What Can I Do with a Master’s in Public Administration?

What Can I Do with a Masters in Public Administration

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If you’re passionate about helping a cause or community or are interested in the inner workings of government (federal, state, or local) a career in public administration may be a good fit for you!

A Master of Public Administration is a master’s level degree in public affairs for individuals interested in a management and leadership degree. The MPA is considered the public service equivalent of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

But what exactly can you do with a master’s degree in public administration?


The business fundamentals, interdisciplinary coursework, and analysis skills that come with an MPA make it a versatile degree. The majority of alumni who hold an MBA work in the public sector, with the rest split between different nonprofit and private organizations.

What Skills Will I Graduate With?


Sometimes, you’re hired not based on your degree, but based on what skills you developed while pursuing your degree.

A master’s in public administration will allow you to-

● Show leadership and precedence in public government
● Take part in the policy process and present new ideas during the policy process
● evaluate, integrate, and negotiate
● problem-solve
● Speak eloquently and articulately in conversations with communities
● Exchange information and new ideas with those who have different backgrounds than you.

What Type of Jobs Might I Have?


Small towns and big cities alike (along with counties and states) hire professionals with a degree in public administration for a wide variety of roles. Here are some examples of jobs in the public sector that you might hold after graduating with a degree in public administration-

● City manager.
● County administrator.
● Recreation manager.
● Urban and regional planner.
● Community relations manager.
● Director of economic development.
● Policy analyst.

On the other hand, organizations like non-profits also rely on professionals with a degree in public administration. Here are some examples of jobs in the private sector that you might hold after graduating with a degree in public administration-

● Assistant director of clinical research.
● Executive director.
● Communications manager.
● Director of Business Strategies.
● Grants administrator.

Who Might My Employer Be?


These are some examples of employers for graduates who currently hold this degree (though trust us, this list could go on and on).

● City of Boston
● Dell EMC
● Department of Education
● Department of Homeland Security
● Federal Bureau of Investigation
● State of New Jersey
● JP Morgan Chase & Co.
● State of Maine
● United Way

If you want to throw your hat in the ring for leadership positions in public administration, this is the degree you should aim for.

And if you find yourself asking “But what job will I get? What will I do?” don’t forget to consider the increased job opportunities this field will offer in the upcoming years.

A public administration master’s degree can lead to a lifelong career in government, public service, or the private sector. If you’re considering an MPA, don’t worry, you have plenty of options available to you.