What Can You Do With A Public Administration Degree?

what can you do with a public administration degree
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Public administration is a type of political science that deals with various forms of public service. Careers in public administration can be very rewarding personally and for society. To find out if a degree in this subject is right for you, read on for information on how to get a public administration degree and what you can do with a public administration degree.

Areas of Public Administration

Have you ever thought, “What can I do with a degree in public administration?” With a degree in public administration, you may find yourself working for a state or government agency or even a nonprofit organization. Jobs in the world of public administration usually pay fairly well. In some cases, many require further education and training after earning your bachelors degree in public administration. Some areas of study within the field of public administration can be found listed below.


Public policy

Social policy

Regional planning

Geography (economic, urban, political)

How to Get a Public Administration Degree

If you are interested in pursuing a career in public administration, you should start researching colleges and universities late in your junior year and early during your senior year of high school. This will help you decide what schools have the best public administration programs for you to achieve your life goals.

The University of Central Arkansas has a great Public Administration Program. Students who major in public administration at this university learn what it takes to succeed in various careers within the field. They take courses like Community and Regional Planning, Recreation and Tourism, Political Geography, Intergovernmental Relations, and more. With various courses related to political science, students can expect to land jobs with the Peace Corps, state and government offices, and many nonprofit organizations. Classes at the University of Central Arkansas helps students build their leadership, critical thinking, communication skills and others crucial for succeeding in public administration.

Regis University offers a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration for undergraduate students in Denver, CO. This degree program aims to help create some of the best government leaders of each generation by offering courses that expand students’ knowledge in various areas of political science. The program teaches students how to examine both pros and cons of various public policies and come up with ways to improve policies. Students learn proper techniques and processes necessary to build both public and private partnerships with agencies and organizations to benefit the ever-growing world of public administration. The student-to-faculty ratio is an outstanding 8:1, proving that students get the attention they deserve to help them become the best that they can be to make a difference in the world. The university also offers an accelerated degree program in which students can earn both a bachelors degree in public administration and can choose from a variety of master degrees in the university’s School of Management.

The University of La Verne in La Verne, CA, offers undergraduate students a notable Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. In this program, students have the opportunity to gain experience in public sector management. The school offers excellent research opportunities to help students expand their knowledge to prepare them for careers in public administration. With courses that provide in-depth looks at business ethics, state and local government policies, American democracy, and more, students gain the skills necessary to travel and succeed in their ideal career paths. The university also offers a Master in Public Administration that is accredited by NASPAA and a Doctor in Public Administration.

Careers in Public Administration

While you are earning your bachelors degree in public administration, it is important that you consider the various career options available to people with public administration degrees. Knowing different types of public administration careers will help you better decide what you want to do with your future, help you narrow down your selection and form your education to best fit your goals.

Entry Level Careers in Public Administration

With a bachelors degree in public administration, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described here.

Administrative Assistant

public administration careers
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An administrative assistant performs a variety of tasks. He or she often works closely for individuals who hold high positions, such as CEOs or CFOs, arranging meetings and conferences as well as carrying out various office tasks. Administrative assistants have outstanding organizational and verbal and written communication skills. Businesses often prefer people with bachelor degrees in public administration or business administration when looking for candidates to fill administrative assistant positions.

Administrative assistants can earn an annual salary around $31,000, depending on education and experience levels.

Grant Writer

A grant writer is someone who researches useful information on a specific cause and then creates and submits a proposal to obtain funding for that cause. Causes can include anything from promoting arts within a community to human rights. Grant writers are also responsible for documenting the number and types of proposals sent to obtain funding for their causes. They have excellent written communication skills and are talented researchers with a passion to help the community. Grant writers typically possess bachelor degrees in professional writing or communications, but it is possible for someone with a bachelors degree in public administration and a strong background in writing or communications to become a grant writer for a nonprofit organization.

It is possible for a grant writer to earn an annual salary of $35,000, depending on education and skill levels.

Customs Inspector

A customs inspector manages goods imported to and exported from the United States. He or she may also be responsible for interrogating and approving or disproving people’s privileges of entering or leaving the United States. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential for those wishing to get jobs as customs inspectors, because these individuals deal with people every single day. They also need to be familiar with laws associated with importing and exporting goods in order to best enforce those laws. A bachelors degree in public administration or related field is preferred.

Customs inspectors can earn over $60,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Public Administration

Upon completing your masters degree or doctoral degree in public administration or just by gaining more experience over the years with your bachelors degree, you may qualify for one or both of the careers described below in the field of public administration.

Executive Director

An executive director, often referred to as a chief executive officer (CEO), oversees the head of each department within an entire organization and serves as the main representative for that organization when hosting or attending fundraisers and conferences. An executive director assists department heads in creating goals for an organization and following through with them. Since they often find themselves conversing with the media and CEOs of other organizations and companies, executive directors need to possess outstanding written and verbal communication skills as well as excellent problem solving skills. An executive director has a bachelors degree in public administration or another subject related to the functions of his or her organization as well as a masters degree in public administration with experience in management and background knowledge in business and human services.

An executive director can earn over $84,000 annually, depending on the size of the organization and his or her education and experience levels.

County Administrator

A county administrator supervises people who work in departments within a county administration that help provide services for residents of that county, responding to any issues or questions department heads may have. Unlike county board members, county administrators are not elected by the people of the county. County administrators are often responsible for formulating and submitting budgets to elected officials for approval in order to keep county government systems running smoothly. They have the power to hire county officials as well as fire county officials who are not performing their jobs accurately, as well. County administrators often possess a bachelors degree in public administration as well as a masters degree in public administration or related field and may have management experience with a background in finance.

County administrators are capable of earning over $100,000 annually, depending on their education and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Public Administration Degrees

Once you earn your public administration degree, it will be time to begin the job hunt. There are jobs not just in the country, but all over the world in public administration. It is a very highly valued area of work, and jobs in public administration will never disappear. Below, you will find examples of organizations and agencies that hire people with degrees in public administration.

PeopleFirst Florida HR – hires positions for administrative assistants, operations review specialists, planning consultants, etc.

Enlivant – locations across the U.S.; assisted living organization; hires positions for community relations managers, care service managers, executive directors, etc.

Facebook – locations around the world; social media website; hires positions for administrative assistants, various administrators, community operations analysts, client solutions managers, etc.

Aurora Health Care – located in WI and IL; hires positions for administrative assistants and more

Paramount Citrus – various locations in CA; hires positions for IT project managers, administrative assistants, human resources generalists, etc.

Public administration is a highly rewarding field, not just for you but for the lives and businesses that you touch every day. Start your journey today by checking out some noteworthy colleges and universities and exploring career opportunities in the world of public administration.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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