What Can You Do with a Master of Public Administration?

What Can You Do with a Master of Public Administration?

Students on Fairfield University's campus sitting on benches and talking to each other.

Empower Change!

If you're passionate about effecting positive change in your community and beyond, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) is your gateway to a fulfilling an impactful career. Gayle Alberda, an associate professor of politics and director of the MPA program at Fairfield University, sums it up beautifully: "An MPA equips students with the tools to lead, manage, and innovate in public and nonprofit organizations, making a real difference in the world."  

Another important role of MPA leaders is to help build resilient communities. According to the American Society for Public Administration, “Resilient communities are able to withstand the dynamic forces of a global, networked and diverse society. Intractable problems—poverty, environmental crisis, xenophobia, social and economic injustice, and the changing nature of work, to name a few—drive a community’s capacity to effectively and equitably govern and serve.” It’s important work.

Why Earn a Master of Public Administration? 

With coursework in policy data analysis, financial management and budgeting, human resource management, and more, an MPA degree can help you enter nonprofit or governmental agencies that need passion-driven individuals who can help navigate and overcome the challenges of the future. Whether you’re just launching your career, looking to advance in your current role, or planning a career change, an MPA program will help you build essential skills to make an immediate impact in your community. You’ll learn to write grants, manage projects and people, navigate fiscal challenges, fundraise, and analyze data in state and city government, non-profit organizations, healthcare management, emergency management and private research career settings. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for many roles in public administration will grow significantly in the next decade. If you are considering an MPA, these are a few of the jobs your degree will prepare you to do.

10 Careers for MPA Graduates

  1. Public Policy Analyst
    Guiding policy decisions is crucial for a thriving society. Public policy analysts play a vital role in researching and analyzing policies to provide recommendations for effective governance.

  2. Nonprofit Executive Director    
    Nonprofits are instrumental in addressing social issues. As an executive director, you'll lead these organizations, ensuring they operate efficiently and achieve their missions.

  3. City Manager
    City managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a city, requiring strategic thinking and strong leadership to provide essential services and foster a thriving community.

  4. Legislative Analyst
    Understanding and shaping legislation is key to effective governance. With an MPA, you'll have the expertise to work with legislators, providing critical insights that inform policy decisions thorough research and data analysis.

  5. Budget Analyst
    Financial stewardship is vital in the public sector. Budget analysts play a critical role in managing finances, allocating resources, and ensuring taxpayer dollars are used efficiently.

  6. Human Resources Manager
    Creating a positive and inclusive work environment is essential for any organization. With an MPA, you'll be equipped to lead HR efforts, attracting, developing, and retaining top talent to drive organizational success.
  7. Emergency Management Director
    In times of crisis, effective coordination and leadership can save lives. An MPA prepares you to lead emergency response efforts, ensuring communities are well-prepared and supported during challenging times.

  8. Policy Advisor
    Policy advisors play a critical role in shaping government decisions. With an MPA, you'll have the expertise to provide informed recommendations to policymakers, influencing decisions that impact communities.

  9. Urban Planner
    Designing sustainable, thriving communities requires thoughtful planning. An MPA provides you with the knowledge to collaborate with stakeholders and implement urban development strategies that enhance quality of life and foster and economic development.

  10. Community Development Specialist
    Empowering communities to reach their full potential is at the heart of public administration. Community development specialists identify needs and implement programs that drive positive change.

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