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.
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
- 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.