When deciding which career path to go down, it can be helpful to consider the pros and cons of an MPA degree. The political science degrees have many overlapping skill sets and cover a lot of the same subjects, making the process of choosing a degree difficult or overwhelming. When considering your options, it’s ideal to look at the pros and cons of each degree and decide how those fit into your personality, ethical beliefs, and career aspirations. The following paragraphs will highlight a few of the pros and cons of achieving an MPA degree to help you decide if this is an ideal career choice for you.
Cons of an MPA Degree
Earning an MPA degree can be an exciting and challenging prospect that leaves you with the opportunity to gain employment in a wide variety of sectors. Even though there are a number of advantages to obtaining such a degree, there are also a couple of cons associated with it.
* Con #1 – A Competitive Career
The types of careers that are possible in the field of public administration can be very competitive. Depending on which sectors you would like to gain employment in, you may find that there are very few job openings and you may be competing with a number of other qualified applicants. This is especially true of public administrators who wish to work within various government agencies. While there continues to be a high demand for this type of employment, there are relatively few job openings in these types of sectors. Additionally, these are jobs that do not have a high turnover rate, so once an applicant has been hired, they’re likely to remain in their position for a number of years.
* Con #2 – High-Stress Employment
Public administrators often serve in capacities where high stress is the order of the day. In many cases, a single government employee could be responsible for seeing to it that all of the proper policies and programs are implemented correctly. In some cases, this could leave one individual responsible for dozens of such programs. Additionally, the job doesn’t end with the creation and implementation of these policies and programs. A public administrator will also be responsible for evaluating the success of the policies frequently along the way, making appropriate changes and adjustments as necessary. Last but not least, instructing large groups of other people can require the use of advanced leadership and communication skills. All of these things combined can lead to a rather stressful workplace with a lot of pressure on you as an individual to get the job done properly.
Pros of an MPA Degree
Of course, where there are cons there are always pros to the same career choice. This is certainly true with an MPA degree . The following are four pros of this type of degree and what they can mean for you if you choose this career.
* Pro #1 – A Choice of Career Paths
As a public administrator, you will be able to gain employment in both private and public sectors, opening the door to a wide variety of career options for you. Whether you see yourself working in the federal government or a non-profit setting, all of these and more are possible with the MPA degree.
Related reading: 5 Things You Can Do With an MPA Degree
* Pro #2 – Getting to Work Directly with Others
The roles that public administrators fill often utilize advanced communication and leadership skills. Both intimate one-on-one meetings and large gatherings of hundreds of people will be a regular part of this type of job. For those who love working with others as well as managing large groups of people, this is a major plus for this type of career.
* Pro #3 – Learning and Studying a Variety of Subjects
When considering the pros and cons of an MPA degree, if you enjoy studying a wide variety of subjects, you will likely be pleased with having this option. In your academic career toward earning your MPA degree, you will gain extensive knowledge on a variety of subjects. Some of these subjects include economics, legal issues, statistical analysis, international affair, environmental aspects, and much more. If you like to keep your academic career exciting by covering a wide variety of topics, this field may be a good choice for you.
* Pro #4 – An Excellent Starting Salary
While money is certainly not everything, it can play a significant part in the career choice that a person makes. Depending on the sector in which you choose to work, public administrators hold some of the highest paying positions in the political science area. If the possibility of earning an excellent starting salary is high on your list, you may want to carefully consider this type of career. Income levels will vary from location to location, usually with larger cities experiencing better pay. However, the potential for a great starting salary is present with many job opportunities within the field of public administration. (See: MPA Degree Salary)
Deciding on the Right Degree for You
Ultimately, choosing the right career path will depend on a variety of different factors. You will need to carefully envision where you see yourself working in the future. Additionally, it’s important to take into consideration your current skills and the natural talents that you possess. When considering the pros and cons of an MPA degree, keep in mind the information above to help determine if this career choice would be a good fit for you.