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Industries for MPA Graduates

When it comes to careers in public administration, a majority of institutions are adding jobs yearly. Even with many options available, candidates still must find ways to stand out among their peers. To do this, some choose to earn an advanced degree. For those who decide to pursue a Master of Public Administration (MPA), the career options are further expanded. A graduate degree strengthens opportunities for professionals looking to grow within public administration.

Public administration and government

The Census Bureau reports that the United States has more than 90,000 state and local government entities, providing jobs for more than 19 million Americans. The highest levels of federal government include U.S. Cabinet members, many of whom have MPA degrees. Cabinet positions include the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Labor.

City manager positions are part of local government. Local government workers serve as the executive officers of their prospective cities, reporting to elected officials such as city council members and the mayor. They are also responsible for administering all city affairs. Another career in public administration would be county executives in charge of land-use planning and community renewal projects.


Because MPA graduates are highly valued in public administration and government roles, they are also needed by businesses that have government contracts or clients. MPAs can help guide these relationships and projects because they have a strong understanding of how the public sector works.

An MPA in a consulting role can expect to help clients with day-to-day operations, measuring performance and maintaining accountability and transparency. While the federal government does not have a firm estimate on the size of its contract workforce, it does spend about $500 billion on outside services, and contract spending grew by 87 percent between 2000 and 2012. This growth ensures a wealth of opportunities for those interested in working in the private sector while still using their public sector knowledge. An MPA graduate who has insight into the inner workings of government agencies is a strong asset to private sector teams.


The U.S. has more than 1.4 million nonprofit institutions, but an MPA can also open up opportunities around the world. International nonprofit organizations need public administrators to assist with deployment and program analysis across borders. High-level positions like these usually require a graduate degree. However, working professionals usually cannot leave a career to return to school. Luckily, an online MPA degree covers the same coursework and benefits of a traditional graduate degree. Earning an MPA degree online is usually quicker than doing so via the traditional path, and it allows students to keep working while they complete their coursework.

Nonprofit entities also have career options for those interested in public service; positions such as research analysts and policy experts that require the specialized skills and knowledge that can be obtained with an online MPA degree program.

When it comes to careers in public administration, earning an MPA degree shows potential employers that a candidate is knowledgeable, dedicated and willing to put forth extra work in order to do a good job. Students may also discover career paths they would have otherwise never considered through the course of their studies.

Nonprofit, government and consulting are three areas in which an MPA graduate can find a career. An MPA is a great way for individuals to discover their passion and find work in a field that interests them.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online MPA program.


Should You Get a Master of Public Administration (MPA)? (2014, March 3). Retrieved October 17, 2015, from

10 Careers MPA Graduates Can Pursue | CAREEREALISM. (2012, May 1). Retrieved October 17, 2015, from

Can an MPA Help You Get a Job in the Private Sector? Retrieved January 19, 2016, from

MPA Consulting Jobs. Retrieved January 19, 2016, from

How Many Contractors Work for the Government? It's a Mystery. (2015, March 12). Retrieved January 19, 2016, from

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