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Public Service Degree: What to expect?

Every company needs a Manager to make decisions, guide employees, set budgets, analyze and write policies, and oversee projects. With a public service degree, you could become the person who performs that job for an international company, the government, or a nonprofit organization. Here’s what you need to know to get started.


Earning a degree in public service begins by choosing a program. The majority of jobs in public service require a master’s in public service degree. These degrees are commonly labeled in one of two ways.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree focuses on the business and managerial components. You can expect to study computers, finance, budgeting, and ethics.

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, on the other hand, targets the details involved in creating educational, nutritional, safety, or healthcare programs. Coursework is more math oriented, revolving around evaluating policies, statistics, data analysis, economics, and research design.

Either type of program takes about four terms (postgraduate), and includes an internship that’s commonly offered during the summer months.

Next Step

If you hope to move into a position as a Professor or certain research jobs, earning your Ph.D. may be a requirement.

Otherwise, it’s time for the job hunt. Look into opportunities within nonprofit organizations, large businesses, and all levels of government. Common job titles include Municipal Director of Finance, City Management Analyst, Public Policy Analyst, Public Relations Director, and Business Consultant.


In order to become a Teacher at any level, and for some business or research positions, you may need to pass state or national certification exams.

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Political Science Professor

Teach university students about political science.

Chief Listening Officer

Listen to consumer conversations on social media to improve your company.

Foreign Service Economic Officer

Help American citizens living abroad with economic issues.

Policy Advisor

Collect research data to support policymaking.

Account Manager

Serve as the customer's point of contact within a company.

Public Relations Specialist

Build a good name for a company.

Music Publicist

Help albums or Recording Artists gain popularity.

Book Publicist

Create hype for newly published books.


Examine the economic behavior of individuals, families, and businesses.

Development Director

Generate funding for nonprofit organizations and causes.

Communications Director

Head up the flow of information within a company and out into the public.

Sports Information Director

Generate media publicity for a university's athletic teams.

Community Relations Coordinator

Promote a company through community outreach.

Campaign Manager

Create strategies to get a political candidate elected.


Get good media coverage for your clients.

Communications Manager

Create a good image of your company for shareholders or the general public.

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Influence the shaping of policies.


Review past and current market trends to predict where the economy will go.

Political Advisor

Help companies keep up with the law by recommending policy changes.

Internet Reputation Manager

Keep companies safe from negative publicity in the Internet.

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Build up the reputation of a fashion brand or designer.

Public Relations Manager

Work with the media to build a good reputation for your company.


Bring the interests of companies or groups to the attention of Lawmakers.

Image Consultant

Advise clients on how to look good.


Make public statements on behalf of your company.