Accelerate Your Career with a Master of Public Administration

People often pursue a Master of Public Administration because they want a career dedicated to helping people. Earning an MPA from Excelsior College gives them many different career paths to achieve that goal.

MPA program graduates have the skills to manage staff, resources, and projects at the local, state, and federal government levels and at nonprofit agencies. The program prepares them for public sector leadership.

Craig Breverman earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts in 2006 and later wanted to work in a leadership role in the public sector. He returned to school and earned a Master of Public Administration in 2019 through Excelsior College’s online MPA program.

Breverman said the program’s coursework prepared him for transitioning into a leadership role. “Core courses like Ethics and Public Administration and Theory have made me a better manager; others, like Public Management in a Political Environment and Statistical Analysis for Decision Making, have prepared me to participate in senior management teams,” he said.

Master of Public Administration Career Paths

An MPA program emphasizes ethics, leadership, policy implementation, and program management. These skills transfer to many administrative positions in government, nonprofits, health care, and urban planning. But in every case, an MPA job focuses on bettering the lives of people.

Examples of potential jobs graduates from an MPA program qualify for include the following:

Political scientists study how political systems impact citizens and may work in jobs making recommendations on public policy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)reported a median annual wage for political scientists of $122,220 in May 2019 and projects 6 percent job growth by 2029.

Urban planners work on land use and public programs that help to develop better communities. The BLS reported an average annual salary for urban and regional planners of $77,750 in May 2019. Projected job growth stands at 11 percent job growth by 2029.

Social and community services managers oversee government and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving life for individuals and communities in disadvantaged areas. The BLS reported an average annual salary for social and community services managers of $72,900 in May 2019 and projected 17 percent job growth by 2029.

Nonprofit administrators focus on successfully managing a nonprofit organization, including fundraising. The BLS reported an average annual salary for nonprofit fundraising managers and public relations specialists of $132,630 in May 2019. Projected growth is 9 percent through 2029.

No matter which job a master’s degree graduate chooses, it usually provides a good return on investment. A study from the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workplace found that those with a master’s degree typically earn about $400,000 more than bachelor’s degree holders over the course of a lifetime.

Benefits of an Online Program

Excelsior College designed its 100 percent online Master of Public Administration program to give graduates the skills they need to manage public agencies and nonprofit programs. Graduates leave the program ready to take on leadership roles with local, state, and federal government agencies and local and global community service organizations.

The online program gives working professionals the opportunity to earn their master’s degree while retaining their current job. They can schedule homework, tests, and viewing lectures around their busy personal and professional schedules.

No GMAT is required to enter the program. Students earn 30 credit hours and may transfer up to 27 credits from other programs.

What Students Learn in an MPA Program

The Excelsior College MPA program features core courses that prepare graduates in all aspects of public administration and management. This includes integrating the fundamentals of leadership and management theory and practice within public administration and making social change that benefits the public.

Students also learn how to evaluate financial data and budgets in a public sector context, enabling them to make better decisions. They learn the effectiveness of data analysis in formulating decisions beyond finance and how to assess the use of technology to solve complex challenges.

An important component of the program is teaching students best practices for giving effective presentations that promote positive social change. Students in the MPA program learn to tailor presentations to multiple audiences.

Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dorothy Jimenez, who earned an MPA from Excelsior in 2018, said the program provided the foundation for her life’s ambition of helping others.

“Serving others is my passion,” she said

That spirit sums up why people enter an MPA program and why managing public service organizations is vital for ensuring public well-being.