Whether you are working in the public sector or a nonprofit, continuing your education in public administration can offer many benefits. Not only can you improve your own career prospects, but you can help your current organization as well. You could even use the knowledge gained in a public administration degree program to start and manage a nonprofit that supports a cause about which you are passionate.
Most people who pursue public administration education do so by earning a master’s degree in public administration or public policy (MPA or MPP). There are several different fields on which to focus an MPA degree including urban planning and community development. No matter which government or nonprofit sector you work in, you can find a degree program that will apply to your career. Here are several other reasons continuing education in public administration can be beneficial.
- Parallels with Business Administration
Just as an MBA is an excellent option for private-sector professionals who want to move into upper levels of management, an MPA offers similar benefits for public sector and nonprofit industries. Additionally, there is some crossover between the coursework in an MBA and MPA program, so if you aren’t sure about a career in the public sector, earning an MPA can still prepare you for work in a private company if you choose.
- Diverse Coursework
MPA students take classes in a wide variety of disciplines including economics, policy processes, accounting, and ethics. Depending on the focus of the MPA program, you could also have courses in GIS (geographic information system), management, and performance evaluation. The diverse coursework not only makes an MPA program interesting, it can also help you decide which area you’d like to pursue for the rest of your career.
- Impress Employers
Any sort of graduate level degree can help set your resume apart from other candidates during the job search. An MPA degree can be especially valuable because it offers a different focus than the ubiquitous MBA. Especially if you are thinking of working for a startup, nonprofit, or government organization, an MPA degree can help you secure the job you want.
- Make a Difference
If you have a cause that’s important to you, or you simply want to spend your life in service to others, earning an MPA can create new opportunities. For example, if you are passionate about helping improve your local community, you may spend your weekends volunteering. Earning an MPA could give you the chance turn that service into a full-time career.
- Earn Your Degree Online
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of earning an MPA is the opportunity to take the courses online outside of work hours. You can further your professional development and improve your career prospects without taking time off from your current job. For example, USC’s online MPA degree could be just what you need to get ahead in your job.
If you are looking to take the next step in your public sector career or thinking of starting a nonprofit, earning an MPA can offer many benefits. You’ll be prepared to excel in management and policy-making while also improving your value to potential employers. Online degree programs allow you to further your education without disrupting your career.