A well-ordered, functional society needs dedicated people to administer public policy. Politicians work with experts, lobbyists, and their constituents to craft policies with potentially far-reaching impacts on people, communities, and entire nations.
As always, however, the devil is in the details. Setting policies, passing laws, creating public programs – it’s a messy business just determining what should be done. Figuring out how to do it takes the challenge of social cohesion to the next level. Public administration operates in all sectors of society. A public administration career offers an opportunity to help implement and guide policy, directly impacting the lives of people where they work and live.
Public vs. Private
Working in the private sector brings benefits to society through the goods and services produced by companies. Ultimately, however, the bottom line is the primary motivating force for private business. As David J. Robinson writes in PA Times, “private sector business leaders are focused, as they should be, on creating profitable companies to produce returns for their investors.”
A career in public administration answers to stakeholders, not shareholders. Every member of society holds a stake in its good governance. Thus, the public administrator serves the welfare of the stakeholders within their sphere of influence. People, not profits.
A “Retirement Tsunami”
There is always a need for public leaders and administrators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, job growth under the broad category of Administrative Service Managers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 through 2028, faster than average.
However, as reported in Federal News Network, the federal government is set for a “retirement tsunami” of career employees, leaving a huge gap in available positions and qualified people to fill them. In 2000 there were 94,000 employees 60 or older working in government jobs. By 2016 that number grew to more than 260,000.
If the full scale of this exodus of retirees has not yet fully manifested, the writing is on the wall as more workers reach retirement age. The age gap is also much more pronounced in the public sector. Only 17 percent of the government workforce is under 35, compared to nearly 40 percent in the private sector. More than a quarter of federal workers are over 55.
Starting Your Public Administration Career
Arguably, the best public administrators are those with a combination of knowledge, skills, experience, and temperament for work in the public sector. Often, the best candidates for a public administration career are those already in the workforce, with professional credentials, possessing the experience and insight to understand the link between public administration and a well-functioning society.
There are many options for pursuing a Masters in Public Administration, but for the people described here – passionate and experienced professionals in their own right – which option is best? The online Master of Arts in Public Administration program at Touro University Worldwide (TUW) is designed for just this kind of person. TUW’s MPA is 100 percent online, allowing the flexibility required of students with current commitments to work and family.
Some other key features setting TUW’s program apart include no requirement for GMAT or GRE for enrollment, six start times throughout the year, the ability for full-time students to complete the program in one year, and very affordable tuition. In fact, Best Colleges Online rates the program among the top 20 most affordable MPA programs in the country. The curriculum entails the full spectrum of public administration, including government administration, human resource management, policy analysis, and nonprofit administration and management.
Upon completion, students possess the theoretical knowledge and applied practical concepts to launch their public administration career. Given the essential nature of public administration and the aging knowledge base of current practitioners in the public sphere, pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Touro University Worldwide is a great starting point for passionate students who want to make the world a better place.