Chart your path to a career in public administration
If you are looking for a job where you can combine a passion for the public sector, diverse interests and a growing job market, a career in public administration may be the right fit. The California public sector has become a growing source of new public administration jobs in recent years, making this career path attractive to Golden State residents.
However, it is not just career opportunities in public administration that are on the rise; it is also the level of education expected by employers.
Increasingly, employers want new hires to have the problem-solving skills and rigorous intellectual training that come from strong graduate programs. “MPA graduates stand out in today’s competitive job market by using evidence-based decision-making to improve professional practice,” said Kimberley Garth-James, DPA, Master of Administration Program Director (MPA) from Azusa Pacific University.
The APU MPA program provides an excellent opportunity to develop the professional and intellectual skills and experience needed for a lifelong career in the public sector. Here is an overview of three strategies that can help you reach your goal.
1. Define your call
The decision to pursue a specific career should not be taken lightly. In addition to investing time and resources in a career, you can use God-given talents to help others and transform the workplace.
Garth-James said that when students first came to see her struggling with the decision to pursue a career in public administration, she began by praying with them. “As a teacher and director of the MPA program, my calling is to help others find their calling (or voice) and serve,” she said. “Student engagement with career choice and the Lord’s purpose for your life occurs as you join the MPA family and skill development through regular student-faculty meetings.”
During their time together, Garth-James and his students pray and talk about the demands of serving the public. They also strategize and share ways to support their peers. In these discussions, it often becomes easier for students to find and understand their vocation.
2. Leverage your previous experience
According to Garth-James, no undergraduate field of study has cornered the market for preparing students for an MPA. A variety of undergraduate programs – such as accounting, business, education, environmental science, political science, philosophy, engineering, computer science and communication studies – can prepare students in this way.
“In the MPA program, students can use their undergraduate knowledge to analyze and think critically about case scenarios, show application to real-world problems, and improve their leadership/management skills,” Garth said. -James.
Students in the MPA program also come from diverse professional backgrounds, drawing on their interest in public policy in government, religious, medical, and educational roles. Many bring these experiences into the classroom, where they offer a different perspective on critical public policy issues.
3. Take advantage of higher education opportunities
APU’s online MPA program is designed to help students become confident and ethical leaders. The course revolves around research, writing, and managerial decision-making that prepares each student to be a “Christ-centered difference-maker who promotes justice and leads transformative practice in the world.”
The program offers concentration of industrial demand, including emerging technologies, health policy administration, communications, public sector business administration and, in fall 2022, Certified Government Financial Manager certification for public accountants/budget specialists who are sought by public sector organizations. Students can also create their own specialization based on personal goals.
During the MPA program, students have the option of taking external training (some offering certifications) during their normal coursework. Last fall, students participated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Working Groups, which gave them the opportunity to talk with others about global pathways to peace, economic equality and social action. Rebecca Silva, MPA ’22, works with the global SDG-8 (child labor) initiative, attending meetings with groups in Latin America.
Do you want an exciting career in the public, private and non-profit sectors? Consult the MPA program (online).
Posted: February 27, 2022