What Can I Do With a Major in Public Administration?

Henderson State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration

Marketable Skills

  • A theoretical foundation and practical skills in leadership for public, community, and non-profit organizations.
  • An awareness of ethical issues in public service.
  • A comprehensive knowledge of the historical, social, political, and economic contexts with which public leaders work.
  • Leadership and administrative skills in public policymaking, budgeting, and personnel.
  • Ability to work on and manage teams
  • Public Speaking
  • Research skills
  • Organization

Related Career Titles

  • Accountant
  • Administrator
  • Assistant City Manager
  • Assistant Director
  • Assistant to the Mayor
  • Assistant/Associate Professor
  • Attorney
  • Auditor
  • Branch Director
  • Budget Analyst
  • Bureau Chief
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Manager
  • Center Coordinator
  • Chamber of Commerce President
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief of Operations
  • Chief of Party
  • Chief of Police
  • City Manager
  • City Planner
  • Clerk of the Superior Court
  • Clinic Manager
  • Community Affairs
  • Community Health Educator
  • Community Outreach Coordinator  
  • Congressperson
  • Consultant
  • Coordinator of Risk Resources  
  • Council Member
  • Crime Analyst
  • Dean
  • Department Chair
  • Director of Administration
  • Director of City Manager Relations
  • Director of Communications
  • Director of Education/Certification
  • Director of Government Relations
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director of International Activities
  • Director of Publishing
  • Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications
  • Economic Developer
  • Employment Specialist
  • Environmental Health Deputy Administrator
  • Equal Opportunity Specialist
  • Executive Assistant
  • Executive Director
  • Facilities Inspection Specialist
  • Financial Management Specialist
  • Financial Planner
  • Fire Captain
  • Fiscal Policy Analyst
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • General Manager
  • Government Manager
  • Grant Manager
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Health Systems Improvement Project Manager
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Housing Director
  • Infant Mortality Educator
  • Information Specialist
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Information Technology Planner
  • Intergovernmental Affairs Manager
  • Investigations Assistant
  • Juvenile Crime/Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coordinator
  • Lead Economic Analyst
  • Lecturer
  • Legislative Administration
  • Lobbyist
  • Lung Association Program Coordinator
  • Management & Budget Analyst
  • Management Consultant
  • Management Specialists          
  • Manager for Academic Technology
  • Marketing Director
  • Municipal Management Consultant
  • Non-Profit Manager
  • Office Administrator
  • Outpatient Clinic Services Director
  • Owner
  • Performance Auditor
  • Personnel Analyst
  • Personnel Director
  • Police Commander
  • Policy Analyst
  • Political Analyst
  • Political Consultant
  • President
  • Probation Officer
  • Program Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Public Affairs Director
  • Public Health Manager
  • Public Works Director
  • Purchasing Director
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Recreation Coordinator
  • Research Analyst & Policy Advisor
  • Research Associate
  • Research Project Manager
  • Senior Government Relations Representative
  • Senior Intelligence Analyst
  • Senior Manager
  • Senior Research Specialist
  • Software Consultant
  • Supervisor of Fugitive Services
  • Support Systems Analyst Senior
  • Teacher  
  • Territory Manager
  • Town Center Development Director
  • Training Developer Instructor
  • Urban Planner
  • Volunteer Programs Coordinator

Potential Employers

  • Administration
  • Alumni Societies
  • Business Firms/ Corporations
  • Civic Organizations
  • Civil Rights Organizations
  • Clinics
  • County Government
  • Courts
  • Drug Prevention Centers
  • Federal, State and Local Government
  • Financial institutions
  • Foundations
  • Healthcare Management
  • Historical Societies
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Human Resources Departments
  • Intergovernmental Agencies (e.g., United Nations)
  • Law Firms
  • Libraries
  • Lobbying Organizations
  • Museums
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Nursing Homes
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Philanthropic Organizations
  • Political Parties
  • Public Relations Offices
  • Restaurants
  • Retail Stores
  • School Districts
  • Social Services
  • Special Interest Groups

Strategies

  • An undergraduate degree in Public Administration, with the appropriate experience, is sufficient for entry-level positions in government and business.
  • A graduate degree in public administration, public health administration, or business administration helps prepare students for management and upper-level positions. Research programs in order to choose specializations or concentrations of interest.
  • Consider law school for careers in upper-level politics, administration, or management. Explore joint J.D. and M.P.A. programs to see if they meet your career goals.
  • Obtain a broad liberal arts background including written and verbal communication, research, and language skills.
  • Part-time, summer, internship, and volunteer experiences are extremely helpful to find positions in government affairs, nonprofit organizations, or public service areas.
  • Develop strong leadership skills; run for office in clubs and organizations in school or community.  Volunteer to organize or lead an event or project.
  • Get involved in Student Government. Assist with campus, local, or national campaigns to gain experience and build relationships.
  • Demonstrate interest/involvement in community affairs and events.
  • Join related professional organizations such as the American Society of for Public Administration (ASPA).
  • Build a strong personal network through informal contacts. Political connections are helpful for appointed positions.  Most agencies respond to professional connections.
  • Expect keen competition for federal positions. Prepare yourself with a strong academic background and good experience. Seek the classes and experiences that will best prepare you.
  • Develop patience, persistence, and drive in obtaining government positions.
  • Explore application to government internship programs specifically for college students, such as the Pathways Program at the federal level.
  • Research websites that address various government job opportunities, pay structure, and hiring processes.
  • Consider military experience and training or the Peace Corps as an entryway into government jobs and public service.
  • Plan on following a flexible career path to higher positions.  Many people begin on the clerical or entry level in order to gain experience and network.  

Career Planning Links

Occupational Outlook Handbook:  Public Administration

Go Government

Partnership for Public Service

Federal Jobs for Students and Recent Grads

Public Service Careers

Professional Associations

American Society for Public Administration

American Association for Budget and Program Analysis

Association of Government Accountants

Alliance for Nonprofit Management

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

American Political Science Association

American Public Works Association

Federal Managers Associations

Government Finance Officers Association

Institute for Public Procurement

National Academy of Public Administration

National Council of Nonprofits

American Enterprise Institute

Miscellaneous Links

US House of Representatives

US Senate

State of Arkansas