Top 3 Reasons to Consider a Career in Public Administration

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The White House

Today, organizations are increasingly looking for capable candidates driven by passion and overall goals. Public administration, in particular, can deliver fulfilling careers and require inspired individuals to pave the way forward.

So, why study public administration? For graduate students looking to further their skills and enter the field, there are a couple of key indicators that public administration is right for you.

1. Desire to Work in Government

Government positions impact the lives of every American and can even influence people around the world. When you think of government, you might imagine running for office or sitting at a desk all day looking through bills. While these options are certainly available, other opportunities in this space can capitalize on your capabilities and passions.

Go Government noted that federal jobs are available suited to every interest and skill. For example, a mathematics background and interest in the environment could lend well to becoming an accountant for the Environmental Protection Agency. Government workers will experience interesting and challenging opportunities to research and contribute to solutions both at home and overseas.

Besides the gravity of the role itself, public administration professionals working in government receive a wide variety of benefits. For one, average government salaries and benefits are competitive with private and nonprofit sectors. In addition, federal government job opportunities are virtually anywhere you might want to work and live.

Individuals in these positions can take advantage of flexible work schedules as well as chances to advance and develop professionally. These major benefits should be factored into your consideration of a career in public administration.

Imagine playing a role in addressing major issues like homeland security and homelessness, among others. It’s a significant responsibility, but one that’s apt for graduate students pursuing a Master in Public Administration.

Ohio University’s MPA 5850 Policy Analysis for Public Affairs and Leadership introduces students to ways to think about public policy, including recognizing key actors and forces in the policy arena. MPA participants can also take the MPA 5870 Financial Management in Government course to learn how to handle financial information in the sector and make sound decisions based on their analyses.

2. Aspiration to Impact Large Groups of People

If you want to help people, public administration is a great field to get into. You could work in a government position, as we have addressed, or you could work at a nonprofit. Nonprofits are essential for providing help to a variety of communities, like giving food to the homeless, fighting for human rights, and delivering health care.

Although running or participating in a nonprofit has its challenges, public administration professionals have the chance to impact large groups of people and learn from the experience. GLAAD executive director Joan Garry noted that by working in a nonprofit, you will discover how to work with difficult people, manage disparate stakeholders and meet amazing people along the way.

With a career in public administration, you can look back and say that you devoted your time to something that mattered. You will be able to work with others who care deeply about their work and encounter remarkable stories that will stick with you.

As Forbes noted, if you really wish to positively impact the world, engaging people in open, mutually beneficial ways and spreading knowledge will help uplift others and enable you to positively use your influence.

People who aspire to go into public administration in order to help others must commit to continual improvement. An MPA can help prepare students for this type of career and provide the skills necessary to see, learn, and experience new things with a compassionate heart while positively shaping the world.

Ohio University’s Nonprofit Management Concentration courses will introduce students to the tradition of philanthropy and fundraising, the role of the nonprofit sector, and how to support overall communications and outreach as a nonprofit leader.

3. Ambition to Become a Leader

Becoming a manager and thriving in the position has a number of challenges. Leading others is a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be in the right environment where you can prosper in the role. Public administration offers endless chances to manage and lead. Not only does space provide advancement opportunities, but also new issues emerge every day that a leader must be able to overcome. Coming up with solutions and capably managing others to solve issues is the true mark of a public administration professional.

Rising into the role of a leader comes with a variety of major rewards that will support you through your public administration career. Poynter noted that as a manager, you’ll be able to leverage your expertise while also building additional skills.

Being a continuous learner ensures innovation of processes for more engaging, meaningful work. Leaders also have the responsibility to help people succeed, build positive workplace culture, put things into perspective, craft strategies, and guide execution.

An observer should be able to watch your team and easily discern what they value and why, without reading your mission statement. These rewards of management will help your organization deliver services to the public and establish a satisfying experience for your workers.

Pursuing an MPA will give you the skills you need to effectively lead a team of people or an entire organization. Ohio University’s MPA 5140 Organizational Leadership course examines how organizations are described and theorized in public administration.

In the MPA 6010 Research Methods in Leadership and Public Affairs, students will examine basic principles in underlying social science research and how they impact public affairs.

Reach for Your Career Goals with Ohio University’s Master’s in Public Administration Program

Why study public administration? Because the opportunities open to those who hold an MPA degree are everywhere, in every city or town. Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and a wide variety of public-facing businesses are constantly seeking qualified candidates to help serve the needs of local (or national) populations.

Deciding on a career course is not always easy, but your choice can be easier based on your overall goals and aspirations. If you want to become a leader, help groups of people, or take up a job in government, public administration provides significant opportunities to meet these aims.

Students pursuing an MPA will learn the necessary skills to rise as a capable manager, fulfill government service objectives or contribute to a nonprofit environment. With public administration, professionals can work in fulfilling roles to overcome challenges, execute impactful strategies and deliver public-facing services.

To learn more about if a public administration career is right for you and how to advance your skills, visit Ohio University’s online MPA program page today.

Recommended Reading:

10 traits of a successful public administrator
What an MPA can do for your career
Public Policy vs. Public Administration: How Do Public Organizations Get Things Done?
What Public Administrators Need to Know About Private Contractors
Master’s Degree in Public Administration as a Route to Becoming a CEO


Pros and Cons of Working in Government
The Top 12 Reasons to Work in Nonprofit
9 Core Behaviors Of People Who Positively Impact The World
What Great Bosses Know about the Rewards of Management
Ohio University – Master of Public Administration Course Descriptions