August 1, 2014

What Is An MPA Degree?

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What is an MPA DegreeStudents interested in public administration commonly ask, what is an MPA degree? A Master of Public Administration, or MPA degree, is a professional degree program that prepares students for leadership, management, and upper level careers in the public administration field. MPA programs focus on advanced topics of public administration and topics include roles and principles of public administration, public policy management, organizational management, administrative law, government and public administration, and professional ethics. Students commonly have the ability to specialize in a certain area such as health care, international affairs, environment, education, urban policy, and criminal justice. Individuals who pursue this degree often enjoy various benefits including a variety of career options and competitive salary. The programs typically take two years of full-time study to complete and online MPA programs are available.

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How To Find The Top MPA Programs

When searching for top MPA programs it is important to consider a variety of factors that may make some programs better than others such as if an institution is accredited, tuition costs, faculty, curriculum, and distance learning classes. A great place to start is looking at the rankings of colleges and universities that offer campus-based and online MPA Programs. The U.S. World and News Report reports rankings of many different institutions that offer Masters in Public Administration programs. Examples of the best MPA programs include Syracuse University, Indiana University, and the University of Georgia. Syracuse University was the first in the nation to offer a graduate public administration degree and it offers various other undergraduate and graduate public administration majors. Walden University offers one of the best online MPA programs. Students should conduct extensive research on programs and contact admissions offices and faculty of prospective programs. Considering the type of specialization, core curriculum and electives, thesis requirement, timeframe, and internship opportunities are also important factors.

Careers and Salaries For Individuals With MPA Degrees

Individuals with an MPA degree have a wide variety of career opportunities and MPA salaries are very competitive. The degree also offers working professional career development to move up in their current organizations. Graduates are prepared to pursue leadership and management opportunities in local, state, and federal government organizations as well as nonprofit agencies and non-government organizations (NGO). Many choose to pursue public management positions such as a city manager. The salary for city managers ranges from $43,669 to $153,823 depending on employer, experience, and location. Other possible options and salary ranges include management analysts $43,750 to $56,163, human resources director $79,525 to $97,750, and executive director of a non-profit organization $34,000 to $66,500.

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