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Public administration degrees are specifically designed for those who are seeking careers in government policy and administration; therefore, this degree has a more exact focus than a Criminal Justice degree or an MBA. The curriculum includes leadership and management skills, strategic planning, media relations, and disaster response. One can expect to come away from a program in public administration with a clear understanding of how to react, manage and direct in critical situations, making it a persuasive companion to a resume submitted to Homeland Security and Defense jobs. A public administration degree provides an academic background for individuals pursuing a career in both government and non-governmental/non-profit organizations. There are several areas of overlap between these pursuits, so an education which combines both will give you competitive strength and allow you to move into either area, according to your own career interests. For example, you may start your career in fundraising or getting grants for a local or state government program, and later graduate to a managerial position at a larger government agency. A public administration degree or public policy degree gives you great flexibility in changing career titles. Like a regular degree in management, a public administration or public policy degree can focus on organizational governance, finance, and administration. With this specialization you can look into jobs in local, state, or federal government; in public service sectors such as fire and rescue or healthcare; or non-profit organizations such as arts or international relief agencies.
Career Options:

Budget Analysts Public Relations Specialists Administrative Specialists Program Analysts Public Utilities Specialists

Administrative Management
People work in administrative management at all levels of government and can have a variety of jobs:

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City or County Manager Administrative Officer Management Analyst Safety Officer Computer Specialist Security Specialist Computer Programmer Systems Analyst

But remember: the higher your level of education, the better your salary and job prospects will be.

Personnel Management and Industrial Relations

There are also many jobs in the world of labor and industry for those with a degree in public administration studies.
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Personnel Administration Industrial Relations Personnel Management Specialist Labor Management Relations Specialist Position Classification Specialist Field Examiner Employee Development Specialist Industrial Relations Specialist Labor-Management Relations Mediator Employee Relations Specialists Contractor Industrial Relations Specialist

Public Administration: Law, Investigations and Inspections

But if you prefer to work in the government sector, the following jobs are also available for graduates of public administration programs:
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Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Inspector Customs Inspector Border Patrol Agent Consumer Safety Inspector Consumer Protection Specialist General Investigator Criminal Investigator Deputy U.S. Marshall Immigration Inspector Special Agent Patent Examiner

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Internal Security Inspector Tax Law Specialist

Social Services in Public Administration

Finally, there are public administration opportunities in the social services.
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Recreation Specialist Social Science Analyst Corrections Officer Probation Officer Social Worker


What can I do with a Graduate Degree in Public Administration and Policy?

There are plenty of options when thinking about which public administration and policy programs and courses to take at university (see 'Graduate Degrees in Public Administration and Policy' page 30), but the real question is: what do I do after I graduate? MPA (Master of Public Administration) and MPP (Master of Public Policy) degrees don't just prepare you for working for the government, they also prepare you for a range of careers in a variety of industries. Having a public administration and policy degree at the undergraduate level only gets you so far, but for higher level careers in all industries a graduate public administration and policy degree puts you ahead of the game. When looking at career options, it's important to first see who is graduating and what their expectations are. The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) polled public administration and policy students in March 2007. 75% of the students polled were graduating with a MPA, 19% cent with a MPP, and 6% with another graduate public administration and/or policy degree. Of those surveyed, 40% thought they would be working for the government or a non-profit agency, 20% wanted to work in the private sector or as consultants, and the remainder anticipated careers in other areas, such as international organizations, and study further. While these findings indicated that most graduates did anticipate working for the government, one-fifth of students polled had aspirations in private sector careers, suggesting

that public administration and policy degrees have a broader appeal that just one sector. Popular Sectors of Employment The most popular sectors for MPP and MPA graduates are:
y Government (local, state/provincial, federal, legislative, judicial) y Independent agencies y Non-profit organizations y Health/medical y Education y Private business

Government The vast array of jobs in government spans almost all of the areas that are seen in private business, such as policy experts, researchers and communications writers. Government jobs also give graduates an opportunity to work in an area of interest. So if you spend your weekends volunteering for environmental groups and you want to work as a policy researcher, why not work for the ministry or department of the environment? Independent Agencies Independent agencies are almost quasi-governmental, but exist outside the general government departments. These include organizations such as the Central Intelligence Bureau (CIA), the Peace Corps, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Again, these organizations provide traditional 'business' positions, but within a public service career path. Your graduate public administration and policy degree will come in useful particularly if you have a specialization in an area relevant to a certain organization. Knowledge of politics and law is also useful. Non-Profit Organizations A non-profit organization is an organization whose aim is to engage or support private or public interests which do not result in monetary or commercial gain. Generally, Non-profit organizations support causes such as the environment, humanitarian issues, the arts, charities, politics and sports. People who work in these areas need a background in public administration, policy and business, so MPP and MPA graduates are ideally suited to careers in this area. Health/Medical To work in health care administration requires technical business know-how, as well as knowledge of health care policy and laws regarding insurance and medical technology. For students with an MPA or MPP, this is an ideal career path, as many public administration and policy programs will offer a specialization in health care, or even, in some cases, a joint

major in health care administration. Education Educational administration is a specific career path that also requires knowledge of business and policy, in addition to a compassionate disposition to students and education. Most large universities and colleges have substantial administrative departments and career paths can cover university promotions, working with financial aid institutions, and student welfare jobs.
The Private Sector In a 2007 Ethisphere Magazine ranking of the 'World's Most Ethical Companies,' organizations with ethical initiatives were spotlighted. These included major blue-chip companies like Kellogg's and John Deere that have introduced initiatives such as environmental guidelines, social responsibility committees, and making their business practices transparent to employees. These kinds of initiatives

are becoming standard practice, rather than the exception. While the MBA is often still the degree of choice, many companies implementing these kinds of changes may be interested in those with a graduate degree in ethics or public policy.

Specific Career Paths There are many options available to graduates with an MPP or MPA including specific and popular career paths for which you may be suitable. Your experience and education could eventually lead to such jobs as: Executive Director of a Non-Profit Organization The executive director of a non-profit organization co-ordinates all elements of the organization, including budgets, communication and public relations. For this position most organizations will ask for a graduate business public administration or policy graduate degree, in addition to years of experience in fundraising, non-profit work (which could include volunteer work), marketing, and promotions experience. An executive director earns in the region of $60,000 per year. Human Resources Manager/Director HR Managers oversee employee relations in a company, which includes training, employment issues, benefits, and dispute resolution. To become an HR Manager/Director, an applicant should have a degree and/or experience in labor relations, personnel, and/or management. HR directors make about $88,000 per year. Policy Analyst Policy analysts manage projects, and research and develop initiatives and programs. Most positions in this area require a graduate degree in a field related to policy, and knowledge of a particular field is often required. So for a position in educational policy, experience at an

educational institution would be favorable. A policy analyst should expect a wage in the region of $45,000 per year.