Have you been considering enrolling in a Master of Public Administration program but have hesitated because you’re not sure what you would do with it after graduation? The good news is there are a wide variety of different career options that an MPA can prepare you for, ranging from government positions to C-suite level jobs at private organizations.
If you’re someone who is searching for a meaningful career of impact, an MPA degree is precisely the right path for you. We’ve listed nine of the most rewarding careers you can pursue with an MPA degree, and truthfully, they’re just the beginning.
Taking on a leadership role in the nonprofit sector is one of the top career paths for those who’ve earned their MPA. Nonprofit organizations can significantly affect change for their chosen cause. The ability to bring public policy and administrative knowledge to a position makes MPA graduates ideal candidates for top administrative and executive roles. At Presidio, we’ve designed our MPA to keep the challenges of our modern-day world at the center of all our leadership goals and decision-making. This means that, as a nonprofit administrator, you can help guide organizations in how to further their charitable causes without losing sight of the importance of sustainability.
While many people who think about public policy tend to think about work happening on the federal or state level, the truth is that community-level administrators and organizers can have incredibly direct impacts on people’s lives. Community organizers work with local stakeholders to develop and coordinate programs and services that support the public, oftentimes focusing especially on vulnerable groups like older adults, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, children, and traditionally marginalized populations. It’s easy to see how an MPA program like Presidio’s, built on the ideas of sustainability and equity, could bring a unique perspective to this job.
Median annual wages: $69,600
Projected job outlook: 15% growth through 2030
Foreign Service Officer
If one of your goals is to work internationally, earning your MPA can be a meaningful step in the right direction. Foreign service officers — which can include envoys, diplomats, embassy staff members, and more — are stationed all over the globe, and are often tasked with maintaining international relations, monitoring public and political situations, and making assessments on how both domestic and foreign policy are affecting global outcomes. Presidio’s MPA degree is grounded in sustainability and taught from a truly systemic perspective, enabling graduates to effectively analyze potential problems and develop holistic solutions.
Urban and Regional Planner
When you think about revitalization, you should think about urban and regional planners. They work for local governments and are tasked with strategizing how to use or repurpose available land, creating communities, accommodating population growth, and determining how to revamp physical facilities and spaces. Now more than ever, urban and regional planners need to account for climate change and how it will impact their ability to create sustainable land use plans, as well as how to balance economic growth with the damaging effects of gentrification on urban communities. At Presidio, issues like environmental impact, social justice, and equality are at the core of our MPA degree curriculum. MPA graduates are equipped to confidently and effectively develop equitable and sustainable solutions at scale.
Median annual wages: $75,950
Projected job outlook: 7% through 2030
Policy analysts tend to work for local and national groups and organizations that have a specific interest in public policy. Often this may look like local, state, or federal government positions; however, policy analysts also occupy roles in labor unions, political action committees, nonprofit organizations, and policy think tanks and research organizations. They’re specifically tasked with evaluating current or proposed policies from a theoretical perspective — as well as through the lens of public polls, economic analysis, and other sources — to try and predict the short and long-term effects of public policy decisions. Policy analysts can be instrumental in helping to develop and refine policy initiatives that are both effective and sustainable.
As a fundraising manager, you are often tasked with two foundational responsibilities. The first is to commit to a cause or a mission; the second is raising the funds necessary to carry out your organization’s mission and goals. As a fundraising manager, you’re responsible for developing strategies and campaigns to bring in donations and then effectively leading a team to see those visions through. This role often includes everything from contacting and meeting with donors, applying for grants, creating and planning events, and managing staff members. Whether you’re fundraising in the government, scientific, political, nonprofit, or private realm, an MPA degree in sustainability can help you succeed in this career path.
Median annual wages: $118,430
Projected job outlook: 13% through 2030
Healthcare Services Manager
Healthcare is one of the largest, fastest-growing industries in the United States, and it’s also facing one of the most intense challenges of our time: how to ensure that everyone has affordable, equitable access to the medical services they need. As a healthcare services manager, one of your primary duties is to improve the efficiency and quality of delivering medical care and services, whether you’re working in a clinical, hospital, or medical group setting. With sustainability, equity, and social justice as core values of Presidio’s MPA degree, aspiring healthcare services managers are equipped to apply problem-solving techniques and skills that re-center the healthcare conversation on the populations who need it most.
Median annual wages: $104,280
Projected job outlook: 32% through 2030
An education administrator can have a powerful impact in public school districts, private preparatory schools, and colleges and universities. They’re generally charged with overseeing daily operations and budgeting, student services, staff, and faculty. At the postsecondary level, education administrators also supervise faculty members and their research projects, determine how many students to admit in a given year, and may even recruit promising prospective students. Education at every level is the crucible for change and the birthplace of new ideas that are critical to our future’s vitality. With an MPA from Presidio Graduate School, you can be a key figure in this crucial academic process.
Median annual wages: $97,500
Projected job outlook: 8% through 2030
While urban and regional planners are often focused on the future of a municipality, someone also has to keep an eye on the present and take charge of a city’s day-to-day operations. This is where a city manager comes in. Often appointed by a city council, city managers prepare and monitor their city’s budget, maintain positive public relations and community involvement, advise the city council or mayor on operational procedures, and recruit and supervise city employee positions. It’s a dynamic career that can also be a powerful tool when it comes to improving the lives of community members. Graduates with an MPA degree focused on sustainability will have the skills necessary to balance their city’s development goals with holistic and practical steps needed to create a better future.
Build a rewarding future with a sustainability MPA
A Master of Public Administration grounded in sustainability and system solutions offers professionals the chance to align their progressive goals and values with a like-minded company and create a meaningful career. If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, Presidio Graduate School offers an MPA degree in sustainability backed by experience and passion. For more information about how students from across the country can earn a master’s in sustainability online, contact us today.