What Career Could I Pursue With An MPA?

Public Administration is a diverse area, with links to government agencies, non-profits, urban development and much more. With a Masters in Public Administration from a university like the University of Southern California, you can open a host of possible career paths, from HR to politics. 


Non-Profit Sector

With an MPA in the non-profit sector, you’ll be able to interact with key stake-holders, run fundraising and manage groups of staff and volunteers. Non-profit is a fast growing sector, with 12.3 million available jobs in 2016.


You could consider a role as a Public Relations and Fundraising Manager. You’d need to be in charge of campaigns that bring in potential donors. Your job could involve identifying potential donors and bringing them board through events that you plan and put on. You’ll apply for grants too to keep the funds coming in. 


If you’re interested in health care, you could combine this with public administration as a Medical Services Manager. Plan, direct and coordinate health services for clinics, departments or entire facilities. Make sure you stay up do date with health law and technologies if this is the path for you. 



An MPA makes you well suited to several government roles. You’ll need leadership skills and a strong understanding of public administration processes. You could use your MPA to aid you in planning cost-effective public services, social policy development and strategic decision making. The government is one of the USA’s largest employers, and you’ll have a lot of options to make use of your MPA. 


Budget Analyst fits well with an MPA. You’d be helping your employer to organise their finances with shrewd budget planning, budget reports and spending supervision. You’ll need to be a detail oriented person with good communication skills.


If you’d rather work outside of traditional administrative roles, an MPA could actually serve you in a career as a Law Enforcement Officer. You could work in Law Enforcement for the federal government with the FBI or the Secret Service.  


If you want to get involved at the top levels of the federal government, you could seek to become a member of the US Cabinet. You’ll need strong leadership skills to get this far, but there have been several MPA graduates in the cabinet, such as Shaun Donovan and Hilda Solis. 


If your heart lies in public services, why not pursue City Management? You’ll be involved in implementing city projects and services for the local people, and aids the Mayor or city council to deliver essential services. 


Public Policy

Public policy benefits from staff with MPAs. Your qualifications mean you can make strategic decisions, design and implement policy and analyse the ethical issues. You could work across multiple sectors in public policy, whether for the government or in non-profit or private agencies. 


You could seek a career in Political Science. Analyze government policy and political trends, and forecast economic trends. You could get involved with politics in federal government, education, or private services. 


Represent your state as a Legislator. Create, modify and implement laws, while working with the best interests of the general public at heart. If you want to make a difference with your MPA, this could be the way to do it. 


Private Sector

In the private sector, you skills of analysis and leadership will be in high demand. Private institutions that serve public sector organisations are ideal for you, such as pharmaceuticals, law firms or government contracting. You could make use of your MPA as interest in ethics and transparency in the private sector grows. 


In the private sector, an MPA could set you on the path of a role as a Human Resources Manager. In this position, you’d be making sure teams at your company are working together efficiently. Plan and direct admin, look after recruitment and make sure staff are being cared for. 


Improve profitability and organisation within companies and firms as a Management Analysis. You’ll be helping companies to solve issues or grab new opportunities. 


If information is king with you, you could find a lucrative career as a News Reporter or News Analyst. Many news organisations in television and print media are looking for employees who are educated in public policies. You could use your MPA to give much needed insight on political situations, whether as a writer, reporter or data analyst. 


A Masters of Public Administration could open many more career doors than you might think. Your skills in analytics, data research, leadership and strategy can translate well into many different industries. 



Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.