The word “administration” may conjure up images in most people’s mind of a fairly straightforward career. Those looking for excitement in the workplace might overlook the field of public administration for this reason. However, if one examines what the field asks of its workforce and what these workers bring to their communities and the world at large, it is easy to see that public administration is a job with a great deal of potential and job satisfaction.
What Exactly is Public Administration?
In the strictest sense, public administration is the focus on creating and managing public agencies. This can include:
- Securing the United States and other nations against terroristic violence.
- Tackling local and worldwide health epidemics like HIV/AIDS and diseases transmitted through insect contact.
- Helping incarcerated persons transfer back into society.
- Supplying food, water, medical supplies and other necessities to impoverished countries and areas stricken by disaster situations.
- Providing economic resources for citizens in urban areas that are in transition.
- Assisting families with children in securing resources for proper feeding, healthcare and other necessary amenities.
With such a varied list of applications, a bachelor’s degree in public administration can open a great many doors to prospective students.
Preparing for Public Work
Many colleges and universities offer degrees in public administration. Classes typically included in the course of study include economics, political science, public speaking and relations, accounting, psychology and sociology. Over the last two decades, these degree programs have been increasing in availability and some are even available through online and nontraditional study.
Students are often advised to research job opportunities and demand in their area before choosing their course of study, and public administration is no different. In major cities and those with connections to international projects, more job opportunities will exist. Those who do not live in or near these areas but are willing to travel will also have better luck finding employment than those in more rural areas who are unwilling to do so. By finding where the jobs are, students can pursue their educational goals with a solid goal in mind.
Job Satisfaction in the Public Sector – A Factor to Consider
While public sector employees face many great challenges, they also typically report higher levels of satisfaction with their work with over 60 percent rating their job experience as positive. This love for their work comes in equal parts from the type of services they provide – helping others and seeing their own impact – as well as from the nature of the typical public worker, themselves. These are people who enjoy working with others and making a difference. Prospective students who see themselves this way will be well suited to public work and find satisfaction in knowing they are well-trained to meet the needs of others.
In this way, public administration education and training helps more than just the students themselves, it helps the world as a whole.