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Public Administration as a Discipline

To start short: public administration is the coordination of society's life. 

It is a way to make positive changes in the community, society, and country. Effective enforcement of public policies is about bringing solutions to people and improving their environment.

From the description above, you might reflect that public administration existed from the moment of human origin. Where there were at least two people who had to share a common area and resources and cooperate towards achieving a common result, there was also a public administration, even if it wasn't called like that. 

More academic description of public administration as a discipline dates back to 1887 and is connected to Woodrow Wilson's published paper "The Study of Administration." Wilson, therefore, is considered the founder of the discipline. 

Recorded chronological development of Public Administration as an academic direction had five stages:

  • Politics administration dichotomy (1887-1926) started with the publication mentioned above of Woodrow. As people were highly dissatisfied with the specific problems of government policies, such as corruption, and as the paper discussed the solution schemes for those problems, the paper attracted many. 
  • Principles of administration (1927-1937), which, as the name implies, was the period of attempts to set certain principles for regulation public policies. It was believed that certain coordinating principles could work in any kind of organization. 
  • The era of challenge (1938-1947) was when the previous findings of the public administration were challenged, as the human relations theory brought a pragmatic view. One of the notable results of the period was that public administration is nothing but a set of administrators' decisions.
  • Crises of identity (1948-1970) are connected to many world-changing transformations, which made humans face a new reality and therefore invent new methods of regulating their lives. This period gave birth to phenomena like democratic humanism, client orientation, etc. 
  • The public policy perspective is the period of public administration we live currently in. The public policy addresses the main public issues with the help of laws, regulations, and administrative decisions.

So, public administration currently is a discipline that supports and co-exists with prominent political organizations to provide the needed administrative services. Therefore, one should care about public welfare to choose and succeed as a public administration major. 

Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. programs in Public Administration

Degree programs in public administration drive transformational leaders through an extensive learning process, where they learn to manage, lead, communicate and impact public policies. Universities worldwide provide academic and professional training, fellowships, internships, and mentoring in public administration.

The interdisciplinary undergraduate program on public administration builds future "change-makers" in the public sector. They acquire knowledge in human resources and change management, strategic planning and organizational behavior, history of public policies, and budgeting.

Graduate programs deliver knowledge and skills management and leadership, political institutions and economics, policy research, and analysis. Important aspects of public administration, such as transparency and accountability, community involvement, and grassroots advocacy, are central in graduate programs.

Students doing Ph.D. in public administration engage in academic communities, impacting public policies and administration through advanced applied and theoretical research. This is an excellent opportunity to facilitate positive change through action research and network with outstanding academics.

Online Degree in Public Administration

If you can't leave your home or job, that does not mean at all that you can't get a degree online. Top Universities of the world foster access to education through developing and delivering online degree and non-degree programs on public administration.

Public Administration Career Application

As stated above, working in governmental organizations and their administrative units is the main career opportunity for Public Administration graduates. The common workplaces include central and local government, international organizations, and non-profit organizations. 

Before listing the actual job occupations that a public administration graduate can receive, here is a quick introduction of the main responsibilities one has in this field, regardless of where they work. Administrative workers should:

  • research, plan and recommend the policies that are beneficial for the society, meantime do not fall out of the budgets and government law
  • coordinate the other involved parties to implement the introduced policies successfully
  • manage and evaluate the effect of the implemented projects
  • constantly improve the existing practices by collecting and analyzing public and budget reports, as well as conducting surveys and analyzing historical data
  • communicate the effectiveness of the implemented policies with other stakeholders

Following the description of main responsibilities, it's already clear what kinds of positions public administrative specialists occupy. The options include:

  • urban and regional planners
  • community service managers
  • budget analyst
  • public administrator
  • public utility specialist
  • tax examiner
  • public administration consultant
  • city manager
  • International aid/development worker
  • fundraising manager

There are also opportunities to reach higher positions of the career, such as city managers or mayors. 

How Can ARMACAD Help to Find Scholarships and Fellowships in Public Administration?

ARMACAD is an excellent resource for those international students who are eager to invest in their education and professional development—looking for a degree program, a summer school, a funding opportunity, or a job announcement in public administration? Make maximum use of what ARMACAD offers by spending minimum time.