What Can I Do With a Master of Public Administration?

Posted: July 01, 2020 | Author: Grace Thorkelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

What can I do with a master's degree in public administration?Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs aim to give students an in-depth understanding of research methods, economics, state and local government, criminal justice, and of course, administration. This degree sets students apart from their counterparts and prepares them to succeed in their chosen field. Reading the article, “What is a Master of Public Administration?” may be a helpful introduction.

What Can You Do With a Master of Public Administration?

Graduates of this program are not held back by one specific area or job that they are qualified for. In fact, Studyportals says, “careers in public administration are extremely versatile, allowing you to explore jobs in various market sectors, public and private as well. Other great advantages of public administration jobs lie in their high level of security and stability and the fact that you can benefit from numerous chances to advance to higher positions.”

As mentioned, graduates of MPA programs across the nation find themselves in a broad spectrum of careers, and this degree proves worthy of helping them achieve both their academic and career goals. A Master of Public Administration degree prepares graduates for careers in state and local government, higher education, criminal justice, the nonprofit sector, and much more.

Four Common Career Paths for MPA Graduates

City Manager

Elected officials choose city managers to supervise all that is going on in the city from construction to parks and recreation, to events, and more. The city manager oversees the operations and spending within each division of the city, in an effort to do what is best for all constituents. If you love city management and leadership, this career may be just for you.

According to Studyportals, “The job of a city manager is similar to the one of a CEO, in the sense that this person is responsible for making sure all the departments run efficiently and successfully.”

Nonprofit Fundraising

A career in fundraising centers around planning events and coordinating campaigns to raise money for an organization. Because many public sector institutions rely almost exclusively on donations, this position is vital to the success of the organization in both the short and long term. Being able to plan strategically and communicate clearly will help prepare candidates for a job in this specific field.

Budget Analyst

The purpose of a budget analyst is to regulate and evaluate the finances and budget of an organization to determine what is efficient and profitable, and what is not. Financial decisions can make or break a business or organization, so budget analysts play a major role in helping officials make decisions that are lucrative and beneficial for all stakeholders.

Higher Education Administration

From academics to athletics and student affairs, higher education administration provides a wide variety of opportunities for MPA program graduates. Managing or directing a financial aid, cultural inclusion, or registrar's office lands on a candidate who exemplifies a broad understanding of the field of public administration. Administrators in this field spend the majority of their time planning and executing initiatives to improve the lives of faculty, staff, and students.


An MPA degree truly is comprehensive and beneficial for students whose aim is to better their communities and nation as a whole. Not to mention the fact that MPA graduates earn an average salary of $68,000, which is almost $20,000 more than the average bachelor’s degree holder.

Contact one of SUU’s expert admissions officers at 435-865-8665 or online@suu.edu to learn more about how the Master of Public Administration program can benefit you.

Produced by SUU Graduate Studies
SUU's Graduate School draws from a prestigious heritage and allows students to pursue a quality education. The master's degree programs offer students the chance to further their professional and educational careers on campus or online.
To receive more information about Graduate Programs at SUU contact onlineadmissions@suu.edu.

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences Public Administration Graduate Programs

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