Pave a New Path in the Public Sector
MPA Careers by the Numbers
27%
percent after completing the program.2
$67,767
Average MPA graduate salary3

The path to public good is personal and varies for each individual, but Master of Public Administration careers and others in the nonprofit sector present incredible opportunities to identify specific needs in a community and find ways to solve them. A Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Nonprofit Management or an advanced degree like a Master of Public Administration (MPA) demonstrates your pursuit of advanced knowledge, desire to lead, and a set of professional skills needed to succeed in a variety of public service and nonprofit roles.

So why not set yourself on the path for career growth and real impact? Join a growing field that lets you create social change for the common good within communities, families and individual lives.

Study alongside and form deep connections with a diverse group of peers from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Allow your preconceptions to be challenged and your knowledge base broadened, as your classmates demonstrate how public administration jobs function across different sectors and fields. Lead the charge toward change and greater good by building the skills and confidence to succeed in a number of public administration careers, as well as nonprofit management roles, with Kent State’s online graduate programs.

Because master’s degree holders earn, on average, nearly 20 percent more in salary than those with only a bachelor’s degree,1 a Master of Public Administration degree could help you reach salary outcomes at or near the upper end of these ranges.

Salary ranges for key Master of Public Administration careers:
$45K-$171K
Executive director4
$38K-$78K
Program manager, nonprofit7
$56K-$137K
Human resources director5
$33K-$60K
Program coordinator, nonprofit8
$43K-$103K
Director of development, nonprofit6
What Can You Do with an MPA?

Government Career Paths

With nearly 22 million jobs in the U.S.,9 the government is the largest collective employer of MPA graduates.10 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

Popular Cities for MPA Graduate1

  • New York City
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago

Nonprofit Career Paths

At 12.4 million people strong,11 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

Employment Rates Within Six Months of Graduation, By Sector10

  • Government (all levels): 49%
  • Nonprofit sector: 23%
  • Private sector: 17%
  • Military: 4%
  • Other: 7%
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Kent State University’s Online Master’s in Public Administration has moved up in the U.S. News rankings! The program is currently ranked 135 (out of 270) in the U.S. News 2024 Best Public Affairs Programs. The program is also tied for 4th place in Ohio and second place in Northeast Ohio.
Watch Dr. Daniel Hawes speak to Sage Publications about a paper he presented at the American Political Science Association conference in Montreal 2022. The paper also won the Herbert Kaufman Best Paper award from the Public Administration Section in 2023.

Sources

1. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2020/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from Kent State alumni from graduating cohorts between 2016-2020.
2. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Public_Administration_(MPA)/Salary
3. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Executive_Director/Salary
4. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Human_Resources_(HR)_Director/Salary
5. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director_of_Development%2C_Non-Profit_Organization/Salary
6. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Program_Manager%2c_Non-Profit_Organization/Salary
7. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Program_Coordinator%2c_Non-Profit_Organization/Salary
8. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from www.bls.gov/oes/current/999001.htm
9. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from naspaa.org/sites/default/files/docs/2019-10/2019%20NASPAA%20Annual%20Data%20Report.pdf
10. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from www.bls.gov/bdm/nonprofits/nonprofits.htm