An MPA degree can improve your chances for promotion
As part of Govpro.com’s series on Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree programs and their value to government administrators, here are the views of Charles E. Menifield, the director of the MPA program at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.
Govpro.com has profiled the Troy University MPA program, the Akron University MPA, the University of Georgia program and other MPA degree offerings.
The Memphis MPA degree is earned through the university’s Division of Public and Nonprofit Administration in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. The Memphis MPA prepares public service and nonprofit professionals with the knowledge and skills to face today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities. Memphis MPA student Karla Davis was recently appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The 39-semester-hour MPA degree curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and analytical skills while focusing on the competencies required for managing information, money and people. Students must complete 24 semester hours of core courses. Students must complete 15 semester hours of courses in one of two MPA degree concentrations:
- Nonprofit Administration
- Public Management and Policy
Each student who does not have public service experience must complete an internship. All students seeking to earn the Memphis MPA degree must satisfactorily pass a written comprehensive examination.
Govpro: Can a University of Memphis MPA degree offer new opportunities to our readers?
Charles E. Menifield: We have two concentrations in our MPA program at the University of Memphis. Our Nonprofit Administration concentration and certificate program are growing very fast and the placement of these students is very high.
Govpro: Is 2012 a great time to earn an MPA for government administrators?
CEM: Given the poor economy and the availability of funds to pursue higher education, it is a great time to start a graduate program. We train people to work in government and there are government jobs available for those who have the right qualifications. If you are working in government and want a promotion, what better way to improve your prospects than by getting an MPA degree?
Govpro: Does the University of Memphis have any advice for our readers on choosing an MPA degree program?
CEM: You should choose a program that offers the type of courses that you need in order to improve your chances of getting a job or moving up from your current position. A good MPA degree helps you to think more analytically, improve your writing and organizational skills, and teaches you new things (tools). Your objective is to leave the program with some new skills that will make you more marketable.