Colleges and Universities throughout the United States report that degrees in the political sciences continue to be of interest to many students. This is certainly the case with administrative degrees such as the MPA. In 2012, more than 190,000 students graduated with some type of business degree, making this a huge area of growth and interest. Diversity is the name of the game, and there are a wide variety of MPA specializations that a recent graduate can explore. In the paragraphs that follow, we will discuss ten of the most exciting specializations that a graduate with an MPA can pursue.

What is an MPA Degree?

Before we break into the different specializations that a new graduate can look into, let’s explain exactly what is entailed in an MPA degree. A Master of Public Administration is a post-graduate degree focusing on the administrative aspects of management. Individuals may be employed in either the public or private sector. Recipients of an MPA degree are thoroughly trained to serve in management positions within a variety of settings including local, state, and federal government. Options also include jobs within the non-profit or commercial sectors.

The coursework studied to obtain an MPA degree is very diverse. The subjects studied include economics, urban planning, research methods, transportation, emergency management, and community development. This broad array of subjects studied is what allows for the diverse set of specializations that are possible with this type of degree. The following list provides ten of the most exciting areas in which a new graduate with an MPA may be able to seek employment.

10 Exciting MPA Specializations

Part of the extensive appeal of an MPA degree is the vast array of areas that a graduate can end up working in. With so many options to choose from, a graduate is much more likely to find one or more that appeal to their personality and skills.

#1 – Local Government

There are many career possibilities within the realm of your local government. These options can include being a police commissioner, being a director of urban planning, or being in charge of your local parks and recreation department. Everything from schools to hospitals and transportation directives generally has aspects of their operation that are managed on a local government level. All of these areas provide possible job opportunities for recipients of an MPA degree.

#2 – News Reporting

Both TV and newspaper reporting are also common areas of interest for those with an MPA degree. Your choice of a career in this genre will generally depend on whether or not you feel comfortable in front of the camera or prefer to work behind the scenes. In either case, the courses studied in the process of receiving an MPA will provide a student with the skills necessary to carry out the important task of reporting on our nations current events and those affecting your community on a local level.

#3 – Homeland Security

It’s no secret that threats of terrorism remain a primary concern for many throughout our country. The office of Homeland Security works hard to implement policies and procedures to protect all of us from this type of threat. Public administrators play a key role in the development and implementation of these programs that help keep America safe from the threat of terrorism.

#4 – International Affairs

Public administrators also have a chance to gain employment with organizations such as the United Nations. This allows administrators to help develop policies and programs that operate on an international level and affect large groups of people.

#5 – Health

Large organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control rely on the expertise of those with administrative degrees to help develop and enforce public policies that protect the health of American residents. On a smaller scale, local communities rely on these individuals to create and implement health programs affecting the residents of their individual city.

#6 – Criminal Justice

An often forgotten about specialization for this type of degree, the criminal justice system relies on a wide variety of programs and policies that serve to protect the general public. Those with administrative degrees are relied upon to help create and enforce these programs on a local level.

#7 – Urban Development

Both large and small communities continue to grow and change over time. This growth often requires that existing policies be updated or new ones created to better suit the needs of the growing community. Public administrators may be in charge of gathering and analyzing data that can help make these changes possible.

#8 – City Management

Administrators working with the city management sector are often in charge of the day to day operations of the city in which they work. This can also include financial planning and budgeting that allows for the proper management and growth of both large and small communities.

#9 – Transportation Systems

Transportation systems are complex and are generally made up of hundreds of different programs that are required to operate smoothly. Public administrators are the ones responsible for creating and implementing these programs that help our nation’s transportation systems run smoothly.

#10 – Non-Profit Sector

There are a wide variety of job options within the non-profit sector. Non-profit organizations are always looking for qualified individuals to help create and manage the programs they rely on to function. This can allow an employee to use their specialized skills to support a cause they are passionate about.

Is an MPA Degree Right for Me?

Ultimately, deciding whether an MPA degree is right for you will depend on many factors. These factors might include your personality, personal work preferences, current skills, and what type of setting you see yourself working in down the line. While choosing a degree can be overwhelming, these exciting MPA specializations show the level of diversity that is possible in this type of career setting.