The Best Guide to Online Public Administration Degrees

Colleges that offer online Public Administration degrees design their programs to train professionals for management positions in many diverse agencies within society. Local, state, and national government positions can be obtained by graduates within this discipline, which can include managing the functions of public services agencies and planning for future improvements. Public Administrators can also be found in nonprofit organizations, social service marketing and advertising, and specific departments within social services.

Public Administration Degrees

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Drake University Bachelor, Master Business, Analytics, Public Administration, Teaching, Health Website
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What Can You Do in Public Administration?

One of the many roles of the Public Administrator may be to ensure that agencies are providing great quality services, following all predetermined laws and guidelines associated with their services, and engaging in the planning and implementation process for new and innovative public programs.

The leadership aspect of this career field may also entail the hiring and training of new employees and conflict management within their particular career field.

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Since Public Administration professionals may be responsible for ensuring the delivery of high-quality public services to the public, their roles within communities can come in many forms and fashions. Team members, leaders, and creators of public service organizations may hold degrees within this academic field.

Skills and Attributes Beneficial in Public Administration

Students that have made the decision to pursue degree programs in Public Administration online should consider what aspects of their own personality could be beneficial both in the degree program and in a career. Careers within this specialized field may be found in large organizations responsible for issuing public programs that can change lives.

As a professional in these organizations, it may be necessary for you to be well-organized and have the ability to manage a large team of employees working towards a common goal. Public Administration organizations may be greatly influenced by social regulations, making knowledge of these policies extremely important for upcoming professionals.

There are certain attributes that can assist you in meeting the recommendations of professionals in this field, providing ample leadership to organizations that serve the public, and can be beneficial as you work according to government regulations. If your personality is representative of some of the concepts, your involvement in a Public Administration degree program could lead to exciting careers within this field. Our team of educational experts recommends that you browse through some of the most preferred traits below to see if this field could be a great fit for you.

Public Administrator Characteristics

Strategic Thinking
Excellent Problem-Solving Skills
Effective Teaching/Guidance Abilities
Knowledge of Leadership and Management

The MPP as a Building Block to the MPA

If you have spent any significant amount of time researching the Public Administration degree online, you may have found that there can be many different options to choose from in terms of degree specialty. Typically, these specialties can help you focus on specific areas within the field of Public Administration, helping you to become more fluent within your concentration.

In comparison to the Master of Public Administration, there is 1 degree program that may contain some similar elements, making extra attention necessary before making your decision. The Masters in Public Policy is often found at universities offering online Public Administration degrees. This degree program can help students learn more about the research and development that goes into creating useful and innovative public policies.

While the course work for the MPP and MPA may be similar to upcoming students deciding on which program could be best, the outcome of both degree programs can be very different. Essentially, the MPP program can train professionals to analyze public policies, gather information to update or change policies, and teach the skills necessary for officially changing these policies. The MPA program trains students to use the policies provided by MPP holders to change and influence certain social groups. In theory, the regulations and policies provided by MPP graduates may be the very tool by which MPA graduates can successfully help others within society.

Degree Programs Available in Public Administration

Bachelors in Public Administration

BPA programs can be the best 1st step for upcoming Public Administrators. These programs can last an average of 4 years for most students and consist of both generalized and Public Administration-focused coursework. Graduates of this degree program may be eligible for acquiring entry-level positions in public service agencies, case management positions, or even administrative careers in varying sectors of social services.

Masters in Public Administration

Masters in Public Administration degree programs may the most popular level of degree for students interested in obtaining meaningful and influential careers in the public domain. These degree programs can allow students to choose a specialization with their program, which can be a helpful tool for gaining more expertise within a specific subject area. Some common specializations may be Nonprofit Leadership, Healthcare Management, and Human Resources Management.

The course work involved in this program may include advanced topics in Public Administration, as well as specialized topics that can introduce you to new topics within your area of focus. The masters-level can be an ideal place for management-minded students to set their roots, since advanced degrees may often be required for leadership positions in the field. If you were to enroll in a Masters in Public Administration degree program, you could complete your program within 1-3 years depending on your enrollment status.

PhD in Public Administration

Students interested in moving further along in their Public Administration educational experience can indulge in PhD programs in Public Administration. These programs may be highly research-based with some elements of leadership and management included. These programs may be most beneficial for students interested in working in fields such as education, research, or public service analysis. Most PhD programs in Public Administration can take anywhere from 3-5 years to complete.

Certification Programs

Graduates of the BPA, MPA, or PhD in Public Administration can also seek out degree advancement certifications to help obtain the careers they desire. Certification programs may be 1-2 years in length and consist of specialized topics to help you learn more about different aspects of Public Administration. A generalized Certificate in Public Administration may be available to students from other disciplines, while MPA holders may be eligible for certificate programs in Public Policy, Public Affairs, or even Public Health.

Potential Careers for Public Administration Graduates

Finance/Budget/Fiscal Management: Salary of $125,080 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 19% over the next decade (BLS)

Financial managers in Public Administration may have a variety of responsibilities within their organizations, including oversight of financial record keeping, tax planning, purchasing, grant writing, and the development of budgets. Managers within the field can be hired with a BPA, but obtaining a MPA or higher could set you apart from the applicant competition and lead to better salaries depending on where you are employed.

City Management/Local Government: Salary of $82,100 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 18% over the next decade (BLS)

If you were to obtain a career in local government or city management, you may play a role in the planning and development of local public services. Part of your responsibility may be analyzing the needs of your community, partnering with public service agencies, and connecting with the public through their needs. The majority of local government officials in the U.S. may hold a masters degree or higher within the field of Public Administration.

Human Resource Management: Salary of $110,120 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 9% over the next decade (BLS)

In public and private organizations all over the country, human resource managers may be responsible for ensuring the pay and wellness of employees. These professionals may organize company health insurance and benefits, help employees become enrolled, manage employee salaries, and play a role in the hiring and training of incoming workers. These professionals can be the connecting body between employees and their organization. If you might be interested in pursuing a career path such as this one, you should obtain a minimum of a Masters in Public Administration.

Correctional/Legal Services Management: Salary of $51,410 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 6% over the next decade (BLS)

Sometimes partnering with local court systems or state correctional facilities, correctional and legal service management professionals may help to ensure that correctional agencies meet all of the legal and ethical recommendations provided for them to follow, organize inmate programs and after-care services, and work to improve the quality of correctional programs within their area. Management professionals within this realm of expertise should complete a relevant MPA program and gain experience within their field prior to seeking these positions.

Fundraiser Management: Salary of $111,280 on average per year an an anticipated growth of 10% over the next decade (BLS)

A benefit of pursuing a career in Public Administration may be working directly with the public. Professionals interested in fundraising management can work with the public to determine methods for proper marketing services and products. In this position, you could identify advertising methods that can bring attention to your service, develop an attractive marketing campaign, partner with local agencies to promote your services, and modify your program as needed. While a lot of workers within this field prefer to hold at least a MPA degree, some agencies may hire graduates of the BPA.

Nonprofit/Social Services Management: Salary of $64,100 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 18% over the next decade (BLS)

When people think of Public Administration their thoughts may immediately go to social service agencies working in the public arena. Management professionals within nonprofits and social services may be responsible for managing a large staff in providing specific services to different groups in the community. Their responsibilities may include case reviews for accuracy, conflict management in the workplace, financial management and decision-making, employee training, and assurance of customer satisfaction. If this career field sounds like one that fits your skills and personality, you should pursue a Masters in Public Administration prior to applying.

Urban/Regional Planning: Salary of $71,490 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 13% over the next decade (BLS)

MPA graduates can be influential parts of their current communities. Having the expertise necessary to plan for and implement programs can lead to careers in urban and regional planning. Professionals in this field may be employed by cities to help analyze citizen need, locate available resources, and implement programs to help increase wellness for all people. This may include a review of current neighborhood statistics, analyzing successful programs, and organizing a team of development specialist to get the job done.

Public Administration Organizations to Know

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)

The ASPA is a professional organization that was designed to help connect Public Administration professionals all over the world. Obtaining membership to an organization such as this one can have benefits for public professionals in this U.S., as well as those worldwide. Networking, advocacy, and professional support are just a few of the obvious advantages associated with becoming a member of this agency. Public Administrators in the public and nonprofit organizations may make up a large majority of this organization.

The National Academy of Public Administration

The National Academy of Public Administration is another organization that is focused on providing better overall services in public service agencies. This organization is open to all members of local to national government, and shares a common bond of increasing the effectiveness of these governing bodies in the future. Strengthening outreach efforts, increasing beneficial uses of technology, and continuing transparency are just a few of the goals that you could work towards by becoming a part of this group.

Pi Alpha Alpha

Pi Alpha Alpha was established in 1974 as an honor society for Public Policy and Public Administration students and professionals. In current times, this society can be found in colleges offering degree programs within these areas. It acts as a support system and learning tool for students and alumni within these degree fields, and can connect members for networking and further learning purposes. This group can provide learning experiences and referenced data for students to access, making it a great organization to be a part of as both a new learner and employed professional.

Search Online Colleges by State

There are over 2,500 colleges with online degrees in our database. Many students find that there are universities that offer their programs online, but are in their vicinity. The majority of students studying online actually chose a college that is close to them, or at least within their region. Simply click on the state of your choice to view all of the online colleges in your state.