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How Your Master of Public Administration Degree Helps Your Nonprofit Career

Earning a master’s degree in public administration is an important steppingstone to a not only public administration roles but nonprofit roles as well. A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree provides students with important skills that they can apply to various jobs in nonprofit settings. These skills include critical thinking, public speaking, relationship-building, strategic planning and more. Graduates of an MPA program can pursue upper-level leadership careers in the federal government, private companies, global non-governmental organizations and nonprofit organizations.

The online Master of Public Administration program from Murray State University prepares students to transition to leadership roles in a public service organization while tailoring their degree to meet their specific career goals. This degree program gives students a broad range of skills while exploring foundational public administration concepts such as organizational theory, policy analysis, budgeting, ethics, human resources and more.

How an MPA Develops Must-Have Skills for Nonprofit Professionals

A nonprofit career allows professionals to prioritize making a difference in the community and feel satisfied that their work is meaningful. An MPA degree focuses on financial management, business administration, public policy analysis, human resource management and economic development. Indeed lists an MPA degree as one of the best degrees for nonprofit professionals.

Expertise in these areas can help nonprofit professionals seek grants that serve as funding for nonprofit organizations that organize projects related to educational programs, community development or infrastructure. Below are some must-have skills for nonprofit professionals:

  • Strategic planning. Crafting an impactful plan to manage a nonprofit and bring a vision to fruition takes understanding and determination. By gathering background information about the nonprofit, developing a strong relationship with employees and knowing their strengths, understanding the necessary resources and creating success metrics for goals and objectives, nonprofit leaders can strategically plan to make the overall mission achievable.
  • Interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication skills are vital for exchanging ideas, motivating staff members, connecting with supporters and talking with stakeholders. With open, empathetic and authentic communication, nonprofit leaders can develop strong, meaningful relationships. By creating a strong bond with others to create change and understanding their motivations, nonprofit professionals can have meaningful conversations to practice their communication skills.
  • Nonprofit organizations traditionally have limited budgets and resources. A nonprofit leader with budgeting and allocation knowledge can seek funding opportunities, understand how investments can help the organization and determine what resources are available for important initiatives.
  • Problem-solving. Developing strong problem-solving skills requires a nonprofit professional to learn to avoid previous issues and create contingency plans for future problems. Real-world experience provides the opportunity to analyze problems, determine the best solution and take away lessons to prevent the issue from recurring.
  • The essential skills involved with forming a marketing plan are vital to a nonprofit leader. Creating an outreach plan that embraces the constantly evolving world of marketing can set up the nonprofit organization to reach its goals. Adapting communication, strengthening social media reach and engaging supporters are important marketing skills.

These are all skills that graduates of Murray State University’s online MPA program develop by customizing their degree to fit their professional interests.

About Murray State University’s Online Master of Public Administration Program

The online MPA degree program has a wide variety of elective options that enable students to develop the skills to work in the nonprofit sector. The 100% online program includes a capstone experience where students can integrate methods and theories by developing and completing a project involving an analytic issue or substantive management in the public sector.

Courses like the Public Organizations course and the Public Sector Leadership course provide students with knowledge in organizational theory, the history of nonprofit work, employee behavior and leadership theory. With skills in these areas, graduates are prepared to launch or propel their nonprofit careers.

Learn more about Murray State University’s online Master of Public Administration program.

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