Master of Public Administration career planning

Graduate placement

The M.P.A. program annually monitors the careers of its graduates. The most recent study was conducted in September 2020 as part of the program's continuous improvement process.

Recent graduates have been successful in finding professional employment - In the academic year 2018 - 2019, 87 percent our graduates secured or continued employment in the sector within six months of graduation. Of these graduates, 27 percent worked in nonprofits, 7 percent in federal government, 13 percent in state government, 33 percent worked in local government, and 7 percent worked in the government in another country.

M.P.A. alumni

Alumni are usually in the best position to help students, so all students are encouraged to engage them. Most alums are willing to help and are waiting for your contact. The M.P.A. director can assist you in finding alums that may be of assistance and the director can also provide the relevant contact information.

M.P.A. faculty members

All M.P.A. faculty members, particularly the director, are available to provide you with guidance in planning a career. It is your responsibility to contact M.P.A. faculty members for this purpose. They may help you to identify internship possibilities. They may suggest that you talk with a public service professional, perhaps with one of the M.P.A. program's graduates. They will furnish you with advice on professional development. M.P.A. faculty members, especially the director, may be alerted by M.P.A. program alumni and other public service professionals about job openings, particularly locally. The director will post information on such openings on the student email list.

Career Services

The Office of Career Services offers career counseling and several job search resources, and can be helpful in developing a professional résumé.

Professional development

Professional development refers to the socialization of public service professional – the education, community involvement and service, organizational membership and participation, and study and reflection that contribute to acquiring the knowledge, skills, professional norms and ethical values, and personal relationships that are distinctive to the public service professions.

Things that contribute to professional development include participation in M.P.A. program activities, attendance at the Department of Political Science and Wayne State University events, membership and activity in professional associations, attendance and participation in community and public service-related meetings and organizations, and the reading of newsletters and journal articles.

For M.P.A. students, professional development contributes to the acquisition of what is often called the professional edge and it is the sum of qualities that define excellence in a public service professional. There are many organizations for public service professionals.

Professional associations

  • American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) – aspanet.org
  • Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM) – appam.org
  • Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) – arnova.org
  • Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) – compaspanet.org
  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA) - icma.org
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) – naspaa.org
  • National Forum of Black Public Administrators – nfbpa.org
  • National League of Cities – nlc.org
  • Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) – ynpn.org

Public service job openings (both nonprofit and government)

Public Service Careers is the most comprehensive nationwide career site for those wanting to work in the public sector, including government, nonprofits, and NGOs. This site is co-sponsored by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), American Society for Public Administration, and (ASPA), and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Government job openings

Nonprofit job openings