Paul Goetzinger MPA
I was in law enforcement for nearly 10 years and have a public administration degree.
I had to get a certification and pass an academy to pursue this occupation, but my background from college helped me pass the academic standards required for law enforcement officers.
So, (Yes), Public Administration is a good fit for law enforcement and corrections careers.
Be open to try different governmental and NGO fields and it will not take long for you to find a niche and be hooked!
When I left law enforcement for a stint as a deputy city manager, I of course had been linked to other city operations through policing. My new role gave me operational experience over all municipal operations and I really learned a lot and had an outstanding time!
You might try interviewing those in the career fields that seem interesting or those on recruiting assignments. They may give you get insight as well.
Public Administration enter a variety of fields. Some of these include, Management in nonprofits, Business administration, and Government service.
Common job titles you can look into are:
- Program Director
- Policy Analyst
- Public Affairs Specialist
- Researcher (for policy-making)
- Policy manager
- Public health manager
To enter law enforcement, the positions that require a bachelor's degree are usually correctional probation officers.
Most positions don't ask for that amount of school, and expect either a high school diploma, GED, associates degree, and/or military service. Requirements vary from state to state.
You can learn more information about police officer requirements here:
Relevancy of College Degree in Police Work | https://policeofficer.org/blog/importance-college-degree-police
The Minimum Education Qualifications across All US States | https://www.cga.ct.gov/2001/rpt/2001-r-0092.htm
Sending you luck as you look into law enforcement :)
But first: law enforcement is an entirely different "ballgame". And there are so many different law enforcement agencies. Federal, state and local. If law enforcement is your goal, I would suggest doing some searching. Extensive searching.
Public administration is another matter. I worked fifteen months as the administrative assistant to a bureau director in state government. Fifteen months may not seem to be a long time, but I absorbed an enormous amount of bureaucratic information in that time.
I am not sure which level you have an interest in but a degree in public administration, in most cases, is your entrance. And in taking the courses in your chosen major you'll probably get a better idea of which public agency suits you. And many degree programs will have an internship as part of the program.
There is a lot to learn out there if you decide to go the public admin route.
One more thing: Study the answers others have offered you on this site. They appear to be very helpful.
Richard J (Rich)’s Answer
Local, state, and federal government programs would benefit from someone with a Public Administration degree. It all depends on what level you want to contribute. Now, the good thing about a PA degree is it also translates to skills you need in general industry and business as well.
So, what can you do with a PA degree - there are lots of options. It all depends on your interest (public service or industry) and the opportunities that are presented to you.
Best of luck on your journey, and remember, you're destined for greatness!