What Can You Do With a Doctoral Degree in Public Administration?

public administration careers

Earning an advanced degree can lead to some amazing career opportunities, but perhaps one of the most rewarding and flexible pathways to pursue is a doctoral degree in business administration with a public administration specialization. With a focus in public administration, students can explore a variety of different jobs in several markets. From non-profit organizations to government sectors, prospective graduates have the potential to enjoy fulfilling work with competitive pay, and NCU wants to outline a few of these potential positions and what they entail.

If you're curious about what kinds of careers you may have after graduating, here are 3 jobs that you may be able to transition to with a doctoral degree in public administration:

1. City Manager

If you have a love for small government and community development, then being a city manager may be a perfect fit. Also referred to as a county supervisor or village administrator, a city manager overseas the day-to-day operations of a local department or government agency. Their duties may include developing a budget for projects and internal needs, implementing actions agreed upon by city council, and providing oversight for other departments to ensure that each one is running smoothly. 

Those who pursue a career as a city manager will enjoy a median annual salary of $83,775 according to a 2016 survey, but the average pay scale ranges from $50,000 to $150,000 depending on experience and the type of degree achieved. Nonetheless, the role of a city manager certainly has its benefits, and protecting the integrity of the public is a reward that bolsters the position even more. 

2. Human Resources Director

The role of a Human Resources Director comes with some exciting opportunities and major influence. Essentially, a human resources director is in charge of creating and developing a strong team of employees to carry out the overall mission and operations of an organization. On a daily basis, this position may correspond with different department heads to understand their staffing needs, or they may consult with current employees to ensure best practices, as well as promoting a healthy work-life balance. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a human resources director in 2017 was just over $110,000. However, even those who are at the bottom of the pay scale earned less than $65,040 with the least amount of education or experience.

Human resources directors may be the sticklers of the corporate world, but they are a necessary part of determining the efficiency and success of a company and its employees. 

Related Article: An NCU Alum's Career in Human Resource Management

3. Executive Director

Moving into the non-profit sector, an executive director is in charge of carrying out the organization's mission, along with its various programs and policies. With the guidance of a board of directors, the executive director helps to bring new ideas into fruition. Whether it's through staffing, developing new relationships, overseeing funding proposals, or executing new projects, the responsibilities of the role are incredibly diverse and highly involved. This is mainly due to the many needs of vulnerable populations, and those who can blend exceptional managerial skills with community development will surely thrive. 

When examining the average salaries of an executive director, an updated review of 2018 shows that the average median salary is just over $65,000. With increased education and experience, it's possible for someone in this role to earn a salary of $82,000 or more, but even those with minimal requirements can still earn around $36,000 a year. 

More than anything, the greatest thing to earn from this position is the achievement of meaningful change. Executive directors have the power to create a lasting difference for those in need, and NCU wholeheartedly supports that endeavor. 

Expand Your Horizons at NCU

No matter what career path you decide to follow, NCU can prepare you with a world-class curriculum led by industry professionals. Throughout the PhD in public administration program, you'll learn about the techniques regarding effective budgeting, public personnel policy management, political systems, and urban planning. You'll also have the opportunity to engage in vital administrative procedures, such as fiscal development, taxation, and crisis awareness. 

There are tons of advantages to experience in the field, and NCU can give you the tools you need to find success in anything that you choose. To learn more about the doctoral program in public administration or to ask questions about enrollment, please fill out the form below to connect with admissions