Public administration is a complex career. It requires all the business knowledge of those who work in private industry but focuses all that expertise on providing services that help others.
Those who earn a Master of Arts in Public Administration are prepared to take leadership positions, typically either in government agencies or nonprofit organizations. Some also work in policy analysis.
With the availability of online master’s degrees, it’s more convenient than ever to earn a degree while maintaining your professional life. However, is public administration right for you? Consider looking into the field if any of the following apply.
You Value Ethics
Ethics are key to success in public administration. As a leader in a government-sponsored program, part of the focus is on applying best practices in process improvement to make operations more efficient. But that’s only part of the equation. Overseeing a public operation means having the trust of the people to provide the best services possible – a big responsibility that only those with high ethical standards can achieve.
You Want to Help Others
One of the key attributes of a successful public administrator is the desire to spend a career helping others. Public administrators apply all the financial, managerial and operational expertise of those in the private sector but with an eye not on profit, but on providing services to those who need it.
You’re a Natural Leader
Leadership abilities can sometimes seem hard to quantify, but certain attributes are common in most leaders. They include:
• Communicating with others
• Listening to others and knowing when to seek advice
• An ability to map out both short and long-term strategies
• Staying goal-focused and detail-oriented
Good leaders are both “big picture” people and able to sort through the details of how to get job done. It’s an unusual mix. But if you have it, run with it and see where it takes you.
You Want An In-Demand Job
Leadership in government agencies and nonprofit organizations is in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 18 percent increase in nonprofit social and community services managers alone.
You Want to Support a Cause
Those who work in public administration may focus their efforts on nonprofit organizations. This is especially true for those with a firm belief in a cause – environmental issues, for example, or supporting youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods. In this role, public administrators also learn the nuances of fundraising.
You Want to Shape Policy
Many who earn a master’s degree in public administration take positions in policy analysis, helping to shape the regulations and laws that affect different areas of society. In such a role, a public administration graduate assesses current policy and projects what changes will occur with a policy shift. A graduate program such as the one offered by Touro University Worldwide can help in this area, as it combines both theoretical and practical applications of public policy, including real-world examples of the impact of policy.
For those who have an interest or skills in the above areas, earning a master’s degree in public administration can open the door to many challenging, rewarding jobs. And with the ease of online education, the only real question is whether the job fits your interests and skills.