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Auditorium audience listens to speaker who addresses the group at the front of the room

Master of Public Administration

Career Outlook

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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

27%

Our alumni reported an average salary increase of 27 percent after completing the program.2

$67,767

Average MPA graduate salary3

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Salary ranges for key Master of Public Administration careers:

$45K-$171K
Executive director4
$56K-$137K
Human resources director5
$43K-$103K
Director of development, nonprofit6
$38K-$78K
Program manager, nonprofit7
$33K-$60K
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

View Master’s Details View Certificate Details

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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Make an Impact on Public Administration

To submit a successful application, follow the steps in our application checklist.

Gain Career Traction

Make your success your top priority. Apply today.

An Immersive Curriculum

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

Featured Article

April 08, 2021 04:57 AM
Before you commit to an advanced degree such as a master's of public administration, it's important to consider whether it will be worth the investment of your time and money. For some people, an MPA program can be a life-changing experience that prepares them for professional success and greater personal fulfillment. For others, an MPA may not be the right choice.
March 26, 2021 12:09 PM
It’s easy to think of technology as flashy and fun: the newest TikTok video, the latest virtual background, the most thrilling special effects. Though we may not realize it, technology also plays an enormous role in the progress and achievements of the public sector.
March 25, 2021 02:43 PM
“Broadly speaking, the public sector refers to any part of a state or national economy that is tied to public programs or services and is controlled by the government.” You may find public sector employment opportunities in the military, law enforcement, organizations managing infrastructure (public roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so on), departments of public transit or public education, and in healthcare and the government itself.
October 05, 2020 09:36 AM
When you think of “public administration,” you may envision managing budgets for a city transportation department or improving the efficiency of a town’s public health division.
September 01, 2020 09:46 AM
By Ashley E. Nickels, PHD and Amanda D. Clark, PHD Respond to the need for change in your community. The NASPAA-accredited Kent State Master of Public Administration program will prepare you to focus on ethical leadership, budgeting and financial management in the private and nonprofit sectors, while you learn to comprehend and utilize complex nonprofit and public sector laws and strategic planning.
August 17, 2020 04:49 AM
Careers in government and public administration often attracts idealistic people who want to make a difference in our democracy and in the lives of their fellow citizens. But what does it actually take to become a leader in bureaucratic structures at the municipal, state and federal levels?
July 30, 2020 09:55 AM
We have all heard the term ‘social justice,’ but its importance and history remain unclear to many of us. In the mid-1800s, the Italian Jesuit Luigi Tapparelli d’Azeglio1 first introduced the term as an economic concept. Seeing extreme levels of inequality and economic distress caused by the social class system in Europe, Tapparelli d’Azeglio derived the term based on Thomas Aquinas’ idea that, in addition to doing the right thing, we should strive to do what is necessary for the betterment of others.
April 20, 2020 10:20 AM
My name is Kim Ainsworth Klaskin and I am a longtime federal government employee and am currently a management analyst with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. I’m also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Public Administration.
April 02, 2020 09:10 AM
There are many reasons to choose to pursue a career in the public sector rather than in the business world. Often, people are drawn to public or nonprofit careers because doing so gives them an opportunity to do good and enact change for the better, rather than just increasing profits for a corporation. But even if you know you want to work in government or at a nonprofit organization, the exact path you follow can vary greatly.
February 26, 2020 09:01 AM
If you enjoy leading others, improving systems, overcoming complex challenges and helping shape the direction of a business or organization, you might be a good candidate for the role of director of administration.
February 24, 2020 10:44 AM
“What does a public administration salary look like?” The path to public good is a personal one, but odds are nearly every person entering the field wonders what kind of salary they can expect. When you think about public administration your mind may automatically drift toward thoughts of government and nonprofit roles, but there are lucrative roles in the private sector as well.

Admissions and Application Deadlines

Apr
16
Priority Application Deadline
Summer 2021 Semester
May
6
Application Deadline
Summer 2021 Semester
May
13
First Day of Class
Summer 2021 Semester
Sources

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

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