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Would you enjoy working for your local, state or federal government? Does managing a nonprofit organization, such as an arts or international relief agency sound appealing? If you like serving others, are able to stay organized, possess good communications skills and understand finance, you might consider pursuing one of many online bachelor's degree programs in public administration.

Public administration degree programs: the coursework

Public administration degree programs can teach you a variety of skills and how to deal with the public you will serve. Your coursework may vary with your focus, but you are likely to take interesting courses in:

  • Business administration
  • Public policy
  • Public finance
  • Human resources and labor relations
  • Critical thinking
  • Management
  • Marketing

While having a college degree can't guarantee any particular job, public administration degrees can lead to diverse and rewarding careers.

Careers for grads with online bachelor's degree programs in public administration

For 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed jobs for grads with public administration degrees were not only varied, but paid well. Some of the most interesting career options are described below:

  • Management analysts conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, prepare operations and procedures manuals for governments and nonprofit organizations. May 2014 median annual salary for management analysts: $80,880
  • Budget analysts examine budgets and ensure they are complete and accurate, while conforming to procedures and regulations. They also analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls. May 2014 median annual salary for budget analysts: $71,220
  • Administrative services managers help plan, direct and coordinate supportive services of an organization, such as record-keeping, mail distribution, telephone operator/receptionist, and other office support services. They also oversee facilities planning, maintenance and custodial operations. May 2014, median annual salary for administrative services managers: $83,790
  • Purchasing managers buy inventories of goods and services, ensuring that they are found at the best price and within budget for their government agency or organization. May 2014 median annual salary for purchasing managers: $106,090

One thing to keep in mind regarding the field of public administration for the moment: governments are trying to stay lean due to difficult financial times. You should be passionate about making a change through political institutions, if you plan to pursue public administration right now. 

Getting a bachelor's degree in public administration will help your resume stand out from the pile. For additional information about public administration degrees and other undergraduate degrees in the social sciences, check out WorldWideLearn's Guide to College Majors.

You can also browse below and compare online bachelor degree programs in public administration. Should you see a degree program that meets your interests, fill out a form and a representative from that school or program will contact you directly.

This is a good time to be proactive about your career. Pursue a bachelor's degree in public administration today and know that tomorrow you will have better opportunities.


"Management Analysts," U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, July 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131111.htm

"Budget Analysts," U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, July 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132031.htm

"Administrative Services Managers," U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, July 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113011.htm

"Purchasing Managers," U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, July 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113061.htm

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