What Kind of Careers Can I Pursue with an MPA?

Deciding on the direction of a public service career can seem overwhelming because there are so many possibilities. To help guide your career decisions, our MPA focuses on today’s most relevant public administration topics and fields. With three concentrations and two certificate options available, you can focus your career on your interests, whether they lie in the nonprofit, government, public or private sectors.

Nonprofit Careers

The nonprofit sector is among the fastest growing fields. In fact, nonprofits have grown by 20% over the past decade (PNP Nonprofit Salaries & Staffing Report). With approximately 1.41 million nonprofits registered with the Internal Revenue Service (The Nonprofit Sector in Brief, 2015), professionals seeking to enter this sector are at an advantage and can choose from a variety of nonprofit roles, including:

Social and Community Service Manager

Fundraising Manager

Public Administration Post-Secondary Educator

Health Services Manager

Government Careers

As the largest employer in the U.S. (World Economic Forum), the various branches of government employ more than 22 million people, not including major agencies such as the CIA and NSA. Nearly a third of government roles lie within local governments. An important step toward entering the government sector can be developing a strong foundation in public administration. If government — especially local government — is your goal, you have many options, including:

Budget Analyst

Urban and Regional Planner

Local Government Administrative Services Manager

Law Enforcement

Public Policy Careers

Closely related to government careers, public policy careers focus on policy creation and implementation, and in some cases are more audience-facing than government roles. Public policy professionals are tasked with solving internal domestic issues and can work in government agencies, nonprofit organizations or the private sector. Roles in this field include:


Political Scientist

Private Sector Careers

The private sector faces rises and dips, but in recent years it has seen substantial growth. In fact, in 2016 the U.S. private sector saw the longest job creation streak in U.S. history (NPR.org). That’s why private organizations need qualified professionals, especially those with strong managerial, analysis and leadership skills. Some private sector roles an MPA can prepare you for include:

Top Executive

Financial Analyst

Human Resources Director

Management Analyst