Public Administration Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Public Administration Degree

Public administration degree programs offer students the ability to gain the leadership skills and versatile knowledge necessary to advance to a number of career paths. Students who participate in public administration programs gain an understanding of business and organizational behavior, leadership, finance, political science, government, law, and health care. Students also receive means of strengthening skills like management techniques, personnel administration, public relations, and budget preparation. Many students also specialized studies in public service, social organizations, and public relations. Graduates who complete studies in public administration generally advance to careers in city, county, state, national, or international agencies as well as non profit organizations and other industries.

Most colleges and universities have recognized the demand to extend education beyond traditional campus grounds and developed innovative online programs in response. As many students manage work and family responsibilities in addition to expanding their education, most find online programs feature virtually the same experiences as on-campus instruction. Online programs also provide students with an added flexibility of course scheduling and 24 hour access to class instruction, information, and materials. Online courses generally consist of smaller class sizes, with groups of 25 students or less, who have increased interactions with other classmates and instructors through one on one Internet chats. Online programs generally provide students with a more personalized degree experience and are one of the most convenient and affordable means of expanding education necessary for career success.

What Students Learn Within A Public Administration Degree Program

Public administration degree programs offer students a broad educational basis necessary for professional success. Students within public administration programs gain a solid understanding of multiple aspects of society, from politics and law to public relations and social systems. Most public administration degree graduates are required to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify for employment. Many students begin studies within associate’s degree programs to gain a basic understanding of the field. Courses include: strategies for academic excellence/lifelong learning, English composition, public speaking, interpersonal communications, college Algebra, statistics, contemporary issues, ethics, Western civilization, introduction to philosophy, art history, media literacy, computer concepts and applications, world geography, introduction to psychology, principles of macroeconomics, principles of microeconomics, human relations in business, human resources management, international relations, American government, state and local government, introduction to public adminsitratin, urban sociology, social problems, statistics, introduction to human services, and an internship. Graduates who complete studies in an associate degree program may advance to entry level employment or continue studies in higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded knowledge of the field of public administration as well as means of strengthening leadership and managerial skills. Courses include: modern politics, methods of analysis, public policy making, public administration, administrative analysis: management and organization, public budgeting and economic policy, public personnel management, history of political thought to Machiavelli, history of political thought since Machiavelli, American political thought, Constitutional law and federal structure, state and local government, municipal government, public budgeting and economic policy, public personnel management, seminar in metropolitan government and politics, comparative administration, topics in public administration, seminar in public administration, independent study, directed readings, and an internship. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs may advance to employment or master’s degree programs.

Master’s degree programs provide students with specialized studies in the field of public administration as well as a number of electives to increase knowledge in related fields. Courses include: legal, political, and ethical dimensions of business; managerial decision making; applied managerial statistics; business economics; leadership and organizational behavior; manageing organizational change; managerial applications of information technology; project management systems; negotiation skills; marketing management; governmental and nonprofit accounting; nonprofit organization management; managing nonprofit development programs; governmental budgeting and finance; public policy formulation and implementation; intergovernmental management; contract and procurement management; master’s thesis; and an internship. Master’s degree graduates may enter employment or continue studies in doctoral degree programs.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the ability to be considered experts in the field. Courses include: public services theory, issues, and research; theories of leadership and public administration; principles of organizational theory and practice; ethics and social responsibility; global and diverse societies; public administration and community collaboration; public policy analysis and advocacy; theories and practices of public human resource management; public needs assessment and planning; fundamentals of public administration research;theory development in public administration research; finance policies and practices in public administration; legislative interaction; action research dissertation and research; and a clinical experience. Graduates from doctoral degree programs advance to employment as instructors and lead researchers in educational institutions.

Prospective Jobs For Public Administration Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete studies in public administration degree programs gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to advance to a number of careers based upon a versatile education. Most graduates advance to positions within nonprofit, private, or public agencies handling public relations, personnel, and policy making responsibilities. Graduates with associate’s degrees may advance to employment as administrative assistants, clerks within social services agencies, legal assistants, public affairs assistants, political consultants, or medical technicians with additional training. Bachelor degree graduates may work as medical and health services specialists, public relations specialists, management analysts, human resources assistants, political consultants, research assistants, policy analysts, or social workers.

Graduates who complete master’s degree programs may advance to employment as managers of nonprofit organizations, policy analysts, public sector managers, labor relations specialists, economic development directors, municipal budget directors, lobbyists, market researchers, management consultants, public affairs specialists, or instructors within community colleges. Doctoral degree graduates generally advance to instructor positions within colleges and universities, researchers within private or public facilities, political scientists, chief executive officers, or as administrators of a variety of public and private agencies and organizations.

Salary Range For Graduates With Public Administration Degrees

Public administration degree graduates gain the skills and training necessary to establish a number of long term and lucrative careers based on their educational experiences. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that earnings for public administration graduates who advance to positions as public administrators or chief executive officers of public or private organizations generally earn $62,900 to $137,020 annually. Graduates with associate’s degrees who gain employment as legal assistants earn $36,080 to $59,310 annually. Bachelor degree graduates who work as policy analysts generally have salaries of $39,200 to $70,980 annually. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs and advance to employment as labor relations specialists earn $64,930 to $113,480 annually. Doctoral degree graduates employed as instructors within colleges and unversities earn $51,050 to $95,670 annually. As with most occupations, graduates who continue education in advanced degree programs, specialize training, and gain work experience often have earnings greater than graduates with less education, training, and experience.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Public Administration Graduates

Graduates who complete studies within the discipline of public administration gain a versatile education necessary for a variety of employment options in a number of industries.The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports job growth for public administration professionals based in human resources, training, labor relations, and other specialities to increase by 22 percent through 2018. Employment opportunities will increase at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations due to changing legislation in in healthcare, occupational health and safety, equal employment opportunities, family leave, retirement plans, and other political and social issues. Additionally, as public policies evolve to accommodate a growing population countries globalize, and governments face budgetary constraints, the demand for qualified public administration workers of all educational training and background will increase.

Most graduates who complete associate’s and bachelor degree programs begin employment within entry level positions and advance by continuing education and gaining work experience necessary to assume greater responsibilities. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs generally begin employment within entry level managerial or administrative positions and advance to positions with greater responsibilities. Doctoral degree graduates often begin employment working as lead directors and executives within federal or private agencies and organizations and advance to positions as educators or instructors within colleges and universities. Some graduates may also begin self operated organizations and work as consultants upon gaining adequate training, experience, and funding.

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