Skip to main content
7 answers
8
Asked 839 views

As a high school student, how do I know if public administration is the right college major for me?

as a high school student, how do I know if public administration is the right college major for me?
I'm a 16-year-old high school senior and I've been reading a lot about public administration. I have decided that I want to study management at university, but I am still not entirely sure of my decision

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

8

7 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Paul’s Answer

I have a Master's in Public Administration (MPA), and here is my opinion.

Writer David Epstein, has stated that many people, within certain majors and professions, can be classified as "Generalist's." And many of us, within public administration, tend to be so called "Generalist's" because we have a wide range of talents and skills we can do.

At times, this can cause us to have the same debate, you are experiencing, regarding which direction to choose, because they all seem so wonderful, and meet our occupational and educational criteria.

These areas include Business, Finance, Economics, Management, Education, Non-Profits, Urban Planning, Law, Public Policy Analysis, and a variety of professions within the public sector.

What really attracted me to public administration was my strong core philosophy of dedication to service to others. Basically, helping those in need achieve their life goals and ambitions. With me it was in the legal profession, non-profits, and university education.

Basically, it comes down to this. If you have a diversity of interests, especially in the social sciences, and are firmly dedicated to the philosophy of service to others, and helping those in need achieve their life goals, then you are definitely heading in the right direction.
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Larry’s Answer

Trevor -- if you currently feel you want to pursue a career in some branch of government, the study of public administration makes sense. When you get to the point of interviewing for a government position, a B.A. and even better, an M.A. in public administration will add weight to your presence.

However, the college experience is about growing into adulthood and gaining both social and intellectual skills for your future. A general liberal arts degree such as history or literature may be just as useful to you in your future governmental career as the study of public administration.

Regarding study of public administration, the real question is how relevant a particular school's program is to your future practice in government. To evaluate the validity and relevance of a college or university's program will take some research and, if possible, conversations with graduates.

It is certainly possible to equip yourself with public administration experience through internships while you are in college. Spending time in a government agency as an intern may be an even a more valuable experience than public administration study and may lead to employment opportunities after graduation. Your college's career guidance counsellors may be able to steer you toward those opportunities.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Trevor!

Understanding Public Administration as a College Major

Deciding on a college major is a significant step in your academic journey, and it’s important to carefully consider your interests, skills, and career goals. Public administration is a field that encompasses the management and implementation of public policies and programs. If you are considering public administration as a potential college major, there are several factors to consider to determine if it is the right fit for you.

Interest in Public Service and Governance

One of the key indicators that public administration may be the right college major for you is a genuine interest in public service and governance. Public administration involves working in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other public sector entities to address societal issues and improve the well-being of communities. If you are passionate about making a positive impact on society through policy development, program management, or public service, then public administration could align with your interests.

Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

Public administration requires individuals to possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills. As a student considering this major, reflect on whether you enjoy analyzing complex issues, developing solutions to societal challenges, and understanding how policies can affect communities. If you find satisfaction in identifying problems, evaluating potential solutions, and implementing effective strategies, then public administration may be a suitable choice for you.

Leadership and Management Abilities

Effective leadership and management are integral components of public administration. Consider whether you possess leadership qualities such as the ability to inspire others, communicate effectively, and make decisions that benefit the greater good. If you have an interest in organizational management, strategic planning, and leading teams to achieve common goals, then pursuing a major in public administration could provide opportunities to develop these skills further.

Interest in Policy Development and Implementation

Public administration majors often engage with policy development and implementation processes. If you have an interest in understanding how policies are formulated, implemented, and evaluated within governmental or non-profit settings, this field may be well-suited for your academic pursuits. Additionally, if you are passionate about addressing social issues through evidence-based policymaking and program evaluation, public administration can offer avenues for exploring these interests.

Desire for Diverse Career Opportunities

A major in public administration can lead to diverse career opportunities across various sectors such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, healthcare institutions, and international development organizations. If you value the prospect of having a wide range of career paths after completing your degree – including roles in public policy analysis, human resources management, urban planning, or nonprofit leadership – then public administration may align with your career aspirations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, determining if public administration is the right college major for you involves assessing your interest in public service and governance, analytical skills, leadership abilities, interest in policy development and implementation, as well as your desire for diverse career opportunities within the public sector. By carefully evaluating these factors alongside your personal passions and long-term career goals, you can make an informed decision about whether pursuing a major in public administration is the right path for you.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications:

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) - ASPA is a leading organization dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching, and practice of public and non-profit administration.
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) - NASPAA is the global standard in public service education accreditation.
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART) - JPART is a top-tier journal focused on advancing our understanding of governance and public policy through empirical research.

These sources were used to gather insights into the field of public administration from authoritative organizations within the discipline.

GOD BLESS YOU,


James Constantine Frangos.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

William’s Answer

Hi Trevor,

I'd recommend considering a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration or Political Science. Following this, you could pursue a Master's degree in Public Administration or Public Health.

Wishing you all the best on your academic journey!
Will
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Bhupendra’s Answer

Great question! Choosing a college major can be a challenging decision, especially without exposure to the field. Here are some suggestions to help you determine if public administration is right for you:

Research the field: Continue reading about public administration to understand its scope, roles, and impact. Explore various aspects, such as policy-making, public service, and nonprofit management.

Reflect on your interests: Ask yourself why you're drawn to management and public administration. Do you enjoy working with people, solving community problems, or leading initiatives? Identify your motivations and passions.

Explore related fields: Consider related fields like political science, sociology, or business administration. You might find that one of these fields aligns better with your interests.

Seek experiences: Look for opportunities to gain practical experience in public administration, such as internships, volunteering, or attending workshops. This will give you a taste of the work and help you determine if it's a good fit.

Talk to professionals: Reach out to professionals in public administration and ask about their experiences, challenges, and advice. This will provide valuable insights into the field.

Take courses or attend workshops: Consider taking online courses or attending workshops related to public administration to get a feel for the subject matter and gauge your interest.

Keep an open mind: Remember that your interests and goals may evolve during college. Don't feel pressured to declare a major immediately. Use your first two years of college to explore and declare your major when you feel more confident.

Remember, choosing a college major is not a lifelong commitment. It's okay to explore and change your mind. Use this time to discover your strengths and passions, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from advisors or mentors. Good luck!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jerome’s Answer

I highly recommend reaching out to a few people doing the job you are considering. Ask them what they life, what they dislike and what they wish they had known before taking on the role.

You can learn sooooo much from a little networking and some strategic questions.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Brandon’s Answer

Deciding on a college major, especially in a field like public administration, is a significant choice. Here are some steps and considerations to help you determine if it's the right path for you:

Understand What Public Administration Involves: Public administration is about implementing government policies and managing public programs. It involves understanding how administrative processes work, policy analysis, public finance, and often includes aspects of public service.

Assess Your Interests and Skills: Reflect on your interests and strengths. Do you enjoy understanding how policies impact communities? Are you interested in how government and non-profit organizations operate? Skills like leadership, problem-solving, communication, and an interest in governance and public affairs are important in this field.

Explore Related Subjects: In high school, engage in subjects like political science, economics, and history. These can provide a foundational understanding relevant to public administration.

Seek Experiences: Volunteer or intern with local government offices, non-profits, or political campaigns. This real-world experience can give you a taste of what to expect in the field of public administration.

Talk to Professionals in the Field: Reach out to people working in public administration. This could be through informational interviews, attending relevant talks or webinars, or connecting via professional networks like LinkedIn.

Consider the Career Opportunities: Public administration can lead to a variety of careers in government agencies, non-profits, and even private sector roles. Research the different career paths that a degree in public administration can open up for you.

Evaluate Your Long-Term Goals: Think about where you see yourself in the future. Does a career in public management align with your personal and professional goals?

Academic Strengths: Consider if your academic strengths align with the coursework involved in a public administration degree. It typically involves a mix of theoretical and practical studies in policy analysis, public finance, and management.

Financial and Practical Considerations: Understand the financial commitments of a public administration degree and consider the practical aspects, such as the universities you can attend and the resources they offer for this field of study.

Remember, it's okay not to have everything figured out at 16. College is also a time for exploration. You might start with public administration and find your passion veers slightly or significantly - and that's perfectly normal. Stay open to opportunities and experiences that come your way.
0