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Public Management & Public Administration – Whats the Difference

What is the Difference Between Public Management and Public Administration?

As you explore the field of public administration,you may find the terms, public management and public administrationused interchangeably. Nevertheless, are these terms interchangeable? If not, then what is the difference between public management and public administration?Is there enough difference to make it a consideration in choosing your field of study in preparation forpublic administration jobs?On the other hand, is the new and different public management label an attempt to give administration more relevance in today’s society?

masters in public administrationis obviously a field of study. Public works administration is also defined as both a field of study and profession. According to some definitions, public management looks closely at the implementation of policies, procedures, and actions of administration in light of management in private and non-profit sectors. Public works administration traditionally has been connected to government offices or public service.

Administration is most often concerned with determining goals, objectives, and purpose while management functions to achieve the goals set by the administration. In an effort to overhaul government administration there have been efforts to blend these two aspects supporting the use of both administration and management interchangeably. This new administration explains the conflict or confusion sometimes experienced in clearly defining public works administrationtoday. Public administration jobs may include aspects of both administration and management. The flexibility of study involved Masters in Public Administrationgives you the background, knowledge, and versatility to handle this challenging field. While this diversity within studies for masters in public administration make it difficult to differentiate between administration and management, it also embraces techniques, theories, and planning from private management that places an emphasis on relationships between organizations, as well as relationships among those assigned the task of meeting the goals and objectives of various public service programs. Is this new public management or simply an evolution in growth necessary to adapt new technology and techniques to accomplish goals set by administration? The answer may depend on the organization in which you are involved.

A closer look at administration and management reveals various degrees of difference:

  • Administration: Determines policy, procedures, goals and objectives
  • Management: Carries follows or carries out the policy, procedures, goals, and objectives set by administration.
  • Administration: Is usually a top-level authority
  • Management: Is usually a middle-level authority
  • Administration: Has long been connected with government office, military organization, or educational organization.
  • Management: Has long been connected with business enterprises in the private or non-profit sectors.
  • Administration: Has been traditionally seen as making decisions based on politics, public opinion, or government policies
  • Management: Has been traditionally seen as making decisions based on personal values, opinions of managers, or the value to the bottom line profits.
  • Administration: Handles the business of the organization.
  • Management: Handles the relationships among employees.

No doubt, administration and management will be used interchangeably in some situations. For individuals currently exploring or having already obtained a Masters in Public Administration, there will continue to be evolving definitions as more public administration jobs join forces with non-profit and private enterprise to meet their goals and objective efficiently. You may even find yourself in a unique position to shape those definitions for local community, state, or national organizations. Any public service venture does require components of both administration and management to accomplish their mission. Public service organizations and non-profit groups as well as private businesses will continue to join forces. The most important point to remember is to not get so concerned over agreeing on an exact definition that you lose track of the goals the platform that public service has to offer that can make a real difference in your communities.

Public Administration – The Role of the Chief of Staff

What is the Role of Chief Staff in Public Administration

When you hear of anyone discussing a chief of staff position, your thoughts may automatically turn to the White House chief of staff position. However, there are also chief of staff positions available in public administration and public works administration. While specific job requirements will vary according to the agency, institution, or organization you are part of, there are basic expectations common to any chief of staff position. Three main roles you can expect to play as chief of staff in any organization will involve management, delegation, and advisory abilities.

A chief of staff often preforms numerous roles as part of a public administration position. Most often, you will find yourself in a management role that involves organizing and managing schedules for those within your department as well organizing a schedule of meetings and communications with the people in the top position of your company or organization. You will work closely with a CEO, president of an organization, or other high-level personnel within a public works administration organization and be involved in day-to-day operations. As chief of staff, you must have a clear understanding of the mission and vision of the public works administration organization with which you are involved. You must also understand and be able to work with the public administration style of those to whom you report. A chief of staff position involves overseeing staff management in an effective manner.

Your role as chief of staff will often involve delegating tasks and responsibilities to others while you see that the primary goals and objectives of your public service organization are carried out. To delegate tasks efficiently you must have an understanding of the roles other staff members play as well as personal strengths and talents. Again, this will relate directly to your understanding of the mission and purpose of your organization. Your ability to delegate tasks and effectively communicate progress towards meeting organizational goals is an important part of your role as chief of staff.

Though you may not have considered it, you may also find yourself playing an advisory role in your chief of staff position. The head of your service administration cannot be everywhere at once. Most chiefs of staff are expected to have a broad understanding of the organization and its effect on the community. In addition to your understanding of the mission of the organization, those to whom you report may rely on your connection to other staff members and the surrounding community to advise him of any issues that should be addressed before they become a problem. You may be expected to not only communicate potential problems, but also offer advice concerning possible solutions. With this combination of roles included in a chief staff position, you can understand why a graduate degree is a required part of your preparation. Individual chief of staff job descriptions vary but most have the same basic expectations of the role you play in the organization.

A masters in public administration offers the foundation to develop strong leadership skills needed to excel in the role of chief of staff in a variety of public administration jobs. The techniques and skills you develop during a masters in public administration program will be those you use to implement programs and policies influencing social change, while managing human resources, organizational, and budgeting challenges. The versatility and flexibility in a masters of public administration program allows you to combine your interest in public service, your personal experience, and your unique skills to design a program plan to enhance your strengths. Public administration jobs have the potential to make real changes in society at the national, state, and local levels. There are countless public administration jobs that have a need for strong knowledgeable chiefs of staff to help shape the future.

What is Public Administration

Have you ever listened to community forums or public hearings and thought your ideas could help your local community or government work better? Do you have ideas for services, or programs that would meet a need in your local area or state? If so, then a career in public administrationmight be your key to finding public administration jobs where you can put your ideas to work!

Public administrationis a wide field that involves people engaged in organizing and running public functions. Though some positions are elected, there is a wide range of public administration jobsavailable for those interested in a career where you can make a difference in how your government is run on a local, state, or national level. Public administrationemployees are involved in community planning, nonprofit management, economic, and urban planning at all levels of government.Public administration jobsinvolve an ever-increasing opportunity to influence social change through the implementation of ideas, strategies, and concepts. A masters in public administrationdegree is required for most administration positions. Obtaining a MPA gives you the flexibility to transition across public, private, and nonprofit sectors to get things done. A masters in public administration prepares you for public service careers in administration, health, environmental management, national security, and more. A MPA can also be combined with graduate degrees in health, social studies, law, engineering, business, or communications. Combining degrees may help you specialize after graduation.

Regardless of what areas of public economics, health, safety, or environmental issues you are ready to help advance in your community at a national, state, or local level, there are endless options available. You will find unlimited ways to put the leadership skills, communications skills, and networking skills, you have to use making changes that can affect your community for years to come.

Public works administration positions directly address issues that involve improving health services, overseeing environmental services, and other areas of public service. In the past, public service was limited to government employment opportunities. That is no longer true in the new public service positions. During the past thirty years, an increasing number of organizations have worked together to link together the government, private sector, universities, and local communities to address public policies and issues. A career in public works administration addresses relevant problems facing our society today. Job opportunities in public works administration can include areas such as:

  • Environmental agencies
  • Public programs management
  • Engineering
  • Public Health
  • Systems Analysis
  • Urban and regional planning
  • City managers
  • Economic development director
  • Parks and recreation administration
  • Human resources director
  • Homeland security
  • Conservation planners

This list is in no way all-inclusive, but provides an example of the diverse range of job opportunities available when you decide on a masters in public administration.

Public Administration Resource Recommendations

  • The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration is an excellent resource of information for both institutions and individuals interested in public service careers. Since 1970, the NASPAA has been instrumental in developing standards for MPA programs through peer reviews and accreditation. The NASPAA also works to promote internships and joint educational projects.
  • The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management APPAM includes a wide membership of organizations, academic partners, practitioners, and institutes that work together to promote research, education, and analysis of policies that influence local, state, and national policy management.
  • The American Society for Public Administration ASPA provides opportunities for individuals, organizations, businesses, and nonprofits to network with others involved in public service endeavors. The ASAP provides several resource for those interested in promoting integrity, accountability, and resource allocation in public administration careers. Visit the ASPA website for additional resource information.

Masters in Public Administration Salary & Pay

A Guide to Masters of Public Administration Jobs & Salaries

Careers in public administration involve the development, implementation and management of public and government policies. People who choose public administration as a career will find that there are a variety of paths that can be pursued for employment. This is particularly true for people who hold a public administration degree, such as a masters degree. As there are numerous job opportunities in public, state and federal agencies, it is important for students to explore all of the career options that are available to them when entering this field. Regardless of what career is selected, a bachelors degree is sufficient for entry-level positions to most public administration jobs. Graduates who are interested in future advancement opportunities and the best chance of initial employment, will find that a majority of employers prefer a masters in public administration.

Career opportunities for graduates

After obtaining a masters of public administration degree there are many career opportunities that are available. These job opportunities can be found at a local, state and federal level. Examples of careers for people with a masters in public administration include, but are not limited to, city manager, consumer safety inspector, medical and health services manager and foreign policy analyst. A city manager is a city’s administrative manager. It is typically an appointed position that is in charge of daily administrative operations of the city or town. Medical and health services managers are the executives and administrators that manage the delivery of health care services in either a specific medical department or of the general health care system where they are employed. Medical and health managers may be clinical managers or health information managers or administrators. People who work as foreign policy analysts address U.S. foreign policy and relationships with other countries. Consumer safety inspectors are people who work in private food processing plants to ensure that they are operating in accordance with sanitation and processing protocols to protect the consumer.

Public administration jobs can be found in various locations in the country and internationally. People with a public administration degree often work jobs in government agencies. Some of these agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to name a few. Positions for people with a masters of public administration may also be found in non-government agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

Salary information for different public administration jobs

Pay for people who are working public administration jobs will vary depending on the chosen career and whether or not the person holds a masters in public administration. The average public administration salary for a city manager is approximately $94,992. Pay rates for people who work as medical and health managers depend on the actual type, location and level of responsibility that is held. On average, the median salary for this type of job is $80,240. This changes however, when the type of facility is factored in. For example, the average annual public administration salary for health service managers in nursing care facilities is $71,190, and in physician offices it is $74,060. The median salary for a consumer safety inspector is $39,000; however a masters degree can increase the public administration salary for this job. A human resources director with a masters of public administration can expect to earn a median annual salary of $78,234.

Professional Organizations

There are numerous organizations for people who have entered the field of public administration. Some of the organizations are career-specific, while others address public administration as a whole. The American Association for Public Administration is an organization that was established for public administrators in general. The American Society for Public Administration, or ASPA, is the largest organization for public administrators and it is governed by four values. These values are Accountability and Performance, Professionalism, Ethics and Social Equity. Through the ASPA, members have access to events, publications and other resources and opportunities that are specific to public administrators.

The National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) is an organization that was established in 1983 and is located in Washington, DC. The purpose of this organization is to encourage the advancement of African-Americans with a public administration degree and who work in the field of public administration. It is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The organization currently has forty chapters across the U.S. Members of NFBPA have access to events, publications and a number of programs, awards and scholarships.