Public Administration Degree Types And Career Paths

By Matt Whittle-Contributor

Individuals looking to improve communities or society at large can pursue public administration degrees. These programs allow students to develop skills in areas such as leadership, community organizing, fundraising and budgeting. Graduates with public administration degrees can pursue employment with the government or with non-government entities.

Public administration professionals include public affairs specialists, park managers, urban planners and public works managers. Public administration degrees can open the door to many professional roles that improve local communities and public sector efforts.

Public Administration Explained

What is public administration? Public administration professionals work in government agencies and nonprofit organizations to serve and improve communities. These individuals focus on areas such as housing, transportation, public health and emergency management to advance society through research and the implementation of programs.

The scope of public administration efforts can vary based on employer, role and sector. For example, professionals with public administration degrees might handle tasks relating to planning, staffing, organizing or budgeting.

What is a Public Administration Degree?

Public administration degrees exist at multiple levels and with various focuses. Read on to learn about some of the most common degrees in public administration.

Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA)

A BPA offers a foundation in the field for undergraduate students. These programs typically comprise 120 credits and take four years of full-time enrollment to complete. Enrollees explore courses in public policy, public budgeting and public planning, along with project management for government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Admission requirements align with most bachelor’s degrees—candidates must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent and provide supporting documentation of any education completed. Some schools may require letters of recommendation or responses to writing prompts.

Potential careers for BPA graduates include budget director, public administration consultant and nonprofit director.

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By Career & Professional Development
Career & Professional Development