Is an MPA Degree Worth it? 6 Things to Consider
By Ashford University Staff
Are you the type of person who wants a challenging career that will enable you to make a difference in your community? Or are you looking for an education that will prepare you for a profession with multiple opportunities? If you answered yes to either question, then a master’s degree in public administration could be right for you.
6 Reasons an MPA is Worth it
Today’s qualified public leaders need to have in-depth and advanced knowledge of how to help leading government agencies survive and thrive. Society needs leaders who can accept the challenge, and push our country forward. 6 Things to Consider Before Pursuing your MPA and why an MPA is worth it.
1. You Have the Chance to Make a Difference in the World
An MPA is designed so that you can learn more about the aspects of government service and can give you the management and leadership skills required to implement the necessary programs and policies that can help resolve problems in our society.
2. You’ll Expand Your Public Administration Network
Whether you’re just starting your career in public administration or looking to take it to the next level, it’s always important to meet new professionals and expand your network. By enrolling in an MPA, you will be learning with like-minded individuals who are also looking to grow their networks and careers.
3. An MPA May Increase Your Earning Potential
While salaries for MPA holders can vary by the field you pursue, research indicates that master’s degree holders typically earn more than bachelor’s degree holders. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016 those who earned a master’s degree earned on average $11,648 more than those with a BA.
4. You Don’t Need a Specific Undergraduate Degree
While having a previous background or even a bachelor’s degree in public administration can help, you don’t need a specific BA to excel in an MPA program, as students can come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds.
5. Study a Variety of Subjects and Gain Advanced Skills
By pursuing a masters in public administration, you will have the opportunity to build a foundation of skills and knowledge in a variety of different subjects. From financial management to personnel management, you will learn advanced skills that can set you apart from the competition.
6. You can Take your MPA Completely Online
Lastly, you can take your master’s degree in public administration completely online. This is a flexible and convenient option for those who may have family obligations and full-time jobs.
Why Ashford Thinks a Masters in Public Administration is Worth It
When deciding if going back to school is right for you, it’s important to consider whether the cost will pay off. An MPA degree is an investment in your future. According to Careers in Government, you must “invest… if you want to achieve your dreams.” The Ashford MPA is accredited by IACBE and the curriculum is closely aligned with published standards of both the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) standards to ensure you have the attributes employers are looking for in candidates.
Even those already working in a profession related to public administration know employers place a lot of value on a post-graduate degree because it shows that you are serious about your career, and you have the increased professional knowledge and skills needed to hold a leadership position. Having an MPA degree can also help you stand out when applying for positions because the advanced degree teaches practitioners how to pull together partnerships and network resources when solving public problems, a critical skill required for effective leadership.
So, when you ask yourself, “Is an MPA worth it?” consider your long-term aspirations and what it will take to get there. Really, the question is: are you worth investing in? The answer is clearly YES!