With the massive growth of the security sector since 9/11 – both in government, and in private security contracting – it’s becoming more and more common for employers to expect master’s degrees. While many professionals in the security industry are turning to security MBA programs and Master of Science programs, the Master of Public Administration in Homeland Security is an excellent choice for professionals who want to work both sides of the security industry – public and private.
What is an MPA?
A Master’s in Public Administration or Public Affairs is a graduate degree that provides the skills necessary for students to work in areas of management that require courses in the development of public policies, ethics, research protocols, managerial accounting, policy analysis, and geographic information analysis, public finance, and microeconomics. An MPA degree allows individuals to work in both the public and private sectors, and in some cases, work between both sectors in terms of sharing information and managing specific types of business transactions.
Individuals who have completed their MPA degrees are well-versed in many areas and can look for work in many different areas. Some of the most popular fields of interest for an MPA graduate include international affairs, economic development, criminal justice, environmental management/policy, community and economic development, non-profit management, cultural policy, transportation, urban planning, and emergency management. Students can often find jobs in their chosen field prior to obtaining their Master’s degree. Doing so provides additional experience they can continue to advance in their career.
What Can You Do with an MPA?
Ask yourself, “What can I do with an MPA degree?” By earning an MPA degree, there are several jobs you can apply for with an MPA, many of them in the federal government. Public affairs, environmental management, non-profit management, and urban planning are just a few of the more common occupations that a person with a degree in public administration can apply for. These jobs require excellent communication skills. A qualified applicant must also be able to work with the public in several capacities, including public speaking, interacting with various organizations, and negotiating or evaluating policies on a variety of levels. MPA career paths can be very diverse and rewarding. Many of the skills that are taught in MPA degree programs are beneficial in other areas as well. These include both the legal and healthcare fields.
Are There Jobs for MPA Graduates with No Experience?
Master of Public Administration careers are everywhere. There are many different jobs for MPA graduates who have no real experience. The key is finding jobs with an MPA connection and apply for them while you are still earning your degree. Working in your chosen field prior to graduating will provide you hands-on experience that you can put on your resume for added strength. Some companies offer internships for just that purpose. Become an assistant to someone who is in emergency management, public affairs or non-profit management. As an assistant, you can learn how things are done and what protocols and policies are already in place. Then hands-on learning you receive will help you grasp many of the subjects you are taking in school. Being able to apply that information in the workplace will be extremely valuable once you have earned your degree.
Are There Available MPA Jobs in the Private Sector?
There are Master of Public Administration jobs in both the public and private sectors. In most cases, private sector MPA jobs will have a close relationship to the government. One clear pipeline for MPA graduates into the private sector, of course, is government contracting. As contracting becomes the norm in all sorts of areas, an MPA gains more value in the private sector. This can involve environmental management, public affairs, and community development. MPA graduates in the private sector often end up working with non-profit organizations in setting up fundraisers and other activities.
Many large corporations employ MPA grads who specialize in public affairs, economic development, and other areas so that they have individuals who can work with government agencies on a professional basis. This allows both sectors to work in conjunction with one another to reach solutions that benefit everyone involved. Whether you choose to work in the media, legal, healthcare, non-profit, or government setting, an MPA degree will serve you well and enable you to move forward in your chosen career.