Public Administration Career Guide

This guide covers all aspects of public administration for students just entering college, just graduated or currently working in a related field. Public administration can be a hard field to get into, particularly if you’re not sure where to start. In order for agencies to operate smoothly, they need a team of administrators who have studied policy and are ready to become civil servants.

Along with links, brief overview and comprehensive information about each step entering public administration, insight is also provided to join professional conferences, continue education and participate in further training.

Accrediting Agencies and Resources for Public Administration Education

These agencies are responsible for accrediting programs that lead to successful public administrators.

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)
The NASPAA provides accreditation for programs in public administration, public policy and public affairs. It’s the most well-known and historical accreditation for public administration programs in the United States.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
The ACBSP is a business accreditation agency that also offers accreditation for public administration programs in the United States.

Occupational Outlook: Political Scientist (Earn a Ph.D. in Public Administration)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics page on political science offers insight into how public administration and policy degrees play a big role in becoming a political scientist and working as a civil servant.

How to Get a Job in the Federal Government
Occupational Outlook: Politician
This is an informational article containing all the steps to be recognized and hired by the federal government. One of the key requirements is that you have a degree in public administration.

Journals and Databases

Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
The most distinguished journal for public administration students is the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. In addition to theory, students also receive the latest on public management and policy science.

International Journal of Public Administration
The International Journal of Public Administration covers all current topics and theories that offer a global perspective on policy and public service.

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
For those who want to work directly with policy, there is no better journal than this. Authors go over current policies and theories as well as solutions for public management.

International Review of Administrative Sciences
Public management and public administration join forces in the International Review of Administrative Sciences. This is the oldest public administration journal and focuses primarily on comparison topics and international relations.

Journal of Public Administration and Development
This journal covers tops in public policy, reform, poverty, new perspectives and policy analysis.

Full List and Rankings of All Public Administrator and Policy Journals
No matter what you plan to study or specialize for public administration, this last has all of the top journals ranked in order.

Public Administration Abstracts Database
One of the best resources that you can use to find all kinds of information including bibliographic records, theory, administration, economy, politics and administrative structures.

Database Support for Research in Public Administration
You can read about databases that support public administration students. The databases studied include ABI/INFORM, Business Source Premier, General Business File, Academic Search Premier, Expanded Academic Index and International Academic Research Library.

Credentials and Designations for Public Administrators

Certified Association Executive by ASAE
The CAE program by ASAE Center was created to increase professional standards and prepare individuals for public management. Getting certified is a three-part process, which includes passing the CAE exam.

Certificate of Achievement in Leadership by NLC
The NLC offers the Certificate of Achievement in Leadership Program for professionals who show excellent local government leadership. You can achieve one of five designations by NLC, but the highest is Diamond Leadership Regent.

Certified Planner by American Institute of Certified Planners
Receiving an AICP certification opens many doors for those planning to work local and state government, federal government and policy.

Public Management and Administration by Certified Public Manager Consortium
American Academy of Certified Public Managers offers certification for those who want to exhibit the highest professional, ethical and educational standards.

Job Board Sources for Public Administration

Public Service Careers
This is the most frequented and popular search engine for public service, policymaker, public administration and manager jobs. The site also offers insight into getting degrees for public administration.

America’s Job Bank
Government jobs are often posted through a state job bank. This is the main website for all states with links to each job bank.

National Forum for Black Public Administrators
Search through hundreds of jobs on the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. The site offers resume hosting, job alerts, and new job listings every day.

USAJOBS is the official federal government job listing and application site.

ICMA Job Center for State and Local Government
For state and local government jobs, this is the ultimate resource with hundreds of new jobs each week.

Opportunity Knocks: Non-Profit Jobs and Careers
If you are looking for non-profit work experience, offers all types of nonprofit employment and opportunities.

HigherEd Jobs in Public Administration
Public administration jobs in every field can be found at HigherEd.

Government Public Administration Specializations

Urban Affairs
These individuals work closely with all branches of government to create new policies for urban development, stronger cities, sustainable growth, and other issues facing the nation.

The Federal Transit Administration focuses on the safety of America’s travel networks. Public administrators in this fieldwork with state and local governments for asset management, repair, safety regulation, new investments, and sustainable projects.

State and Local Government
There are a variety of offices and agencies that hire public administrators in state and local government. These individuals are responsible for everything from city planning to environmental protection.

Federal Government
Positions in the federal government all depend on what you specialize in. Most public administrators in the federal government are administrative managers, legislators, political scientists, policy analysts and military personnel.

Nonprofit Management
Going to work for a non-profit has a ton of rewards. For one, you gain experience as a public administrator working for a great cause and also have a chance to show real leadership in a specific area.

Health Care Administration
Public administrators often combine their degree with a medical degree in order to work for hospitals, health agencies and medical centers.

Philanthropic Development
Philanthropic public administrators usually work in business or non-profit organizations. They have a knack for leadership and understanding public policy.

Fiscal Management
There are many departments in the government that need fiscal policy analysts. Public administrators should also have a specialization in fiscal policy.

Public Administration Associations, Organizations and Societies

American Society for Public Administration
ASPA works with members to advance public service excellence and aid in the role of democratic governance. ASPA provides a network of different contacts and fosters interest in public service throughout the country. They also promote forward-thinking objectives and responsible citizenship.

National Forum for Black Public Administrators
The NFBPA works specifically with black administrators to increase their numbers in executive positions and public service agencies. The organization also has a network of public, private and academic institutions that the professional development among blacks as public service agents.

Alliance for Nonprofit Management
For students who specialize in nonprofit, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management brings together individuals and organizations that have a common interest of improving governance capacity and management for nonprofits.

American Association for Budget and Program Analysis
Policymakers, fiscal planners and administrative analysts join together in the AABPA, an association dedicated to helping federal, state and local managers with the often odd challenges that they face as public administrators.

American Association of School Administrators
For those in education, the AASA works with teachers, education administrators, school advisers and other individuals in public education.

Federal Managers Association
FMA is one of the biggest and oldest federal employee organizations that bring together more than 200,000 managers and supervisors with experience working in the federal government.

National Academy of Public Administration
If you want to improve governance systems, the NAPA is a network of nonprofit organizations, private businesses, institutions and individuals who focus on public policy.

National Association of State Facilities Administrators
NASFA has different professionals from each state. These individuals plan, develop, maintain and oversee state facilities, which include prisons, parks, colleges, universities and hospitals.

Public Administration Conferences

NASPAA Annual Conference
Each year in Fall, NASPAA hosts an annual conference that brings together all sorts of current policymakers and public officials. The conference includes poignant discussions, seminars and sessions dedicated to public policy, fiscal policy, legislation and other public administrative topics.

ASPA Annual Conference
The ASPA annual conference is held every spring and covers a variety of topics in public administration and policy.

American Academy of Certified Public Managers Annual Professional Development Symposium</b>
Affiliated with ASPA, the American Academy of Certified Public Managers has its own professional conference and symposium that was founded in 1985. It continues to be a big event every year with seminars hosted by public sector practitioners.

Southeastern Conference on Public Administration
SECoPA has an annual conference in the Southeastern United States every year. Discussions, professional development, student seminars, leadership sessions and more can be found here.

Northeast Conference on Public Administration
For those who can’t make it to SECoPA, don’t fear. There’s always the NECoPA which rolls around every fall. This conference focuses on the latest challenges to befall the government’s public administration team.

Informative and Current Twitter Feeds, Sites and Blogs for Public Administrators

The official Twitter for the Public Administration and International Affairs Department at Syracuse University is constantly updated and quite edgy.

Go inside the House Republican and get a look at what’s going on with policy from the GOP perspective.

The House Democrats also are constantly updating their own Twitter feed with policy news. Don’t forget their perspective either.

The Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid often puts out tweets for new public policy issues and shares unique information on legislation and policy.

Barbara Boxer could be considered a wonder woman for public administration professionals.

CNN offers constant updates on policy, politics, fiscal reports and other information that’s useful for public administrators.

Pay attention to Ben Politico. He’s always in the know about the latest changes to policy and newest information for public administration.

Roll Call
Looking for something interesting to read? Check out the Roll Call blog for news on Capitol Hill and other information.

Daily KOS
The Daily Kos offers a liberal point of view on the latest policy reports and news.

Drudge Report
The Drudge Report is always an interesting read. Get up to speed on what’s happening in politics right from Matt Drudge.

Huffington Post on Public Policy
Huffington Post is a great resource for those who like serious and also tongue-in-cheek news perspectives.

Insta Pundit
If you want to know everything about everything, just check out Insta Pundit to get your fill on politics, public policy, public administration and a variety of other issues.

Getting started in public administration takes dedication and leadership. You also have to know how to gain an audience with people and really show that you understand the latest issues with policy and management in government. This guide serves as a way to clearly find the best degree programs, information, policies and certifications to make you a more eligible candidate.