Public administration is all about understanding the structures and other roles of the public sector, semipublic agencies, and the private organizations that are tasked with the function of performing the public tasks (Van der Meer & Ringeling, 2010). This being the case, public administration helps in the designing, developing, evaluating, and implementing policies and other administrative arrangements as well as strategies that arise in the public domain. As Van der Mere (2010) explains, “The program aims for a goal of teaching relevant public administration knowledge and methods at an academic level that enhances the professionalism, and effectiveness of practitioners (79).” This is because the program offers theoretical models, insights and other explanations that describe the processes and mechanisms that establish how the public and other agencies function. With the current economic challenges, the future public service sector will require professionals who are able to manage limited budgets. Public administrators upon completion of their studies have strong communication skills and are able to use various skills including reasoning, leadership, management, and analytical skills to address the problems that may arise in the public service (Naidu, 2005). In light of the above, this paper aims at discussing why public administration is the course to take, with emphasis on the merits of studying public, the opportunities available, the success rates and various sectors that the public administration course is utilized.
Why Study Masters in Public Administration
Unlike other postgraduate programs, the public administration program helps a professional to balance core competencies necessary for a successful leader who has a global view that is designed to broaden the public service perspective (Menzel & White, 2011 p. 11). The program covers, among other core areas like finance, leadership, technology, public policy and political processes, therefore ensuring that the public administration professional has the skills that can be used in critical thinking, decision making as well as in human resources and team development (Basu, 2004 p. 1-6). These skills are important in solving and addressing the various work setting problems of the public and semipublic agencies (Wilson, 1886 p. 75). The course therefore helps an individual in knowing the history, theory and practice of the public administration therefore helping the public administration professional in understanding how to improve the operations of the organizations that they serve. This is supported by Van der Meer (2010) notion when he indicated that, “Information on historical developments, trends, and theories potentially could be understood and more easily and quickly seen as relevant by students with professional experience than it could by those without such experience (81).”
Public administration acts as an intellectual tool for achieving public life career path. This being the case, various courses are taught that helps the professionals to learn various ethical values that are central to serving the public good (Perry & Wise, 1990). This helps the former students of public administration colleges to be ethical and accountable leaders who knows, understands and utilizes the importance of maintaining its legitimacy and improving the effectiveness and efficiencies of public and semipublic organizations. It therefore equips the professional with the knowledge of what it entails and how equitability, accountability, and fairness are presented to the public. The program helps the students and other professionals to consider the ethical impacts of their company’s policies as well as their own actions. Since the professional and ethical values like integrity, accountability, openness and faith are taught; the public administration professional becomes a positive force of change in the profession and the society.
The central view of public administration is to manage, guide, transform, and improve the public service. It therefore reflects on the contemporary public service modernization agenda and helps to equip the professionals in making practical differences when it comes to the delivery of services to the public services agendas. It also helps in enhancing and creating enterprise and innovation in the utilization of scarce resources and the pressures that amount from the need for standardization.
Various Opportunities Available for People who have done Public Administration Courses
Having an advanced knowledge in this field indicates a specific level of specialization that other people who possess other degrees do not have. Holders of public administration courses can get careers in the public administration in major organizations and fields that relates to the public interest. Such fields include the homeland security, international affairs, health field, the criminal justice department, the urban development as well as in the transportation sectors among other fields. In the United States for example, terrorism has been a significant concern. This being the case, public administrators are sought to implement policies and programs that are necessary to curb terrorist activities. The homeland security therefore relies on the advice of public administrators to design policies that will help in the uplifting of the country’s security. Nongovernmental organizations also seek for professionals who are able to develop programs that can run their activities. The public administration course together with other additional courses that deal specifically with not-for profit organizations are utilized to design such programs.
In the criminal justice system, policies and programs that suit the need of the community are necessary. Public administration official can be approached to solve and develop such programs that address the need of the community as well as the criminal justice system. To achieve this, knowledge of the public administration and the criminal justice is necessary to achieve this cause. In addition, with the growing and changing patterns of the urban setting, specialists in public administration are able to track and analyze the behavior of the urban development, therefore making policies and programs that address projects that can be implemented to address the urban growth.
The position of public administrator attracts good salary and although the pay and benefits statistics for the MPA and MPP are scarce around the globe, it is estimated that the United States, which keeps systematic data for people with various degrees and ranks indicates that the salary scale ranges from $ 67361 to $100000 for the MPA program (NASPAA, 2014). There is a big difference between the government sector and the private sector, in that the private sector professionals are paid more than the government-employed personnel are across the various disciplines within the public administration sector. NASPAA statistics also indicate that the average annual salary for the public segment is $52000, that of the nonprofit is $ 41000, while the private sector players earns and annual average salary of $76000 (Wildweblab, 2014). The figures are subject to change depending on the economic conditions, and the experience that one hold in these organizations.
Public administrators must be present to make implementation rules in the public sector. Though in some countries the position is not well highlighted or given the same name, public administration position is present in all countries in the world. As indicated by IPAC (2011), “In countries experiencing transition from one-party rule to a market economy and democratic systems, the success of political and economic reforms depends on tough political will and strong public institutions (8)”. This means that countries have public administration offices that helps in connecting the public with the various leadership stakeholders. In some countries, the position of a public administrator is referred to the director of public administration. This being the case, public administration course is utilized by many countries in making and implementing various policies and programs that are designed to serve the public good. It is therefore worth noting to indicate that all countries do have public administrators, though they are not termed as public administrators but given other names.
The people who have successfully completed and graduated with the public administration program are responsible for making, among the most important policies and programs that helps in the running of businesses and government. On the basic level, public administration looks at the broad view of programs and policies that affects various governments and other public policies as well as programs to understand how the society reacts to them and how such programs help the people. In the private agencies, the policies made by the public administrators helps individual to look at the impact of such decisions on the business in terms of the customers, the employees and the finances. In the public administration, the public administrators are tasked with the role of developing cost effective programs that are efficient for the community. At the same time, they are responsible for managing a large group of people who performs these programs and policies as well as creating solutions to the various challenges that may arise in the process of formulating programs and policies. Owing to the above facts, it is worth noting that the course has its merits and drawbacks.
Just like any other career, one of the merits of public administration has been that after successful completion of the course, the holder is able to undertake various career paths. In this, one can work in a state’s office, in an organization’s corporate office, in a nonprofit organization or in the majority of companies that deals with public or semipublic interest. At the same time, as public administrators, one works directly with the individuals and therefore exposes one to a variety of resources and diverse experiences. The public administrator will be expected to ensure that set policies and programs are followed, therefore requiring regular meetings and consultations with stakeholders (Sharma & Sharma, 2000 p. 11-14). This being the case, the discipline requires one to have vast knowledge in various subjects including financial knowledge, legal studies, business administration and statistics among others like statistics, economics, political studies and international affairs. These subjects are important to public administrators as they relate to the public interest. This in effect helps public administration to rate more highly than other discipline, which is limited to certain field option.
On the contrary, because of the job requirement, the position of a public administrator is very demanding, since it requires extensive knowledge of the relevant public interest. The formulation of policies and ensuring that they are adhered to, may be very stressing because companies bestows such mandates to only the public administrators. This means that they have to make sure that implemented policies are running as expected and the recommendation made are effected and working. This is strenuous and may lead to the professional having stress from the pressures of the workplace. Because of its good remuneration and limited positions, it has major competition. At the same time, few numbers of the professionals are needed and available and this makes the position very competitive owing to the fact that high demand people are required in these fields.
Public administration is one of the oldest professions that involve the implementation of public policy and management of public programs. Taking the course is beneficial because of the publicity that one receives the recognition as well as the remuneration. It is a discipline that the public sector has to rely on in the course of implementation of the public services. The profession is dedicated towards the understanding the government decisions, how they are created as well as their administration. It therefore involves the creation and the realization of public policies, overseeing expenditures of these agencies and serving the interests of the population. Earning the required qualifications in public administration prepares an individual for various career paths in the public and semipublic organization like the health sector, the urban development, homeland security, among other public agencies. The position of public administrator pays well and involves making policies for the public good. This therefore means that as a profession, the main concern will be dealing with the public good. Despite this fact, the profession faces challenges in that, it is strenuous and stressful and much demanding and therefore requires one to be resilient when performing duties. The future of the public administration is dependent of the professional and academic interaction. The better a person excels in the academic performance is therefore linked to the way the same knowledge is applied in a practical context. It is therefore advisable for a student and other professional to take the public administration course, since; it gives the opportunity to directly serve the public.
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