Deciding between MPA and MPP degrees can be difficult since both degrees feature some overlapping skills. If you are interested in working within the realm of public administration, you may be wondering which degree is right for you. Here we will discuss what these degrees are and how they differ so that you can find the degree that is best suited for your personality, skills, and interests.
What is an MPA Degree?
A Master of Public Administration degree is a post-graduate degree that in the field of public administration. It is very similar to a Master of Business Administration except for the fact that an MPA operates in the public sector and an MBA operates primarily in the private business sector.
An MPA degree prepares students to serve in management positions in a vast array of sectors including local, state, or federal government, non-profit organizations, and many other areas. The instruction and education covered under an MPA degree is extensive and includes the following areas:
* Public policy management
* Legal Implications
* Regional Planning
* Public Finance
* Research Methods and Statistics
While this list is not reflective of all subjects studied under this degree, it demonstrates the fact that the subject matter is broad. Along with the unique skill set that is required to gain employment in a variety of settings, a student earning an MPA will also learn the communication and leadership skills needed to perform well in an administrative setting. Some of the jobs that can be obtained using this degree require the ability to work well under pressure as well as the charisma and confidence to skillfully lead and manage large groups of people.
What is an MPP Degree?
A Master of Public Policy degree is a post-graduate degree that provides extensive training in the analysis of policies and the evaluation of programs used throughout many public settings, such as schools. An MPP degree places primary focus on the careful analysis of issues relating to public policy and the decisions that need to be made periodically involving these issues and policies.
The subjects covered under this degree include extensive training regarding the role of economic and political factors in the creation and implementation of public policy, the economic analysis of various policy issues, and statistical analysis, cost versus benefit analysis, and the allocation of resources to effect policy changes.
How do these Degrees Differ?
While MPA and MPP degrees have certain similarities, they also differ in many ways. Part of the reason for some overlapping features is due to the fact that instructors realize that a proper understanding of policy analysis could, in fact, be beneficial for those working in public administration and vice versa.
Although the course work studied to obtain each of these degrees does overlap somewhat, MPP degrees still place much more emphasis on research, analysis, and evaluation. On the other hand, MPA degrees continue to place much more emphasis on the process of implementing public policies as well as the process of designing and enforcing projects that will successfully achieve the public policy goals. Some Universities even combine the two degrees to provide the maximum skill set possible for the student, allowing him greater control over his future job possibilities.
How do I Chose the Right Degree?
There are definite merits to both the MPA and MPP degree. When it comes down to making your decision between these two degrees, it’s really going to depend on where you want to place your primary focus and what sector you someday see yourself working in.
If you see yourself as being more interested in research and statistical analysis and evaluation, you may be happier with the type of career that an MPP can offer you. On the other hand, if you see yourself more interested in actually implementing or enforcing the policies and programs that come about from this research and statistical analysis, you will likely be happier with the type of employment that can be gained from an MPA degree. Carefully consider your future employment goals as well as the skills you naturally possess to help determine the type of career path that you’d be most satisfied with.
Deciding between MPA and MPP degrees can be a difficult decision when so many of the academic subjects covered seem to overlap. Consider this information when making your decision so that you can choose the degree that will lead you down the career path that is best suited to your personality, unique skills, and aspirations.