Public Administration Degrees

A public administration degree prepares students for a leadership position working for a public entity, health administration or a nonprofit organization. Jobs for public administration degree graduates are available at the city, district, county, state, or federal level. Better paying jobs are available to the graduate who obtains a masters degree in public administration, but a bachelors degree in public administration allows the student to get an entry-level position. Many colleges and universities offer a public administration degree, and some even offer online public administration degrees.

General Information and Program Information Requirements

The general requirements to obtain public administration degrees are the same for entering college for most any degree, when a student is working toward the bachelors degree. The student must be a high school graduate and successfully pass any college admissions tests the school requires. Admissions tests include the SAT and ACT tests. Online public administration degrees are beneficial to those who need to work and go to school, or have a family to take care of. Online public administration degrees allow the student to work a flexible schedule. Obtaining a masters degree, public administration has different requirements. The student must have successfully completed a bachelors program with transferrable credits and a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The student must also take the Graduate Management Admission’s Test, the Graduate Record Examination or the Law School Admission’s test, depending upon the specific school.

General Course/Curriculum Overview

Students studying for public administration degrees have varied coursework. As with all college attendance, the core curriculum in general education must be completed and then the student completes the major coursework toward the degree. Depending upon the student’s particular interests, he or she may seek a major in planning, public transportation and other infrastructure development, nonprofit organization management, special district management, such as utility or water districts, local government management and more. Other focuses include public policy development and management, finance administration, labor management and human resources and more. All of this can be completed in a regular classroom setting, or by obtaining an online public administration degree.

Why The Degree Program is Beneficial

When considering a career path in public administration, an education is crucial. Most public and private organizations won’t hire people for management positions without a college degree or a degree in public administration. While some positions with the government and nonprofit organizations are promoted from within, it can take several years to get into management through the work experience path. Some government and nonprofit organizations won’t even review the resumes of those without public administration degrees or a college education. When you currently work for a public entity or a nonprofit organization and want to advance your career, a good option is studying for an online public administration degree. Some organizations even provide help with tuition for a degree in public administration. Combining work experience and an online public administration degree gives the graduate many career opportunities. However, the best opportunities await the student with a masters degree in public administration.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates with a masters degree, public administration are eligible to work as city or county managers, planners, department managers in city, district, or county government and with a focus in health care, can work as hospital or medical center directors or managers. Organizations where a masters degree, public administration benefits the student include nonprofit organizations. Local chamber of commerce’s for example, often hire those with a degree in public administration to serve in the executive director position at the chamber. Museum management, local art’s councils or any other type of nonprofit organization benefit the student with a public administration degree.

Professional Organizations

Several professional organizations exist for people who work in public administration. These organizations are a good place to conduct research, obtain career information or to research intern positions and find any financial aid or scholarship programs available to those who seek a masters degree in public administration. A few of the professional organizations include the American Society of Public Administration, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis, the American Public Works Association, the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Federal Manager’s Association.

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