How an online MPA could be the key to a career in the public sector

Want a job in public administration?

An MPA (Masters of Public Administration) could be the perfect choice for anyone looking for a career in the public sector. And it might not be as difficult as you may think to get started. Not only does an MPA allow you to build an understanding of public management and government, it also provides the opportunity to apply your knowledge practically.

We spoke to the University of Birmingham, one of the UK’s leading providers of the online MPA, to find out more about working in the public sector – and how getting MPA qualified could be the key to a great career in the public sector:


What is an MPA?

An MPA is a professional degree that’s designed to equip students with the knowledge they need to find work in the public sector.

It centres around a wide range of management topics, with a focus on government and non-profit organisations. Areas of learning include finance, strategy, economics, public policy, urban planning, transportation, community development, and more.

The MPA’s variation of business and people-based topics makes it a perfect choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in management or policymaking in the public sector.


What is the public sector?

The public sector is made up of companies that provide public services to citizens – which are owned and operated by the government, and funded by tax payers.

These could include everything from education to electricity.


Public sector examples

  • Emergency Services
  • Gas and Oil
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Law Enforcement
  • Waste Management
  • Social Services
  • Fire Services
  • Electricity
  • Postal Services
  • Local and National Councils


Why work in the public sector?

The public sector is an extremely rewarding career path, which gives you the opportunity to directly improve and influence peoples’ livelihood. Whether it’s working in health services, education, to carrying out life-changing work that positively impacts society, your community, and the world as a whole.

It also offers:

  • A great work-life balance
  • Flexible working hours
  • Job stability
  • Training programmes
  • Great pension schemes
  • A wide range of jobs


What jobs can you get with an MPA?

An MPA will provide you will the tools you need to find a job in public administration, locally, regionally, or internationally.

By obtaining it, roles in public policy or the strategic management of government/public agencies will be more obtainable – with employers more likely to pursue you as a candidate.

Here are just a few jobs you can get with an MPA:

  • Research Analyst
  • Policy Director
  • Director of Development
  • City Director
  • Government Administrator
  • Urban Planner
  • Housing Developer
  • Financial Manager
  • Mayor
  • Budget Analyst

If you already work in the field, an MPA could be a great way to move to a different area of the public or voluntary sectors, earn a promotion, or branch out into consultancy.


How long does it take to study an MPA?

Most MPAs take around two and a half years to complete (two years for taught studies, plus six months for a dissertation), but your length of study will depend on whether you study full-time or part-time.

And with some MPA programmes, providing the option to study entirely online and at your own pace, you’ll be able to study in a way that works around you.


Benefits of studying an MPA

  • You could make a difference. Public administration is centred on providing essential services for communities, meaning the work you’re studying to do will directly solve problems and help your community.
  • You’ll be able to study a wide range of subjects. An MPA provides more than just business knowledge. Instead, you’ll benefit from a holistic and human approach to administration, with many people-based topics in addition to traditional management.
  • You’ll have a variety of career paths to choose from. MPA graduates can choose from public administration roles in all areas of government. This means jobs in non-profit organisations, health care environments, universities, philanthropic institutions, and more, are well within your reach.
  • You can change sectors easily. As an MPA provides a broad range of skills, it makes it easy to move into different specialisms as your career progresses and the opportunities arise.
  • You could work abroad. Today’s economy means staying connected with the world is vital, making global opportunities in public administration vast. With an MPA, you could have the chance to advance your career internationally.
  • You’ll stand out to employers. An MPA is globally recognised in the public sector, making it a great way tostand out to employers in this field, not to mention increase your earning potential.


Why study with The University of Birmingham?

Recognised in the top 1% of universities in the world, the University of Birmingham is a proud member of the elite Russell Group of UK universities.

They’re also 4th in the UK for social policy (Complete University Guide 2020), and their Institute of Local Government Studies is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management.

Other benefits of studying with The University of Birmingham include:

  • MPA programme is entirely online, making it easy to work around other commitments
  • Video lectures designed and delivered by our acclaimed teaching staff
  • Interactive assignments enabling you to participate in online learning exercises
  • Real-life case studies offering you skills that can be applied immediately
  • Social interaction with peers, professors and tutors to make you more connected
  • Digital resources to help you enrol, resolve technical enquiries and develop your career



Want to learn more about how an Online Masters of Public Administration at the University of Birmingham could help your career? Download their brochure now.


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