An MPA, or a master’s degree in public administration, prepares students for careers in public service, the government, non-profits, and other related organizations. Advancing your education definitely gives you an advantage over those who choose not to in the form of a job promotion or salary increment.
Furthermore, the degree provides students with the skillset necessary to thrive in a private and non-profit sector. Effective leadership, policy analysis, statistics, finance, accounting, management, and strategic planning are just a few of the topics covered while pursuing a master’s in public administration.
In this article specifically, we’ll be discussing online MPAs which are pretty similar to traditional MPAs, except they are done partially or fully via an e-learning platform.
What Are Some Courses That Students Can Expect in an Online MPA Program?
While undergraduate social science programs may focus on theory-based education, a master’s in public administration will concentrate on solving high-level problems using strategies taken from the actual industry.
Additionally, research, analysis, and management methods will also play instrumental roles in this degree. Administrative ethics, budgeting and finance, and public policy analysis will be covered as core curriculums of this degree as well. Students will also be expected to complete both an internship and a capstone project to graduate. Below are some courses that may be included in an MPA curriculum, depending on the university:
· Issues and cases in public administration
· Organizational behavior and leadership
· Research methods and strategies
· Managerial accounting
· Financial management
· Information technology for accounting
What Are the Requirements for an Online MPA Degree?
Requirements for an MPA degree may vary greatly depending upon which university that you decide to enroll in. Many universities may require or prefer you to have a background in liberal arts. Furthermore, if you are applying to a Master of Public Administration, then you should have previously taken courses in political science, history, and government, just to name a few. In addition, many programs may require an analytical background in subjects such as mathematics, accounting, or finance.
Some or all these requirements may apply to your program and university:
1. Bachelor’s degree: Overall, regardless of which university you end up choosing, most will require an undergraduate degree from an accredited university.
2. Transcripts: Many institutions will require official transcripts before enrolling in a master’s program. Be sure to request these official transcripts from prior institutions with enough time to apply before the application deadline.
3. Experience: It is helpful to include all experience that you may already have in the industry in your college application. This could be notably beneficial and give you an advantage over those who don’t have any previous experience.
4. Personal statements: A personal statement in the form of an essay could be required from an institution. These essays are used to further explain the desire to attend an MPA program. Topics for the article could include, but not limited to, why you want to participate in the program or university, why your previous experience could help you succeed in the program and your future plans after obtaining the degree.
5. Letters of Recommendation: Another aspect of the application could include letters of recommendation. The number of documents will depend on the university, but it is important to request these with enough time in advance to apply.
6. Test scores: Additionally, certain programs may require test scores that could include the GRE. This will also vary depending on the institution as some colleges don’t require test scores entirely.
Lastly, it should be noted that some programs may offer an executive track for those who already have industry experience. This program may offer an accelerated version of the program for those who are mid-career level.
Why Choose an Online Program?
Online programs are now being offered through many accredited universities. The allure to these programs can’t be denied. The opportunity to continue working a full-time job while continuing your education is just one of the many benefits of pursuing an online degree. Here are a few more benefits:
One of the main benefits of an online program is flexibility. Online learning allows students to learn on their schedule. For some, that means being able to work a full-time job while attending college. This is also perfect for those who are juggling other commitments.
Online programs can commonly be completed earlier than in-person degrees. Numerous online programs offer accelerated versions of the program depending upon your background and experiences.
Online programs are well-known for being quite affordable. Tuition discounts and scholarships are frequently offered through online programs. Furthermore, some universities will offer in-state tuition to all of their enrollees.
What Are the Best Universities to Earn an Online MPA Degree?
Penn State Worldwide
A Master of Public Administration online can be obtained through the prestigious Penn State University. The program boasts one of the most interactive online programs in the U.S. The 36-credit degree costs $886 per credit hour and covers the most relevant topics in the industry today. This program is ideal for those who are advancing their careers in the public health sector.
Indiana State University
Become a well-rounded graduate of an MPA program at Indiana State University. This 36-credit program costs $427 per credit hour. This program is designed for professionals who may already be in the industry or are working and are looking for an accommodating program. Skills in policy implementation, ethical public service, organization leadership, and more will be honed during the program.
University of North Dakota
Ranked among U.S. News and World Report’s 25 most innovative colleges, the University of North Dakota offers students a graduate-level public administration degree. Research methods, political and policy analysis, and health administration, among others, will be covered during the MPA program. Additionally, students have the opportunity to complete the online MPA degree alone or in conjunction with another focus. One of those possible combined opportunities is the JD/MPA for those looking to pursue law in the public sector. The program tuition for the University of North Dakota is $976 per credit hour.
What Careers Can I Pursue with an MPA Degree
An accountant may be the right position for you if you enjoy helping others manage their money. Accountants or auditors will help public administrators analyze and prepare their finances to keep the company operating smoothly. The projected job growth of an accountant is 11 percent through 2024. Furthermore, an accountant or auditor can make anywhere between $56,691 to $75,000. An account manager and auditor at Apple, for instance, makes $73,773.
Administrative Services Manager
The role of an administrative services manager entails planning, directing, and coordinating the activities that help a company run efficiently. Administrative service managers can go on to become chief administrative officers, which is a role that generally reports to the CEO. The average salary for an administrative services manager in the U.S. is $90,537, with a salary range between $78,118 and $103,952. The projected growth of an administrative services manager is 7 percent through 2028.
An economist studies, develops, and uses industry theories to write about economic policy. Furthermore, they study the distribution of resources, including raw materials and labor, and how they affect the production of goods and services in the financial sector. A master’s degree is typically required to succeed as an economist. The average salary for an economist in the U.S. is $98,212 per year, while salaries can range from $26,000 to $216,000. This role also presents a faster than average job growth of 8 percent by 2028.
Emergency Management Director
The position of an emergency management director entails creating detailed plans and procedures in the event of a national disaster or other emergencies. Additionally, they work in conjunction with public safety officials, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, among others, to lead the response after disasters and emergencies. These roles are essential to the community to keep everyone safe from harm. An emergency management director makes an average of $88,772 a year in the United States. Salaries generally range between $24,000 and $161,500. This career is expected to grow by 5 percent within the next eight years.
Post-Secondary Education Administrator
A post-secondary education administrator’s job involves overseeing student services, academics, and faculty research at an accredited university. These roles can work through many different college offices, including admissions, student affairs, or the registrar’s office. They play an integral part in keeping the university operating effectively and efficiently. The average salary for a post-secondary education administrator is $95,410 a year. The lower end of the average salary is $55,320, while the higher end of the average is $194,090. The job growth is 7 percent through 2028, which is faster than average when compared to other professions.
So, Is an Online MPA Program Worth It?
An MPA or any online master’s program can be extremely beneficial to a professional. The program provides advanced training that can increase your earning potential and accelerate your career trajectories.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that professionals with a master’s degree earn an average of $12,000 more per year than those with a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, a professional with a master’s degree in niche fields can earn a higher wage.
Those with a master’s degree are more likely to get promoted when compared to those without. Additionally, many companies are now requiring a master’s degree for senior management and higher-level positions.
The benefits of a master’s degree are endless. That fact, along with the many advantages of online learning, makes for an ideal situation in attending an online MPA program from an accredited university. Career Karma is here to help you make your dreams come true. Visit Career Karma today to start or progress a future in public administration with an MPA.