Skip to main content

Master of Public Administration Career Outlook

Pave a New Path in the Public Sector

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 of 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 towards 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.

Download Our Brochure

By clicking "Get Brochure,” I agree to provide the contact information listed above for the purpose of receiving communications regarding educational programs and opportunities.

MPA Outcomes by the Numbers

$64,000
Average MPA graduate salary1

Salary ranges for key Master of Public Administration careers:

  • Executive director: $42.7K-$164.3K2
  • Human resources director: $53K-$132.5K3
  • Director of development, nonprofit: $40.3K-$99.4K4
  • Program manager, nonprofit: $35.7K-$73.8K5
  • Program coordinator, nonprofit: $30.9K-$57.7K6

Because master’s degree holders earn, on average, nearly 20 percent more in salary than those with only a bachelor’s degree,7 a Master of Public Administration degree could help you reach salary outcomes at or near the upper end of these ranges.

View Top Employment Sectors

From Our Students

Jessica Greene
“This degree has been extremely helpful in broadening my understanding of the role of administrators, the role of strategic planning and the ethical responsibilities of our positions.”
- Jessica Greene, MPA ’19 candidate

What Can You Do With an MPA?

Government Career Paths

With more than 19 million jobs in the U.S. in 2016,8 the government is the largest collective employer of MPA graduates.9 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 Graduates1

  • New York, New York
  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chicago, Illinois

View Program Details

Nonprofit Career Paths

The nonprofit sector is the largest single employer of MPA graduates, with more than 12.3 million nonprofit jobs in the U.S. in 2016.10 Online MPA graduates or graduates of 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 6 Months of Graduation, by Sector9

  • Government (all levels): 40%
  • Nonprofit sector: 20%
  • Private sector: 16%
  • Military: 3%
  • Other: 21%

Learn more about what an MPA can do for you and your community.

Apply Now

1. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_PublicAdministration(MPA)/Salary
2. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Executive_Director/Salary
3. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=HumanResources(HR)_Director/Salary
4. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director_of_Development%2c_Non-Profit_Organization/Salary
5. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Program_Manager%2c_Non-Profit_Organization/Salary
6. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Program_Coordinator%2c_Non-Profit_Organization/Salary
7. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
8. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk#
9. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from flipsnack.com/naspaa/2016-17-naspaa-accreditation-data-report.html
10. Retrieved on November 19, 2018 www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/nonprofits-account-for-12-3-million-jobs-10-2-percent-of-private-sector-employment-in-2016.htm