If you want a position as any sort of public official, school superintendent, non-profit organization director or as a politician, you will have a foot in the door if you check out and enroll in one of the online public administration degree programs.
Public administrators handle a wide variety of responsibilities in industry, government, business and in the private sector. Since the public administration master is usually in a supervisory position over other employees, you can expect employers (generally a board of trustees or someone in a top position in a company) to be looking for people with graduate degrees—a master’s degree at the very least. read more »
The highest paid public administrators are found in government positions and usually have a PhD. These people must be able to work without a lot of supervision, managing and advising everything from public policy to investment relations.
If you are just starting your education, you will, of course, have to start at the bottom. Schools offering public administration degrees say that those with a bachelor’s degree will most likely find jobs in human resources, policy implementation and labor relations. In other words, those with the bachelor’s degrees are often the first line of interaction with the general public.
The public administration salaries, even for entry level positions, are high compared to other careers at the same degree level. The average annual salary is around $50,000, but the field can also be one with a high degree of stress. You must be able to work within deadlines, interact with the public and employees effectively, take a leadership role in recommending and implementing procedures and policies that will benefit the public while keeping the organization functioning smoothly. You also need to be a highly ethical person as there are always temptations that can lead to conflicts of interest. A career in public administration is as close to politics as you can get without being a politician, and, indeed, the degree could ultimately lead to a political position.
Because public administration is such an enormously broad field, it is easy for any university to create customized programs and call them public administration degrees. Schools commonly require courses in political science, environmental policy, economics, management, communication, accounting, and technology. However, you want to be sure that the program you choose is accredited, and that you will have some sense of where the program is leading you. Programs are more specifically defined on the graduate level, but on the bachelor level, it would be easy to get a public administration degree that was the equivalent of “general studies.” The internet has provided an unprecedented range of educational possibilities, and while most programs these days are legitimate, it’s important to know who has accredited the university and its programs.