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Earning an Online Public Administration Degree: Where You Can Find Work

A public administration professional in a meeting - Tulane School of Professional Advancement

In 2020-2021 alone, American colleges awarded over 16,000 public administration degrees. As one of the most popular degrees across the U.S., public administration is a fulfilling career for those looking to contribute significantly to societal and national development.

Whether you're interested in working in city government or at a nonprofit, earning your online public administration degree at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (Tulane SoPA) can prepare you to find work that effects positive change across industries.

What Is a Career in Public Administration?

With a public administration degree, your job is mainly based on leadership development concerning the needs and public safety of society, whether through public or private organizations.

It is the responsibility of public administrators to analyze information, manage expenditures, and draft and manage governmental and public policy. As a public administrator, you're also responsible for safety inspections within your given locale, managing people and resources, investigating criminal and deviant activities, and serving as a steward of public interest.

Within your role, you'll tackle vital community issues, such as assisting organizations in satisfying the changing needs of their area. In addition, you'll be required to implement public information technologies that connect citizens and government representatives and enhance responses to natural disasters.

Skills required

For a successful career in public administration, it's necessary to equip yourself with both soft and hard skills. Some soft skills you should master as you prepare for your role include:

  • Problem-solving and critical thinking: To make measurable change in your community, you'll need to identify root problems using critical analysis to understand complicated phenomena. After issues have been identified, you'll be responsible for providing solutions that benefit the public good.
  • Communication: Proper communication is crucial in creating relationships with colleagues, collaborative partners, and customers. As a public administrator, you’ll need to persuade your clients and colleagues, listen effectively, and vary your verbal style while getting your points across efficiently.
  • Resilience: As the public service field changes rapidly, public administrators must be resilient and adapt to changes as they pop up. You'll need the capacity to bounce back from unexpected difficulties and cope with pressure effectively.
  • Leadership: Like in any other profession, leadership skills are vital in a public administration career. These skills will help motivate your team and colleagues, delegate responsibilities to your juniors, respond to feedback, and solve organizational problems.

Hard skills that an effective public administrator should have include:

  • Budgeting and financing
  • Economic and political process
  • Ethics
  • Organizational behavior management
  • Performance management
  • Public planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Policy analysis

Students can develop these essential skills in various ways, including academic studies, work experience, or even helping to run a student society. With an online public administration degree from Tulane SoPA, you can also add these skills to your toolkit by taking courses led by industry leaders with decades of real-world experience.

Salary and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative services and facilities managers make an average of $100,170 annually. In addition, the overall employment of administrative services and facilities is estimated to grow by 7 percent by 2031. Over the next ten years, more than 31,000 openings for administrative services and facility managers are projected.

Where Can a Public Administrator Work?

Public administration graduates can work in a variety of rapidly growing fields, from public sectors and government agencies to nonprofit organizations.

City government offices

In city governments, public administrators provide administrative support to professional technical staff and elected council representatives. Their roles in city and local governments often include preparing reports, managing staff, and serving on committees.

You may serve the local state and federal government as a public administrator through city planning, financial aid, and environmental services. It’s also your job to organize, manage, and oversee organizations that control community laws and statutes.

State agricultural departments

In agricultural departments, public administrators are known as farm secretaries or rural business administrators. As an agricultural administrator, your main job will be providing administrative support to farmers and informing them about the physical and financial performance of the farm. In addition, it’s your job to monitor and control budgets and cash flows on the farm and work with accountants to prepare end-year accounts.

As part of your role, you'll also keep employment records and calculate the salaries of all employees in state departments and agencies. In addition, as a housing specialist, you'll be required to provide safe and affordable housing to families — especially the homeless.

Federal housing and urban development departments

Public administration graduates can also work in the housing and urban development department. You'll be tasked with balancing the needs of stakeholders in a community, from business owners to developers. For its success, you'll be required to determine ways to maintain affordable housing, increase economic activities, and motivate diversity within a community.

A Master of Public Administration degree can also land you in the Bureau of Economic analysis. Here, you'll be required to help produce economic account statistics for the government, business decision-makers, researchers, and the American public so they can understand the country's economy.

Government hospitals and clinics

A public administration graduate can work in government hospitals and clinics as a health administrator. The primary role here is to monitor the daily administrative operations of healthcare facilities. As a health administrator, you'll be required to plan and supervise all medical services — including updating health records and monitoring budgets.

Hospital administrators are responsible for directing, supervising, and evaluating the work activities of nursing, medical, technical, and all other staff within the facility. It's your responsibility to plan, enforce, and administer programs and services — for instance, training and coordination of all staff.

You may also work in the Department of Veterans Affairs, where you'll manage veteran affairs, healthcare facilities, and departments. In addition, you’ll provide medical care, benefits, and other core services to military veterans.

Nonprofit organizations

Nonprofit administrators — hired by the board of directors — are responsible for recruiting board members, planning board meetings, and providing information as required by the board. In this position, you'll oversee and encourage board members to aid in fundraising efforts and provide support for effective operations in the office.

Earn Your Online Public Administration Degree at Tulane SoPA

With so many career opportunities open for public administrators and even more projected to emerge, a public administration degree is undoubtedly worth considering.

At Tulane SoPA, we have affordable online programs to equip you with the requisite training and skills for your next career in the public and private sectors. All of our award-winning programs are created with engaging courses taught by faculty who practice what they teach.

Start your application today to learn how an online public administration degree can be the key to your next career.

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