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Blogs / ICMA Students: Trending from Tomorrow’s Leaders / 3 Career Benefits from MPA Degrees

3 Career Benefits from MPA Degrees

Public administration graduates not only put themselves in a better position for career enhancement or higher pay, but they also deepen their knowledge and skills to help ensure personal growth and future local government success.

David Marshall, director of membership development, Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), states that to “earn a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the best way to prepare for a career as a city manager or within local government.” He further explains that with either a MPA or Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree you will be prepared for not only the local government management issues of today but for the challenges of the future as well.

It’s a real leg up in such a competitive job market

“Just read today’s local government job postings – a wide range of positions either require (or prefer) that job applicants have an MPA. Why? Because they understand that an MPA grounds students in the leadership skills and ethics necessary to succeed professionally in today’s complex environments. If you’re already working in local government, earning an MPA is a great strategy for career advancement. Professional credentials can provide a real leg up in such a competitive job market.”

Susan Austin, Career Services Director, Master of Public Administration Program, School of Government – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

[Discover the ICMA Member Exclusive: Online MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill]

It opens doors

“A graduate degree in public administration opens doors to leadership and management roles while expanding your capacity to do good in the world. The Evans School MPA is structured so students receive practical training in management and leadership as well as analysis and research, all of which can immediately help optimize your work in local government. Imagine having a new framework through which to address a challenging HR issue or gaining confidence in Excel so the budgeting process goes smoother next year or being able to identify the statistical flaws in a poll about the "Best Place to Live In America" before it becomes a public relations nightmare for your city! Beyond the toolbox of skills that an MPA program builds, pursuing graduate studies also illustrates your ability to commit fully and follow through on something that is important to you. Finally, your classmates, professors, and school administrators become your professional network for life; the MPA is a valuable degree that will serve as a launch pad for graduates.”

Tamara Lynn Schaps, MA, Director of Career Development, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance | University of Washington

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