As strange as it may seem, I didn’t REALLY know what a MPA degree was until I landed the role of Director of Admissions for the MPA program at UNC. I am pretty certain I could have told you it stood for ‘Master of Public Administration’, but I couldn’t really tell you what that meant. Sure, I knew it was government related, but I thought it was a degree for someone who wanted to run for public office eventually. Sometimes they do, but it is so much more than that. And sometimes, it’s not even government related.
In starting this blog, I am hoping to provide information on why MPA and public administration and service MATTERS as a career and a degree area. We’re going to feature interviews from all kinds of people affiliated with the MPA program, we are going to have special bloggers talking about the MPA and what they do with it, we’re going to present career findings and highlights in the area of public administration, and we’re going to focus on what specifically is going on in the School of Government at UNC where our MPA degree is housed.
As a first post and introduction to MPA Matters: A UNC MPA Blog, let’s talk about why an advanced degree in public administration is beneficial and why people pursue an MPA to boost their career. When I started my first day of work, I was challenged by one of our esteemed faculty members, Dr. Carl Stenberg to ‘Name a job or company or organization that doesn’t touch the public in some way.’ His argument demonstrates the relevance and applicability of the public administration degree to the career world. The majority of our graduates will go on to work in the public service sector, but a fair number will stretch their service into the private sector realm because the leadership skills acquired through the lens of serving the public is both pertinent and needed in private sector work.
Government work is the most obvious reason people go into public administration, but LEADERSHIP and PASSION for PUBLIC SERVICE are the biggest (check out more here). People who pursue this degree want to make a difference in the world and in their communities. They want to impact change for the betterment of whatever it is they have interest in – education, public health, government, the environment, etc. I can’t wait to dive into the public administration world with this blog because MPA MATTERS.