MPA degree translates into career advancement
At a recent “Inspiring Federal Service Roundtable” in Washington hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the fast-approaching retirement wave was discussed. “By some accounts, nearly a third of federal workers are likely to leave their jobs in the next five years. In some agencies, the situation is even more serious. This pattern holds to varying degrees in nearly every agency,” said one speaker at the event.
The coming changes in public work forces have been reflected in rising enrollments in Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) programs. “Our MPA program has continued to grow since its launch in the summer of 2009,” says Suzanne Holmes, interim co-dean at Minneapolis-based Capella University’s School of Public Service Leadership. “Some of the factors contributing to this continued growth include the retirement wave impacting most public sector organizations, the flexibility for students of the online educational format, the broader economic trends, and the increased interest in careers in public service.”
Holmes added: “There is increasing concern at all levels of government about talent management and the development of the next generation of leaders.”
Capella’s program has been set up to address the future talent shortage, Holmes said. “Capella University’s public service leadership programs are designed to help fill the coming leadership gap with experienced professionals who are prepared to lead and make a defining difference in the public service sector,” she told Govpro.com.
Career advancement is the primary reason why current Capella MPA students enrolled in the program, Holmes said. Other reasons for enrolling: the idea of public service and being able to be of greater value to the community.
The average age of the Capella MPA student is in the late 30’s, with the majority of students being female. Most are working professionals in the public sector, including the field of nonprofit management. “The Capella MPA is built on a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach, one that recognizes the increasingly complex nature of public service and creating public policies that create and sustain public value,” Holmes said. “The MPA program was built based on national standards that take into account the talent and skills needed to be successful in the public sector.”
Some of the advantages of the Capella MPA program, according to Holmes:
- Instructors are experienced faculty members from all over the nation who have tackled challenging problems as leaders of regional, national and international public service organizations.
- The online collaborative learning experience allows students to interact with colleagues across the public service spectrum.
- Electronic textbooks are available for all public administration courses, providing immediate access to course materials, while reducing total program cost.
For more information, visit the Capella MPA Web site.