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 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.

MPA Careers by the Numbers
percent after completing the program.2
Average MPA graduate salary3

Salary ranges for key Master of Public Administration careers:

Executive director4
Human resources director5
Director of development, nonprofit6
Program manager, nonprofit7
Program coordinator, nonprofit8

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

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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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An Immersive Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Featured Article

March 23, 2022
The World Bank explains ‘big data’ as, “a term widely used to describe the exponential growth of data, particularly the data flowing from ubiquitous mobile phones, satellites, ground sensors, vehicles and social media. It also explains the rise of the computing technologies and algorithms that harness big data for valuable insights.”
March 02, 2022
Daniel Hawes, MPA Coordinator and Associate Professor in Kent State University’s Department of Political Science, recently published a study titled “Representative Bureaucracy, Institutional Support, and Clientele Need: The Case of Undocumented Students” in the Administration and Society journal. Read a synopsis of his research and background on the subject here.
January 12, 2022
Earning your degree as a part-time student means you can continue to work while you gain relevant skills to move your public sector career forward. But there’s more to it than just avoiding a break in your resume.
January 11, 2022
Between websites, social media, emails and snail-mail, the sheer volume of available information about master’s degree programs can make a prospective student’s head spin—or, worse, they can overwhelm that candidate into forgoing graduate school altogether. There’s an easier, much more productive way forward.
November 22, 2021
Nonprofits are allowed to advocate for social issues but how far can they go to change public policy? Kent State MPA faculty researched this topic studying immigrant-serving organizations to find out how nonprofits are using their status to make changes for the people who depend on them.
October 11, 2021
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.
September 28, 2021
An online MPA degree will substantially increase your earning potential and prepare you to be a top-tier agent of positive change. Keep reading to learn all the details about earning an online Master of Public Administration or MPA degree, from a full program description to the excellent career options you can look forward to as a master of public administration.
September 27, 2021
Grad school can open a world of opportunities. People interested in strengthening skills to head an organization might need to make a decision between more than one degree, specifically: a Master of Public Administration (MPA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA).
August 23, 2021
As with jobs in all industries, jobs in the public sector have certain advantages and disadvantages. While each person might have their own opinion of what constitutes a positive or negative aspect of any career, read on for our take on the pros and cons of working in the public sector.
June 24, 2021
In 2020, the nature of work changed rapidly. The pace of change has only continued to accelerate in 2021, with many companies keeping hybrid work schedules—a reality that seemed a distant dream prior to the pandemic. Fortunately for many learners hoping to achieve greater economic prosperity, higher education is changing, as well.
June 23, 2021
If recent newspaper headlines are to be believed, many people are wondering if the U.S. government is getting too large. While it’s true that over 15% of the workforce is involved in the military, public and national service, the size of the U.S. government proportionate to the total population has actually shrunk in the last 50 years.
June 11, 2021
The terms ‘public sector’ and ‘private sector’ appear frequently in the news. Reports on the pandemic, the economy and employment numbers, among other topics, often discuss how each sector will be affected by recent developments. Exactly what are the private and public sectors, and how do they differ from each other?
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  1. Retrieved on November 5, 2020, from
  2. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from Kent State alumni from graduating cohorts between 2016-2020.
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