Online bachelor in public administration degree programs are similar to those for business management and business administration, but chiefly focus on the public sector, including government agencies, healthcare settings and municipal departments among others.
Concepts include the use of financial analysis and other business techniques on public work, interacting with citizens, administering budgets as well as finding savings through more efficient operations. While many officials are elected, those who find work after obtaining a degree in public administration have continuity in their employment since they are not elected.
Since public administration is closely tied to business concepts, a bachelors in public administration degree curriculum and courses follow a similar path. These include courses on finances, managing budgets, creating strategies to market new programs as well as other courses related to managing technology in government.
However, these are generally combined with classes on the role of the government for the public, as well as the history of political interactions, economics, political science and how people interact with various levels of governments. Specializations for those pursuing a bachelors degree in public administration and political science are common, enabling students to focus on specific interests, such as human resources, homeland security or public safety.
The majority of positions open to graduates of public administration programs are in government departments ranging from towns and cities, to states and even the federal government. These may include municipal and county administrators, city managers, policy analysts or even work on economic development opportunities. However, while these tend to cover many graduates, there are multiple opportunities in the private sector. For example, construction firms benefit from public administrations graduates in managing regulatory approval, as do utilities. In addition, lobbyists looking to change laws may need public administrators to help ensure passage.
The level of government that a graduate enters tends to determine their salary. For example, local government administrators may make roughly $60,000 on average, depending on the size of the municipality and its tax rate. In comparison, those with a bachelor's degree in public administration who are considering the federal government could quickly see salaries above $80,000. However, the private sector offers an average salary of under $50,000, though this varies both on locale and experience, among other factors.
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