93 Online Degree Programs Available in Public Administration & Policy

Why Pursue an Online Degree in Public Administration?

Ever dreamt of working for the government? If you have a knack for policy and a desire to work toward the public good, a career in public administration may be for you. Individuals in this field are essential for developing and enforcing governmental policies for the greater community, including work... in the fields of education, criminal justice and health care.

An online degree in public administration could help prepare you to pursue a variety of careers in this sector, whether you're looking to help shape the governmental landscape through policies and legislation, or you prefer working alongside officials to ensure the implementation of these procedures.

A glimpse into the realm of public administration
Public administration encompasses a variety of industries and requires expert-level knowledge in whichever field you choose to pursue. Individuals have the opportunity to study how other people interact with governmental policies, then find ways to make their lives better through enforcement or adaptation. Working in this sector allows you to have a hand in the public's overall well-being, as you may be essential to ensuring safety, health or education in the community.

Courses in an online public administration degree program provides students with opportunities to widen their academic horizons in a number of pursuits. People are introduced to business ethics, public policy, budgeting, human resources and organizational theory, in addition to classes one may take if he or she was pursuing a Master of Business Administration. Your degree can be tailored to the industry or occupation of your choosing, whether you prefer to be on the developing or enforcing end of public policy.

Possible salaries for a career in public administration
Careers in public administration cover an expansive array of possibilities, and based on which path you choose to pursue, your salary may vary. As workers may be prepared for a vast number of career paths in the public sector, individuals may have many paths to choose from with regards to their specialized degree. Consider the following occupations, with statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

  • Political scientist: 2012 Median annual salary of $102,000 (21 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]

  • Medical and health services manager: 2012 Median annual salary of $88,580 (23 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]

  • Budget analysts: 2012 Median annual salary of $69,280 (6 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills required for a position in public administration
In addition to the specialized knowledge required for individual careers in the public sector, people pursuing this path must be dedicated to bettering the community. Public administration occupations allow individuals to influence policies and legislation as they relate to the greater community, so workers in this realm must have a strong heart for their fellow man and a desire to make his life the best it can be.

Additionally, since these individuals may be interacting with many departments and officials in the government, they must be patient. Changing or enacting policies takes time, and public administrators may have to balance requests from the community to realistic timetables set forth by executives. Workers must not only be accustomed to waiting patiently for responses, but quelling community concerns in the interim. 

[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm
[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
[iii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm

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