Public Administration Careers: What Options Are Available?

Pursuing a public administration degree is a smart choice for business professionals who want their careers to span over multiple organizations or industries. However, there are so many career opportunities out there, many students have a hard time deciding exactly what to do after graduation. 
public administration professional

What is public administration? Public administration is the understanding and implementation of public or governmental policy. In other words, public administration exists to turn policies into service.

Here are six options for public administration careers:

1. City Manager

City managers are the administrative force behind a city. Their role includes managing the city’s budget, attending city council meetings, supervising city departments and sometimes even serving as the city’s marketing and communications manager.

2. Housing Specialist

Housing specialists help to place families or individuals – particularly those experiencing homelessness – into temporary or permanent homes. This can include everything from helping clients create a housing plan to ensure their stability to being a liaison between the client and the property manager.

3. Nonprofit Organization Executive Director

The executive director or manager of a nonprofit oversees all day-to-day activities within the organization and supervises its fundraising and grant-giving initiatives. The executive director may also serve as the main point of contact for the public or media.

4. Criminal Justice Administrator

Criminal justice professionals with a background in public administration are uniquely positioned for positions with state and local law enforcement agencies. Public managers in these fields may also choose to pursue careers with the Department of Homeland Security or Federal Bureau of Investigation.

5. Emergency Managers

Emergency managers implement strategies to protect the public before, during and after emergencies. Pursuing a degree in public administration prepares these professionals to respond to problems inherent in public organizations.

6. Public Administration Consultant

Instead of staying with one organization or governmental body full time, many public administration professionals provide consulting to various entities. They might spend weeks, months or even years helping to improve an organization’s administration, budgeting, planning processes and more.

Take the Next Step

Interested in learning more about CSU’s online Master of Public Administration degree and its concentrations in criminal justice administration or emergency services management? Visit