What can I do with a Master’s in Public Administration? Find your career with an MPA

students mingling at an event

A Master of Public Administration career, and others in the nonprofit sector, present incredible opportunities to identify specific needs in a community and find ways to solve them.

What can you do with a master’s in public administration? Regarded as the core professional credential for a management career in public service, this online degree from Kent State can help you:

  • Gain momentum in your public service career
  • Become a trusted authority in your workplace
  • Uncover exciting new ways to implement policy
  • Expand your professional network
  • Stand out to hiring managers

Why Public Administration?

An online MPA program will give you the knowledge, skill set, expertise, and credibility required to become a leading public administrator. You’ll learn to resolve complex public issues within communities and organizations by implementing beneficial programs, projects and policies.

MPA stands for Master of Public Administration. As the name suggests, most people who pursue this degree work in the public sector which includes any part of a state or national economy that is tied to public programs or services and is controlled by the government. However, MPAs are also hired by plenty of for-profit organizations as they learn critical skills in organizing and management.

What careers are associated with an MPA degree?

Government Career Paths

With nearly 22 million jobs in the U.S.,1 the government is the largest collective employer of MPA graduates. MPA graduates can go on to pursue jobs—at all levels of government—that include:

  • City manager
  • Public works director
  • Chief of police
  • Government program manager
  • Urban or regional planner
  • Social and community service manager
  • Chief librarian
  • Grants coordinator

Nonprofit Career Paths

At 12.4 million people strong,2 the American nonprofit sector is a robust market. Online graduates of the master’s program or the nonprofit management certificate program can go on to pursue nonprofit jobs that include:

  • Director of advancement
  • Director of development
  • Executive director
  • Program director
  • Services director
  • Development manager
  • Grants coordinator

Why a Master’s in Public Administration from Kent State University?

It’s an accredited online MPA program for working professionals

In Kent State’s NASPAA-accredited online MPA program, you can learn from anywhere, entirely online, on a schedule that flexes around your standing commitments.

This online MPA program prepares you for senior management positions

You’ll gain fluency in project and policy implementation to resolve challenges within your organization and community. Your enhanced leadership abilities will include:

  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Strategic planning related to program design and implementation
  • Management of information technology systems in public sector agencies
  • Leadership of nonprofit and public organizations
  • Key aspects of effective nonprofit governance
  • Fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations

Expert, practitioner faculty teach immediately applicable skills

You’ll study with published authors, veterans of local and state government, seasoned researchers, and specialists in public administration and policy.

You can add “MPA” to your credentials in two years

Comprised of eight core courses, three electives, and a final capstone project, the Kent State online MPA program delivers an in-depth, flexibly scheduled education in two years—the same amount of time that other programs require for full-time, on-campus MPA degree completion.

Kent State University’s Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Kent State’s Online Master of Public Administration (MPA) is one of only a select number of online MPA programs in the United States that is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Our program is designed for busy working professionals who want to gain the knowledge, skills, and credibility necessary to advance a career in the public sector. Using learning techniques that help you apply what you learn in real-time, this program positions you for senior management positions in local, state, and regional governments, as well as in nonprofit organizations.

For more information on Kent State’s Online Master of Public Administration (MPA), visit https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/political-science/master-of-public-administration/.

Not interested in a Master’s Degree? Try Kent State’s Online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Kent State’s Online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management combines the quality and flexibility of our MPA degree with the agility of a short-term, targeted professional skills-development program. In as few as 12 months, you can gain enhanced knowledge of fundraising, development, advocacy, and board relations.

  • Complete the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in as little as a year
  • 12 credits
  • Three start dates: January, May, August
  • No GRE requirement

For more information on Kent State’s Online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, visit https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/political-science/master-of-public-administration/certificate.



1 Retrieved on August 21, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/999001.htm

2 Retrieved on August 21, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/bdm/nonprofits/nonprofits.htm

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Dr. Astrid N. Sambolín Morales is an Assistant Professor in Kent State Online’s 100% Online Master of Education degree in Cultural Foundations. She received her PhD in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado Boulder and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research provides a more nuanced picture of the agency, resistance, and empowerment enacted by displaced Puerto Rican m(others) in the U.S., and her work was funded by several grants, including the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center, the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, the URBAN Research Network, and the NAEd Spencer Foundation.