Public Administration

Overview of Public Administration

Public administration college and university programs are offered under business departments.  Areas covered in the programs include finance, accounting, marketing, federal, state and local government policies and regulations and public affairs.

Public Administration College and University Degrees

Degrees you can get in public administration are Diploma in Public Administration, Certificate in Public Administration, Associate degree in Public Administration , Associate of Applied Science in Public Administration, Bachelor degree of Science in Public Administration, Master degree of Science in Public Administration, Master of Science in Public Affairs,  Master of Science in Public Policy or a Doctorate degree of Science in Public Administration.  Make sure that the college or university you get your degree, diploma or certificate from is accredited.  Accrediting agencies include the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. 

Curriculum for Public Administration

Courses in public administration prepare and help position you to work in federal, state and local governments and perform work that improves people’s lives.  If you enroll in two and four-year degree programs, you will generally complete various electives before you graduate.  However, you also must complete core public administration courses.  Some core public administration courses are:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Research design
  • Public policy
  • Public administration and management
  • Economic development
  • Domestic affairs
  • International affairs and relations
  • Criminal justice
  • Ethics and law
  • Information technology
  • Natural sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Principles of management
  • Legal environment for business
  • Principles of marketing
  • Principles of financial accounting

How to Enroll in Public Administration Courses

You can enroll in online colleges' programs and offline public administration programs at accredited colleges and universities.  This is a degree area that rarely requires you to complete laboratory or clinical work.  If you do decide to complete your college or university work online rather than in a classroom setting, make sure that you remain organized, complete your assignments on time and have an Internet and computer access that you can count on to work.  Depending on the accredited college or university you attend, you might keep in touch with your professors via private chat rooms, message boards, tele-seminars, webinars or video tapings.

Skills and Benefits Related to Public Administration Postsecondary Programs

You can be on the front lines of presidential, governor and mayoral elections after you get a public administration degree.  You can also manage and lead community organizations that help citizens avoid becoming homeless, living in homes absent utilities or having to endure the effects of public policies that keep people impoverished or without adequate health coverage.  In addition, to providing these and other benefits and rewards to the people you serve as a public administrator, you also gain rewards and benefits that can last throughout your life.  For example, skills and benefits college and university public administration programs provide you with include:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking and reasoning skills
  • Understanding of policy policies and how they impact you and others
  • Knowledge on how to manage healthcare programs
  • Ability to manage non-profit organizations
Job Opportunities for Public Administration

Jobs for public administrators are expected to grow by eight percent from 2008 through 2018 according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Salaries at more senior levels (e.g. city manager, city chief administrative officer, information services director) are generally higher than more junior positions.  As of May 2008, city managers and chief administrative officers earned as much as $94,992.

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