Is 2010 a good time to start work on an MPA?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest Census of Governments, the number of municipalities and special district governments is increasing. The number of municipalities grew from 19,429 to 19,492, when comparing the latest two censuses. The special district count grew from 35,052 to 37,381. More governments means increased hiring of public administrators.
To find out about current opportunities for MPA-degree holders, Govpro.com talked to Mark Gordon, associate dean, School of Public Policy and Administration, at Minneapolis-based Walden University.
Walden University’s School of Public Policy and Administration was the first fully online public administration school in the United States.
Govpro: Is 2010 a good time to start an MPA for government administrators?
MG: Yes, because during the next five years, 550,000 employees are projected to leave the public sector, according to “Eduventures Analysis of the Public Administration Education Needs in the Government Sector: Opportunities and Strategies.”
The Walden MPA may be completed in less than two years in an online format that allows students to balance work and family time with their academic course load. Walden students learn from expert faculty members, active professionals in their fields who incorporate their experience in the classroom and specialize in collaborating with adult learners in an online learning environment.
Because we believe that participation in your professional community is important in your program and your career, students enrolled in Walden’s MPA or Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration program receive a one-year membership to the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). ASPA has represented public-service professionals since 1939 and is one of the most respected societies of its kind.
Govpro: Do you have any advice for the Govpro.com audience on choosing an MPA program?
MG: First, students should look at a university that has both experience and is accredited. Walden has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities for 40 years. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The association is a U.S. membership organization for educational institutions that was created to develop and maintain high standards of academic excellence. When evaluating credentials, employers and universities often look for applicants who earned their degree from an accredited university.
Second, students should ask whether a university offers resources to support their academic goals. Walden University’s academic advisors can help students stay on track throughout their studies. Student support is available 24/7 to answer questions and resolve issues. Writing and research support staff members can help students more effectively communicate their ideas. And Career Services staff members offer students professional development tools and advice.
About Mark Gordon
Mark Gordon earned a Ph.D. in applied management and decisions sciences, with an emphasis on nonprofit administration, from Walden University. He serves as associate dean for Walden’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Gordon has experience in philanthropy working with such organizations as the American Cancer Society, the Arthritis Foundation and the Stop AIDS project in San Francisco. He consults for a number of private and nonprofit organizations in corporate social responsibility and leadership development. His research interests include international nongovernmental organizations and corporate citizenship.