Careers with an MPA Degree

“The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the core professional degree for a management career in public service. The curriculum is designed to aid students in developing the skills and techniques used by leaders and managers to implement policies, projects, and programs that resolve important societal problems. Graduates of an MPA program work in all levels of government (federal, state, and local), in nonprofits, in international organizations, consulting firms, and in the private sector.” (for further information see: and Public Services Careers). 

What Types of Jobs Do MPA Graduates Have?

“Since the degree programs offer so many different specializations and class options, assembling a comprehensive list of jobs that graduates may have is impossible. Common starting jobs for graduates include policy analysts, program managers, grant writers, researchers, and budget analysts. As their experience grows, many graduates rise to upper-level positions in government, nonprofit and even business organizations. The MPA degree program will help you to ascend the ladder.” (NASPAA)

The following is an excerpt from the MPA Employer Survey of 2016 conducted by the MPA student, Gerald Schneider, as part of the culminating MPA 780 Capstone Seminar project in the MPA program at UW Oshkosh. The survey reveals data about the relevance of the MPA program to local government employers in Wisconsin. 



What is the Employment Outlook?

What Could I Earn?

  • NASPAA’s website provides information about MPA graduates and employment facts, career resources and alumni survey salary data.
  • Salary information for medical and health services managers (nursing home administrators, clinical managers, health information managers, assistant administrators, and similar occupations) can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Health care administration salaries vary depending on the size of the organization, the corresponding level of responsibility, as well as career experience. An MPA graduate degree with health care  agency administration emphasis is the first step toward earning a higher salary in the field.

Positions UW Oshkosh MPA Graduates Hold

Corinne McFarlane, UW Oshkosh MPA Graduate, Area Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Government: City Manager; Performance & Information Services Administrator; Budget & Policy Analyst;
    Village Administrator, Clerk, and Treasurer; Personnel and Benefits Coordinator; County Supervisor; Town Administrator; Village Administrative Assistant; Transit Manager; County Social Services Director; Quality Assurance Administrative Monitor for the State; Ombudsperson; and others.
  • Other public organizations: Chief of Police; Fire Chief; Director of Human Resources; and others.
  • UW Oshkosh: Organizational Development Program Manager, Human Resources Manager, Chief of Police, Technology Manager, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator, Division Business Analyst in Administrative Services.
  • Non-profit organizations: President and CEO of Community Foundation; Director of Philanthropy; Executive Director; Community Organizer; Campaign Program Administrator; and others.
  • Health care organizations: CEO of Retirement Community; Executive Assistant at Health System; Director in Health Insurance Company; Director of Hospital Department; Public Health Services Manager; and others.


Public Administration

Sage Hall 3003 and 3464
Oshkosh, WI 54901



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Phone: (920) 424-2030
Program Coordinator:
Dr. Michael Ford |
Hours: 7:30am - 3:30pm