What Can You Do With a Master’s in Public Administration?

Social good, defined as an action that benefits the general public, has emerged as a top priority among businesses and corporations.

As corporations take on more social missions and social responsibility, the need for dedicated public affairs specialists with marketing and business aptitude is bound to increase. Continued education from an accredited program like Murray State University’s online Master of Public Administration could provide a foundation for success in a field characterized by service.

Murray State’s MPA curriculum prepares students for work in public service organizations, whether currently employed or preparing to pivot into the public or private sectors. The degree program features the following concentrations:

  • Healthcare Administration: Healthcare continues to sit at the top as one of the country’s largest industries. This concentration is ideal for students interested in navigating the different issues facing healthcare administration.
  • Public and Community Health: This field has significant growth potential. This concentration is for students interested in implementing health promotion programs.
  • Economic Development: Students who choose this concentration gain the skills necessary to analyze and implement opportunities that increase a local community, region or nation’s economic well-being.
  • Public Management: This concentration focuses on the management of public agencies.

A Master of Public Administration can provide professionals with a skill set as versatile as the field itself.

Here are four roles that this degree opens doors to, with salary data as of March 2021:

  1. Director of Operations, Healthcare

Employed with a medical practice facility or healthcare system, for instance, the director of operations oversees the running of the facility. Responsibilities may include coordinating the HR function of the organization as well as managing budgets. In this role, directors formulate employee policies and ensure compliance of the facility or health system with laws at the federal and state levels.

Average Salary: $78,441 per year

  1. Public Health Project Manager
    The core responsibility involves coordinating public health initiatives. Oversight of public health projects, budget management, and reporting of activities and results typically fall to the person in this role. Public health project managers can find employment with many outfits, including government agencies, NGOs and nonprofit organizations.

Average Salary: $66,137 per year

  1. Economic Development Director
    Holders of this role typically report up to the city manager and oversee economic development programs for the city. Their responsibilities include staying abreast of market trends, formulating policies around taxes and incentives for city businesses, and attracting new businesses while retaining existing ones.

Average Salary: $69,656 per year

  1. City Manager

The city manager works as the CEO of a city, overseeing the various departments and services’ daily operations. The city manager’s tasks include preparing and managing the annual city budget and advising elected officials during policy development.

Average Salary: $91,994 per year

Social impact is more than a trend. For many, having a passion for service becomes a conduit to a fulfilling career. Whether creating social campaigns for major corporations or serving individuals in need through nonprofit organizations, Master of Public Administration graduates can make a difference to the people and communities they serve.

Learn more about Murray State University’s online MPA programs.


Glassdoor: Public Health Project Manager Salary

PayScale: City Manager Salary

PayScale: Economic Development Director Salary

PayScale: Master of Public Administration (MPA)/Salary

PayScale: Master of Public Administration, Health Care Administration

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