Nearly every aspect of civic life depends on the behind-the-scenes work of a public administrator. These roles span every part of what makes city life livable including public works, police and firefighters, housing, parks and recreation, community and economic development, librarians, transportation, code enforcement and zoning, airport administration and nonprofit administration. What these disparate roles have in common is a focus on big-picture, collaborative thinking, an ability to problem solve with multiple stakeholders and a desire to make a difference and improve the community.
Franzi Walsh, DBA, MPA, associate dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of Phoenix describes a public administrator as “someone with a passion for making a positive difference in their community or communities in need.”
Public Administration Degree Options at University of Phoenix
To explore various paths in public administration, students can start by embarking on an undergraduate or graduate degree program at University of Phoenix. Through the four-year online Bachelor of Science in Public Administration degree program, students receive a thorough background in a number of theories relevant to public service. These include organizational management and behavioral theories, human capital theories as they apply to public service organizations and finance and accounting theories.
They also gain an understanding of the various federal, state and local policies that affect public administration, how to operate within ethical principles and collaborate across diverse stakeholder groups to solve problems. Finally, the bachelor’s degree program in Public Administration teaches students how to conduct both quantitative and qualitative analyses, just as they’ll need to do on the job.
The Master of Public Administration degree program at University of Phoenix can be completed in just a year and a half and builds on the foundational concepts introduced in the undergraduate program. The master’s degree program prepares students for leadership roles in diverse roles influencing and shaping civic life and public policy.
Through core courses in public administration institutions, law, human capital development, data analysis, budgeting, leveraging technology and finance, students learn how to integrate leadership skills into public sector work, how to solve problems and advance policies and how to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders. The degree program includes an applied project in public administration to give students skills and strategies they can transfer directly into real-world applications.
A Practical, Career-Focused Degree That Prepares Students to Work in Public Administration
Students attending University of Phoenix for undergraduate and graduate degrees in public administration have a distinct advantage. They learn from faculty who are experienced professionals and can provide an insider’s view of needs, opportunities and challenges. One such faculty member is Patrick Sherman, who has worked in elected and appointed municipal roles for 20 years and is now a faculty member in the University of Phoenix College of Business and IT as well as a member of the University’s Industry Advisory Council. Sherman helps guide students in the skills they will need to be successful in the public sector. “Cities and counties tend to have many disparate, moving parts,” Sherman said. “You need to be able to see how everything connects…that takes a big-picture perspective.”
A bachelor’s or master’s degree program in public administration from University of Phoenix is structured to provide students with the skills most in-demand in their field. Following graduation, they can pursue careers as a general and operation managers, planning and directing public or private sector organizations; as social or community service managers, coordinating organizations; or in other roles related to economic development, public safety, regulation and compliance.
Sherman pointed out that University of Phoenix’s experienced faculty provide real-world insights as well as a strong educational background. “Our degree program was put together not just by academics but also by people with experience in the field,” Sherman says. “We try to map the bigger assessment assignments with jobs that are being posted by cities, counties and states,” she says. That way, University of Phoenix students can have confidence that the skills they learn will help position them to compete for jobs.”
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and provides maximum support for transfer students to reach their goals affordably. The University offers numerous associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs that prepare students for in-demand careers in fields including business, healthcare, education, information technology, cybersecurity and public administration.
Flexible schedules with multiple start dates give working adults the opportunity to complete their degree without putting their lives on hold. The University’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates to help them more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing busy lives. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.