8 Areas of Concentration in Public Administration Education

Public Administration Degrees With a Wide Variety of Employment Outcomes

Are you planning on pursuing a municipal career? Do you currently work for a municipality and would like to advance in your career? If so, an undergraduate or graduate degree in public administration is something for you to consider. Whether you are planning on obtaining a Bachelor of Public Administration degree or a Master of Public Administration degree, you will need to decide on an area of concentration you would like to study. The concentration that you decide to study will assist you in preparing for that career field in municipal government. Review the following concentrations that are commonly found in public administration programs to gain an understanding of each and find one that speaks to you. Find something you like? See what future careers you can aspire to.

1
Community and Economic Development

Firefighter with students in elementary school
Firefighter with students in elementary school. Getty Images/Hero Images

Community development involves acquiring grant funds and distributing these funds to programs that provide assistance to citizens who lack basic needs, such as clothing, food and shelter. Economic development assists in improving the economy of an area in order to bring a higher standard of living to its citizens mainly through the growth of business.

Future Careers: Economic Development Coordinator, Economic Program Analyst, Grant Planner, Neighborhood Relations Coordinator, U.S. President (Yes, U.S. President -- President Obama, early in his career, was active in community development. In many ways, what he eventually accomplished grew from that involvement)

2
Environmental Management

Environmental management involves reducing our impact on the environment in order to preserve it for the future. This is accomplished through air quality, code compliance, natural resources preservation and trash and recycling collection.​

Future Careers: Code Compliance Manager, Environmental Compliance Manager, Natural Resources Manager, Solid Waste Coordinator, Solar and Wind Energy Specializations

3
Government Administration

Government administration is the management of a government agency. Administrators oversee and direct the daily activities of the agency, while adhering to laws, rules, regulations and policies.

Future Careers: City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Policy Administrator, Policy Manager; Nonprofit Administrator; Nonprofit Manager

4
Policy Analysis

Policy analysis involves constructing and evaluating various solutions to policy issues. The best solution is found by conducting research, assessing cost, and determining public impact and feasibility.

Future Careers: Data Analyst, Policy Analyst, Research Analyst, Statistical Analyst; Political and Advocacy Journalism; Political Campaign Research Analyst; Political Campaign Research Manager; Political and Corporate Speech Writer

5
Public Policy Management

Public policy management is directing and overseeing the implementation and administration of public policies. In order to do so, implementation and evaluation strategies must be put in place to make sure that policy is executed properly and accurately addresses policy issues.

Future Careers: Policy Coordinator, Policy Director, Program Manager, Project Evaluator; Political Campaign Research Analyst; Political Campaign Research Manager

6
Public Safety and Homeland Security

Public safety and homeland security involves directing programs that are created for the safety of citizens. This is achieved by having initiatives in place that prevent, reduce or respond to crimes, natural disasters and emergency situations.

Future Careers: Emergency Management Planner, Emergency Response Coordinator, Fire Chief, Police Chief; Airport Security Manager; Transportation Manager

7
Transportation and Infrastructure Management

Transportation and infrastructure management is the planning and overseeing of public transportation and public infrastructure. Public infrastructure includes bridges, roads and utilities.

Future Careers: Project Manager, Regional Transportation Manager, Traffic Engineer, Transportation Planner; Alternative Transportation Policy Coordinator

8
Urban and Regional Planning

Urban and regional planning involves the development of communities, to include residential, business and manufacturing zones. The current trend in planning is smart growth, where the need to rely on personal transportation is reduced in communities.

Future Careers: Planner, Planning and Development Manager, Project Development Coordinator, Zoning Administrator; Corporate Urban and Regional Planner Manager

9
Branching Out

Just because your degree concentration is on municipal issues, that doesn't mean you're limited to municipal employment. Each of these eight areas of specialization easily branches into corporate and federal employment as well.