The best public administration professionals are the ones who commit themselves to delivering quality, reliable public service in the face of today’s growing public needs, diminishing resources, and hostile social tensions. Students who pursue a master’s degree in public administration will learn how to analyze public policy and consider the interests of citizens and organizations. They will also enroll in a myriad of graduate public administration courses, such as public administration management, budgeting and financial management, grant writing, policy analysis, public health administration, and urban policy planning. Those who complete a public administration degree often secure jobs in government organizations, health care administration, nonprofits, hospitals, and private practices.
Why a Master’s Degree?
Most management careers require employees to have at least a master’s degree. A graduate degree in public administration is an efficient way to build up the credentials necessary to move up in nonprofits and government organizations. A few of the most common positions students accept after completing a master’s degree include project directors, deputy directors, county commissioners, policy analysts, urban planners, social workers, budget analysts, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), urban and regional planners need at least a master’s degree. Social workers, as well, are required to have a master’s degree.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Applying for a master’s degree program can be somewhat daunting. The candidates are selected from a smaller pool, which often breeds competition. Regardless of background or qualifications, all students must at least meet the following requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree in public administration or related subject
- Relevant work experience
- Current resume
- Academic and/or professional letters of recommendation
- Passing GMAT or GRE scores
Inside a Master’s Degree Program
A master’s degree in public administration requires students to enroll in an array of courses that teach them about specialties within the public administration sector. Students will also be required to complete a dissertation of their choice under the supervision of university faculty. In their thesis research, students should seek to address a few of the problems, concerns, and trends seen in today’s public administration industry.
Because online colleges have expanded across the globe, more public administration masters programs online are being offered to students. These virtual degrees are ideal for students who prefer to pursue their studies outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. Online public administration courses are presented through a series of virtual materials, such as MP3 lectures, PDF notes, and numerous other elements.
What’s Next for Master’s Degree Holders?
Upon completing a public administration masters online, students can potentially apply for leadership positions in social work, public policy, government organizations, and nonprofit groups. The BLS reports that urban and regional planners make an average of $63,040 a year. Social workers make significantly less than planners, averaging about $42,480 in their annual salaries.
Students who want to teach or research in their careers are encouraged to consider a Ph.D. in public administration. In a Ph.D. program, students will undertake research opportunities extensive enough to be labeled experts in their field. For a list of all the business degrees available to public administration graduates, see this link.