The field of public administration continues to be a popular career choice for college students. In fact, statistics indicate that during the 2011-2012 school year, over 190,000 students graduated with advanced business degrees including the MPA degree. Since this is an area that is commonly explored by students looking to decide upon a major, it’s not uncommon for students to wonder if such a degree is worth the time and money that accomplishing it will require. Here we will explore the MPA degree in more depth and discuss some of the benefits and job opportunities associated with such a degree.

What is an MPA?

A Master of Public Administration degree is an advanced business degree option for those who wish to pursue management level positions. Graduates who earn this degree are qualified to work in both the public and private sectors . Many choose to work within the realm of local, state, or federal government. Others choose to focus primarily on corporate or non-profit sectors. In either case, employees working in this capacity have the important task of creating, researching, and implementing policies and programs that help our society function in a manner that is beneficial to everyone involved.

The course work involved in earning this degree is varied and covers a multitude of subjects. Some of the subjects studied include economics, law, transportation, urban planning, emergency management, environmental policy, and education to name just a few. While this is not an all-encompassing list of required subjects, it demonstrates the diversity of the subject matter covered under this degree.

Four Benefits of Earning an MPA

The proper functioning of society on both a local and national level requires the employment of many professional managers that help create and enforce necessary policies and programs. There are several benefits to working in this capacity, as listed below.

Choice of Profit or Non-Profit Sectors

Due in part to the diversity of the subject matter covered with this degree, a new graduate will have the skills necessary to work in either the profit or non-profit sectors. There is also a great deal of focus placed on learning important functions relating to public policy, which includes experience in economics and public policy analysis. Job candidates will have many overlapping skills that will help qualify them for a wide variety of jobs under the umbrella of public administration. This can also make the career options more open and can help new graduates find appropriate work faster and with less competition.

Maximum Flexibility

Continuing in the same line of reasoning, people from all backgrounds and with all types of interests and goals can be a good fit for a public administration program. Due to the vast array of subject matters studied in preparation for this degree, there is a lot of appeal for those with an interest in economics, human resources, and environmental or government affairs. Many students are more drawn to career choices and degrees that allow for a broad array of job options rather than those that are more limited in scope.

High Value through Accreditation

An MPA is a degree that can be earned through traditional colleges and universities or in online venues. No matter which type of school you choose to utilize to earn your degree, accreditation programs help ensure that the level of education you receive is consistent and of the highest quality across the board. There are currently over 170 accreditated programs to choose from throughout the United States, ensuring that you get the kind of quality education that will lead to a successful future career.

Good Planning for an Excellent Career

With the right degree of planning and foresight, an MPA continues to be a degree that holds some of the best job options with some of the highest pay rates within the industry. Studying such a variety of in-depth subject matters can seem overwhelming, but with proper planning and an end goal in sight, it can be a task worth taking on. It’s a good idea to have in mind a goal for your future career, even if it ends up changing somewhat along the way. Consider what sector you see yourself working in and plan your college and career goals accordingly. It’s important also to remain flexible and realize that the beauty of this type of the degree is the wide variety of job options that it can provide.

Things You Can do With an MPA

Gaining an MPA can allow you the freedom to work in dozens of professional job roles where you will be able to further develop your management and interpersonal skills. Some of these job titles include the following.

* Public relations consultant

* Director of Human Resources

* Foreign services manager

* Budget director

* Public housing manager

* President or Vice President of a corporation

This list is just a drop in the bucket of the many career options that are possible with a public administrations degree. Depending on your personal interests and professional goals, your options for employment are wide open.

Is an MPA Right for You?

In conclusion, it’s easy to see that the MPA degree will continue to be a popular choice for American students. Whether you want to work directly with the public or wish to focus on the private sector, this degree will afford you the opportunity to have a variety of career options at your disposal. Therefore, you are sure to find a career option that suits your personality and your unique skill set.