Master of Public Administration Degrees
Students in a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree program are trained across an ever-widening array of disciplines that complement topics related to the public sector. Public administration professionals may work in so many disparate environments, with an overwhelming similarity: programs and services designed and deployed to local, state and national communities.
It should go without saying that candidates for a MPA degree must be passionate about a career in public service. Ideally candidates hold Bachelors degrees in political science, economics, sociology or business administration. This is not to say that other liberal arts majors do not suffice, since many duly prepare the right students for public sector service. Regardless, most MPA programs require credits in politics or government courses.
Candidates must also demonstrate above average scholastic aptitude, career motivation, leadership skills and highly evolved communications skills.
Interdisciplinary core curriculum includes: business administration, project management and performance metrics, marketing and sales, leadership and management, organizational behavior, politics and ethics, economics, sociology, information systems, and business communications.
PA electives might include: public law, public affairs and issues, economic development, management of information systems in the public sector, municipal government, and non-profit organizations. Electives provide a wide berth of know-how and students may begin to narrow their career interest.
The professional opportunities for a MPA are so vast that students choose concentrations in the degree that provide disciplined focus on a specific area of the public sector. Popular concentrations are healthcare, education, transportation, and community development, to name a few. Internship opportunities engage students in practical public administration environments and offer hands-on experience under the guidance of PA professionals.
The MPA in International Development is a cutting-edge fusion of the standard MPA and international affairs. Such a program remains in short supply, but is expertly designed to embrace globalization. Candidates synthesize disparate chunks of know-how from business, international affairs, economics, and public administration. At the same time each must embrace cultural differences and become fluent in one or more languages. Ideal candidates have four-year degrees and closely related work experience that qualifies them for a highly competitive program.
The Master of Public Policy Administration is similar to the standard MPA. Students choose from like concentrations, but the MPPA targets public policy a bit more concisely. Internships in municipal government offer students first-hand perspective of the public system at work.
Career opportunities for any one of the above degree graduates are boundless. Public sector jobs beg for well-qualified, diverse professionals with passion and innovative ideas. International public administration presents a compelling and highly charged international workplace. Loosely defined jobs allow for creative development and across-the-board opportunities to gain experience.