An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a professional degree that allows students to become experts in business administration and practice. It is a prestigious degree, but demand for those who have MBA skills but also more specialized skills is growing. One of these specialized skills is found in Public Administration. This means that they understand the business practices and administration of public works.
What We Do
Someone with an MBA in Public Administration can perform a variety of duties. They can, for instance, become bid writers for nonprofit organizations, or they can become grant award officers for large financial agencies or governments. They focus on developing and delivering services, creating strategies and policies, researching new public services and more.
Why It’s Hot
A lot of professions are possible with an MBA in Public Administration. And all of these professions tend to lead to very interesting salaries. For instance, Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents earn an average of $50,440 per year at bachelor’s degree level. A master’s degree generally adds between $10,000 and $20,000 per year to an average salary. Meanwhile, Court, Municipal, and License Clerks earn an average of $37,340 with no degree to their name, which means those with an MBA, who usually manage the direct clerks, can earn around three times as much. A Police Chief earns an average of $70,012 per year.
Salary is not the only reason why the MBA in Public Administration is hot, however. It is also due to the fact that public works are becoming increasingly complex. Demands on services are growing, but less money is available. Hence, people who have the skills to reduce costs while at the same time improving both provision and quality are almost guaranteed to find a good job.
Because the career possibilities are so vast, work environments are varied as well. You may work in a federal office in a plush penthouse office, or you may find yourself in a small charitable organization sharing a desk with service users. You can work in the field of service delivery itself in order to study new policies and procedures, or you could spend your days researching various services. While much of your work will be done behind a desk, writing and researching and working with data, you will also spend a lot of time in meetings and educating others on new policies, procedures and strategies.
How to Do It
In order to obtain an MBA in Public Administration, you will need to complete a four year bachelor’s degree first. Various majors could be beneficial for this, including public policy, health care related fields, law, politics, sociology, and more. Admission to MBA programs is highly competitive, however, so you will need to do your best to stand out from the crowd. One of the ways to achieve this is by doing well on your GMAT exam. Additionally, you may want to consider applying for multiple schools to increase your chances of being accepted or search for MBA programs without the GMAT requirement.
You can choose to complete an MBA degree either on campus or online. One on campus option is the MPH/MBA offered by the University of Buffalo School of Management, which graduates students with both an MBA and a Master’s in Public Health. It is a three year comprehensive degree program that deliver some of the country’s most in demand graduates.
MBA in Public Administration Online
A lot of people choose to study online instead. This is incredibly convenient, as it allows students to fit their study program around their existing professional and personal commitments. Furthermore, studying online means that you are not bound by geographical constraints.
- *Online MBA in Public Administration – Southern New Hampshire University – This program prepares students to shape public policy, implement programs and more. It wants to deliver graduates who are a step ahead of anyone else in the profession. SNHU is ranked in the top 100 of America’s Best Online MBA rankings for 2017. ACBSP accredited.
- *Online MBA in Public Administration – Northcentral University – This MBA degree with a specialization in Public Administration focuses on acquiring the administrative knowledge and skills in such diverse areas as budgeting, government relations, personnel policies, politics, and urban planning.
- Online MBA Concentration in Public Administration – Concordia University – This degree offers business studies that are rooted firmly in Christian traditions and ethics. A capstone course is required for graduation.
- Master of Business Administration – Public Administration – Columbia Southern University – The focus of this degree is strongly on practical content. Students become experts in understanding what their role is in communities, be they local or global.
- MBA-Public Administration Dual Degree Program – Hamline University – This degree graduates students with both an MBA and an MPH (Master in Public Health). As such, it combines the two and delivers highly skilled graduates.
- Dual MBA/MPH Degree Program Online – Benedictine University – This degree is designed to create graduates who are a giant step ahead of anyone else trying to get into this field.
Pros & Cons
There are advantages and disadvantages to every degree program and career and it is important that you are aware of these so that you can be empowered to decide whether it is the right career move for you or not.
- If you want to drive public policies, then this degree is exactly what you need.
- You will be able to address issues on a global scale, positioning yourself as a true expert.
- You can usually complete these degree programs in around two years, much quicker than many other programs.
- You may require further education if you want to become involved in research work.
- Jobs in this field are well paid, but not as well as many other MBA specializations.
- You may have to pass various other examinations in order to be able licensed to get to work.
- Keller Graduate School of Management helps students to access the over $75 million that is available in grants and scholarships.
- Southern New Hampshire University offers a range of different scholarships and loans that their students can access.
- Liberty University Online has referred their students to a variety of external scholarship funds.
- Ashford University offers a range of scholarships for their students.
- NCU offers eight full tuition scholarships to their students.
Most graduates of an MBA in Public Administration search for work in nonprofit organizations or government. However, there are also private sector jobs available. Usually, graduates are prepared for careers in public administration teaching, advanced criminal justice, government careers and administration positions in nonprofit organizations. Some of the positions that are popular include:
- Tax Assessor: Looking into tax payments of various organizations.
- Court Clerk: Providing advice, information and guidance for court cases.
- Police Chief: Managing various departments or units within the police.
- Prison Warden: Running a penitentiary system.
- Fire Chief: Being the highest ranked individual within a city’s fire department. You will make sure that the department functions efficiently, which includes monitoring the training of firefighters. You will also ensure that a firefighter is able to maintain excellent physical and mental health and well being. Responsibility for rotas and shift scheduling will also lie on your shoulders. You will report directly to the fire commissioner or the mayor. Additionally, you may have to work as a firefighter yourself. Furthermore, you will play a big role in educating the community.
- City Manager: Being responsible for the day to day running of a city, which includes coordinating and supervising various departments and dealing with HR issues. You will also monitor the budget of a city and decide where money should be spent. This could be on things such as schools, roadworks or renovations for instance.
- Medical and Health Service Manager: Overseeing, coordinating and planning of health care delivery. You will be responsible for ensuring that health care facilities have integrated technology and that they are able to deliver high quality health care within a tight budget. You will usually communicate with professionals, patients and insurance companies. Depending on the size of the facility you work for, you may manage the entire facility or focus on a single department.
- Local Government Administrator: You will ensure the best interests of the community and individual citizens are maintained. You will assess data, but also gather public opinion and make sure these two are aligned.
- Charity Executive Director: Help a charitable organization to run properly, ensuring more money comes in from donations and ensuring that the money is spend properly, increasing a charity’s efficiency.
- Budget Director: Often within smaller organizations or nonprofit companies, ensuring that the budget is spent properly on the areas where it is most needed.
- Nonprofit Director: Working in a similar capacity as a charity executive director, but for a nonprofit company. This mainly means that obtaining finances is done differently.
- Policy Manager: This role can be completed in a variety of different organizations. You will be responsible for writing, implementing and reviewing policies and making sure they are followed properly.
- The American Review of Public Administration
- Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
- Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research
- The American Review of Public Administration
- International Journal of Public Administration
Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Public Administration