If you’re considering an online MPA degree, you may have many questions relating to this field and what types of skills you will learn. Additionally, you may be wondering what types of jobs you will be qualified for with an MPA degree. In the following paragraphs, and within the resources published on this site, we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
What is an MPA Degree?
A Masters of Public Administration degree is designed for those who wish to have a management career in public service. The courses required to gain an MPA degree are designed to teach students the skills and techniques used by leaders and managers to implement programs and policies designed to affect change on a societal level. Professionals with an MPA degree are therefore equipped to work in a wide variety of non-profit, government, or private settings and have the leadership skills necessary to fulfill important roles in public administration. Gaining an MPA degree can help prepare an individual for the type of job that allows him or her to have a strong influence over public policy, bringing about benefits for those affected by these guidelines.
Who Can Benefit from an MPA Degree?
Individuals who have a strong desire for a career in public service are best suited for an MPA degree. While there are some overlapping similarities between a Master’s in Public Administration, a Master’s in Public Policy and a Master’s in Business Administration, an online MPA degree is specifically targeted to working in public service outlets. Therefore, an MPA degree is ideal for those with a philanthropic spirit, those who wish to work in the non-profit setting, or those who desire to work within a government agency.
- MPA and MPP Degrees: What Are They, and What’s the Difference?
- What is the Difference Between an MBA and an MPA Degree?
How Long Will it Take to Earn an MPA Degree?
The majority of MPA degree programs take about two years to complete. Individual experiences with the time frame required to complete the program will depend on their other responsibilities, such as family duties and secular work. MPA programs are offered at a variety of traditional schools. Individuals who are employed full time or who have busy family lives may benefit from completing their MPA degree online. This option will allow them the flexibility to fit the required courses into their daily schedule while still attending to their other responsibilities.
What Skills Will an MPA Degree Teach?
Earning a Masters of Public Administration degree will provide an individual with the unique skills needed to become an effective leader. Critical and strategic thinking are key components to effective leadership. Some of the other skills this type of degree can instill are listed below.
* Budgeting Skills
* Decision Making
* Strategic Management
* Human Resources
* Financial Management
* Political Advocacy
* Personnel Administration
* Analysis of Legislation
While this is not an all-encompassing list, these skills are vital aspects of the daily requirements an individual working in this capacity will need to perform. In addition to these important skills, an MPA degree will also teach an individual the values they need to make important decisions on sometimes sensitive topics.
For example, working in a government agency requires that employees understand the significance of the constitutional rights possessed by those they work with. While working under a government contract, if an employee makes a decision that violates a client’s constitutional rights, they could be held legally responsible for the infraction. A well-rounded program touches on the mechanical skills involved in this type of work, as well as the moral and ethical implications involved.
What Types of Jobs are Possible with an MPA Degree?
The types of jobs that are possible with an MPA degree can be further subdivided into several categories depending on which type of setting an individual would prefer to work in. These are listed in more detail below.
Job titles within the local government setting can include such positions as city manager, urban development planner, community affairs manager for individual counties, towns, or school districts, or social service administrator.
Job titles at the state government level can include such positions as administrative service manager, administrator for the judicial court system, or legislator for state government departments.
Job titles within the federal government can include such positions as administrator for federal agencies, administrator for the court system, administrator for presidential departments, or legislator for independent agencies such as environmental protection agencies.
Job titles in the non-profit sector include administrator, program manager, or developer for nonprofits and other charity or research foundations. Individuals with a philanthropic spirit will get a great deal of satisfaction from this type of work.
Job titles in the political setting can include administrator for an educational or public interest group, political party, or lobbying group.
Job titles in the business setting include human resources manager, manager of sales or marketing, or budget analyst. Individuals can be employed by a wide variety of businesses such as advertising firms, contractors, or consulting firms.
There are also a wide variety of employment options in the healthcare field. These job titles can include being an administrator in a hospital, nursing home, outpatient medical center, or social services agency.
Is an MPA Degree Worth the Financial Investment?
The cost of earning an MPA degree varies widely across the nation. The cost will depend in part on an individual’s location and whether or not they qualify for any type of financial aid that will cover a portion of your tuition. Is it worth it to go through the effort and the cost to obtain an MPA degree?
Related: Pros and Cons of an MPA Degree
While that is up to each individual to decide, statistics indicate that job applicants with a degree are favored over those without one. When a potential employer receives hundreds of applications for the same job, he or she may only have a few seconds to glance at each one before deciding who to interview. Potential employers recognize that prospects with a degree of this type have the dedication required to get the job done and the skills required to do the job properly. Therefore, adding the letters MPA behind their name can immediately set an applicant apart from dozens of others, making it more likely that they will land the job they are most interested in. Additionally, recipients of an MPA degree earn significantly more than those without a degree in the same types of fields. (See: MPA Degree Salary)
The information gathered here in the resources on this site will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding an MPA degree. This field continues to expand, offering many exciting job opportunities in all avenues of service. An online MPA degree can provide the skills and complex reasoning ability necessary to fulfill important management roles in whatever area of interest an individual would like to go into.