Professionals who work in the public administration field are charged with solving many of the economic, social, political, and human resource problems faced by communities and organizations today. In a public administration certificate program, students will cultivate skills that will help them address complexities and enigmas in the public sector. Those who enroll in certificate programs commonly take courses that discuss the duties of civil servants; how to address political, social, and economic problems; democratic values in society; the responsibility of government and corporate entities in communities; and numerous other important subjects. Graduates of public administration certificate programs often go on to secure positions in government entities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and corporations, universities, and political groups. Because public administration studies are heavily rooted in political science, economics, and sociology, students should be skilled in these three disciplines.
Types of Public Administration Certificates
Before transitioning into a public administration Ph.D. program, some students prefer to enroll in a myriad of preparatory courses. Certificates are beneficial to those who either brush up on their public administration skills, or want to get a taste of what to expect in a Ph.D. degree program. Oftentimes, many of the post-master’s courses can actually be transferred for credit toward a Ph.D. degree; however, some schools don’t honor post-master’s credits, so that’s something to be aware of. Moreover, some universities offer students the opportunity to forgo the traditional classroom and enroll in online classrooms instead. This is especially useful for students who are committed to full-time careers or have various personal or professional commitments. In an online program, students are allowed to complete their work at their own pace, as long as their work is submitted in accordance with course deadlines. If you’re interested in a post-master’s certificate, here are some common admission requirements to be on the lookout for:
- Master’s degree in public administration or related subject
- Current resume
- Professional and personal letters of recommendation
Public administration certificate programs online can take anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half to complete, with most programs requiring about 25-35 credits. In their studies, students will enroll in a myriad of in-depth courses that discuss topics in economics, government, public policy, fiscal administration, urban development, budgetary policy, and additional public administration subjects. Students may also be expected to complete an internship to satisfy their certificate requirements; however, this isn’t always the case.
What’s Next for Certificate Holders?
After completing their studies, certificate students have two options: one, to move forward with a Ph.D., or two, to enter the public administration workforce. For those who desire to continue their education, there are many Ph.D.s in public administration offered at universities across the nation. Those who have an interest in post-secondary teaching and research are strongly encouraged to consider a Ph.D. program, however.
Students with public administration degrees commonly secure positions as community service managers and human resource managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social and community service managers earn an average of $57,950 a year, while human resource managers make close to $100,000 a year. Both of these careers are on the rise, yet they are just two of the several jobs public administration graduates can secure. Post-secondary teaching positions are available to students who complete their Ph.D. For more information for job descriptions in public administration, see the BLS website.