President Obama's 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act expanded national service programs and encouraged innovative solutions for the nation's challenges. If you are inspired to heed the call for positive change and you wish to lead civic or social advancements, studies in public administration can take you there.
Graduates with bachelor's degrees in public administration can seek careers such as public policy, international relations, public interest advocacy or civic organizations. Your training empowers you to make a difference in your community and across the globe. You could also find work in finance, human resources and management in various organizations, including the non-profit sector.
Public administration degrees
Depending upon your desired career track, bachelor's degrees in public administration could cover business, economics, government, law or social services. According to the College Board, typical courses include financial administration, grant writing, local politics, organization theory and public policy.
Additional courses such as speech, sociology or foreign languages could be useful in a public career where you need to bridge the gap between different groups with diverse interests. Math is important for quantitative analysis and the business aspects of administration.
Public administration career options, outlook and salary
Graduates with bachelor's degrees in public administration can explore various specialties. The College Board lists careers such as economics, government, law and urban planning for those interested in public service.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the 2010 median annual wages for some related careers open to those with bachelor's degrees:
- Public relations managers and specialists: $57,550
- Social and community service managers: $57,950
- Social and human service assistants: $28,200
For these jobs, the BLS projects employment growth that is faster than the average for all U.S. occupations during the 2010-2020 decade. Management positions often require work experience or additional, targeted training in addition to the four-year degree.
Depending on your career aspirations and academic endurance, you could seek master's or doctoral degrees in public administration. Political scientists generally hold a doctorate. Related professions, such as legislators, may require study of the law.
If you're interested in studying public administration, the option of online classwork might just seal the deal. You can add a technological component to your academic repertoire and also keep up with your personal and professional obligations. Enjoy the convenience of web-based classes while strengthening your qualifications to enter public service.