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Shaping Society: 4 Surprising Ways Public Administration Influences Society

Updated on September 11, 2017

If you are stuck trying to find a career that's meaningful, you might consider public administration. This is a rather broad field with plenty of opportunities to make a difference in the world. Public administration is all about dealing with public agencies. So, you can make a profound difference in your community and the world.

Typically, public administration roles are the ones happening behind the scenes. Almost like a stage-hand on a play. Without them nothing would work correctly, but very few people in the audience will see them going about their business. You could almost call public administrators the unsung heroes of modern society. So maybe it’s not surprising after all that they influence society in these five ways:


Safer communities

Public administration is a career field all about observing what's going on, and one of the biggest things to pay attention to is crime stats. If you notice a sharp spike in crimes in a certain area, you would need to think about what measures could be implemented in order to combat this. Whether it's more law enforcement, stricter laws for things like loitering or something else, your role in public administration could make a huge difference.

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Better educational access

It is vital to pay attention to statistics regarding education. If you find out that children in a certain area are grossly deficient in their reading abilities, then you have reason to argue for legislation or policies that would better educational access and resources in affected communities.

Impacting environmental policy


Public administration can also go beyond local and to a global level. By paying attention to environmental trends, particularly in regards to global warming, you can make a huge difference to the world at large. Promoting green energy sources is another thing that someone in a public administration career could do. With the influence you would have on city planning and utilities, you could help make strides in your local community towards reducing fossil fuels and finding more ways to use solar and wind energy.


Healthier people

The health of a government's people is of the utmost concern. If there seems to be a certain illness that's affecting a wide range of the population, you have reason to suggest a policy change that addresses it. For instance, if a certain type of deadly drug is prevalent, you could suggest more police checkpoints at the border. Public administration also works closely with public health and healthcare systems, meaning that you can have a significant impact in this area.

You may also have to deal with epidemics like the bird flu or swine flu. You probably won’t actually be the one researching cures or treating people, but typically large-scale disease outbreaks like that cause some public unrest. That would be your job. Helping the population to stay calm in the face of a frightening new condition. Finally, when natural disaster strikes you would be very much involved in planning and coordinating relief efforts. If you’re watching the news about hurricane Harvey and wishing you could do more to help, public administration may be a good field for you.

We hope this has given you a good sense of how public administration influences society. In this field, you're sure to come across all kinds of issues affecting people around the world. If this intrigues you, consider pursuing a masters of public administration online or something similar. By using your sense of critical thinking, you can make a difference, one step at a time.

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