.

Public Management- Courses are focused on governmental finance and intergovernmental relations.

Health Care Administration- Students are prepared to serve in management positions in hospitals and public health centers.

Human Resource Management- Students take classes in public personnel management and performance evaluation. Students prepared to management level human resource positions in government agencies.

Criminal Justice- Students take advanced courses in criminal justice administration. Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to take on management positions in corrections, probation and parole, and law enforcement agencies.

There are several MPA programs that offer the flexibility of online and on-campus learning options. MPA graduates enjoy a variety of career opportunities. I have listed some the opportunities available in the public and private sector.

Career Opportunities for MPA Graduates

Public Officials- MPA graduates can serve as elected officials in local, state, and federal government. MPA can serve as members of city council and city managers. They can also serve as state and U.S. senators as well as state and federal cabinet positions.

Non –Profit Management Positions- Countless non-profit organizations need financial managers, grant administrators, and research analysts. These professionals to provide leadership in agencies such as the United Way, American Red Cross, and AARP just to name a few.

Leadership Positions in Government- MPA graduates find positions as department supervisors, department directors, and program administrators. These positions are available at a variety of local, state, and federal agencies.

Budget Analysts- Budget analysts provide financial management to public, private, and non-profit agencies. Budget analysts play a critical role in these agencies by monitoring spending, preparing annual budgets, and preparing various reports for department and agency directors.

Policy Analysts- Policy analysts also find opportunities in the public and private sector. They work with agencies to develop various organizational policies and procedures. They also review and “analyze” to determine is polices need to be adjusted.

Healthcare Administration- MPA graduates find leadership opportunities in clinic and hospital settings. These positions often include office administrators as well as finance and billing administrators. Healthcare administrator positions are often in public healthcare centers. However, these positions are also in private hospitals, medical centers, and private practices.

Human Resource Management- MPA graduates work in public and private human resources departments. They are responsible for developing job descriptions, processing new hire documentation, training, and handling employee complaints and discipline.

MPA degrees provide countless opportunities for career advancement in the public and private sector. There are several MPA programs available to meet the needs of busy professionals. You will develop leadership and decision making skills that can be used in just about any work environment. MPA graduates also develop critical thinking skills needed to analyze important policies and manage large organizations.

© 2013 Martin D Gardner


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)