MPA Careers at a Glance

For newly-minted MPA graduates, a brief overview of the positions common to and available in the field can be a valuable resource.

Non-Profit Executive Directorship

Organization, administration, and efficiency are core skills for an MPA graduate. With the non-profit sector expanding yearly, even in the wake of the 2008 recession, executive directorship of a non-profit is a natural choice for a credentialed public administrator. While startups are fraught with risk, and competition is stiff among qualified individuals for directorship of established organizations, these positions can be some of the field’s most rewarding.

Health Services Administration

For MPA graduates who want to serve their communities by bettering the quality of healthcare provided, a career in health services administration may be ideal. Health services provides not just a chance to utilize administrative skills, such as leadership analysis and organization, human resource allocation, and information technology improvement, but also a chance for outreach to the populace through a humanitarian venue.

Human Resources Director

Liaising directly with an organization or agency’s personnel is an excellent way for an MPA graduate to exercise newly acquired administrative skills. Acquisition, training, assessment, attraction, and selection are lynchpin concerns no matter the nature of the organization or business involved, and a qualified MPA graduate will be prepared for most Human Resources positions. The U.S. Census Bureau has found that the median salary of an HR Director is $88,000 , making it a lucrative position for any public administration professional.

Management Analyst

Management consultation and analysis has a twofold meaning. One meaning refers to the industry in general, the other to assisting organizations, public and private, to increase the efficiency of their performance. This process is accomplished primarily through detailed analysis of various existing problems within an organization and the subsequent conception of plans for improved business models. MPA graduates, with their comprehensive education in administrative theory and practice, are employed widely as consultants across the business and non-profit world.

Purchasing Manager

A purchasing manager, or procurement manager, is an individual employed by a business, government office, or other agency whose responsibility it is to handle purchasing, or signing off on, the procurement of any goods or services needed by the employer. The job’s responsibilities may, in certain cases, be identical to those of a buyer or fiduciary purchase agent, or they could involve a wider supervisory, or sometimes managerial, responsibility. MPA graduates may find themselves particularly suited to this particular career branch for its straightforward economics and continuous need for updating, streamlining, and optimization.


MPA graduates can and do work in many fields, and their skills can be applied differently at various levels of government and industry. With such a rich employment sphere, prospects for MPA graduates in the current decade are strong.


  1., 2011.
  2., 2010.


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