What Can You Do With a Public Administration Degree?

Feb 20, 2015   |   Business & Management
CTU Public Administration Degree
If you find yourself gravitating toward political news or have a passion for the policies and programs developed in government institutions, then a career in public administration may be for you. But a public administration professional doesn’t always focus on public policy and government issues. Professionals in this field can be found working in a variety of areas including human resources, non-profit and for-profit leadership and foreign services, just to name a few1.

Most who enter the public administration profession have a degree. As you begin to research your educational options, you’ll notice that some universities offer a bachelors or masters degree in public administration, while others, like CTU, offer public administration as a concentration. The program you ultimately choose should align with the goals you have in mind, so spend time carefully assessing the programs of study for each university you’re considering.

At CTU, you can earn a Master of Science in management with a concentration in public administration. The program offers you the fundamental knowledge you need from a well-rounded business management education and includes topics in finance, information technology, marketing and more. The concentration in public administration focuses your education on specialized topics such as:

  • Public Administration Theory and Practice
  • Graduate Research Methods for Public Administration
  • Federal, State, and Local Government
  • Budgeting and Finance for Public Administration

Your ultimate career goal is an important factor when considering the educational path you’ll take, so it may be useful to know more about what you may do with your public administration education. To help you see the possibilities, we’ve created a list of potential professions – based on employment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://www.bls.gov/oes/2005/may/naics2_92.htm> – where a public administration degree may be used.

Careers Using a Public Administration Education

1. Political Scientist

What you’ll do: Political scientists study the political systems – from origin to operation. The profession is research-driven, so you can look forward to using qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze political data. Most are employed in the government, but others may be employed by think tanks, universities and lobbying groups.
Projected growth: 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than average
Median Pay: $102,000 per year

2. Human Resources Manager

What you’ll do: Human Resources (HR) Managers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm are typically responsible for managing, planning and directing the employees within an organization. This may include overseeing recruiting, hiring and employee development.
Projected growth: 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, as fast as average
Median Pay: $99,720 per year

3. Public Relations Manager

What you’ll do: Public relations professionals help to maintain or enhance the public image of a person, organization or business. In this role, you will build relationships with clients, community members, government officials and media representatives, while working to develop the company’s corporate image and brand.  
Projected growth: 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, as fast as average
Median Pay: $95,450 per year

Other Jobs to Consider

Public administration professionals can be found in many areas, from private and public sector organizations to non-profit and community service-based companies. With knowledge and skills that can include business, organizational leadership and policy development, you might potentially apply your public administration education to the following jobs:

  • Urban Planning and Development Director
  • Community Health Manager
  • Parks and Recreation Liaison
  • County Clerk
  • Lobbyist
  • Social Services Manager
  • News Reporter or Writer
  • Police Commissioner
  • Public Affairs Director

Getting Started

Most, not all, entry-level jobs in public administration require at least a bachelor’s degree. As you advance, you may find pursuing a graduate-level degree in the field to be helpful. If you’re considering a career in public administration, be sure top check out the American Society for Public Administration http://www.aspanet.org/public/, a professional organization that focuses on advancing the study and practice of public and non-profit administration. Also, connect with alumni to learn more about their experience and how the degree enabled them to reach their career goals. Then, when you’re ready, learn more about CTU’s Master of Management – Public Administration degree to see if it’s a fit for your career goals.


1Source: May 2005 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Sector 92 - Public Administration http://www.bls.gov/oes/2005/may/naics2_92.htm 

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