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.