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How Do I Go into Public Management?

L.K. Blackburn
L.K. Blackburn

Public managers work for governments to administer regional services such as education, public utilities, water quality, sanitation, and transportation. You can go into public management by completing a graduate degree program that specializes in the subject and applying for an entry level position within a regional government office or non-profit organization. Many individuals who begin a public management career start by first working at an internship for the government or an elected official. Jobs in entry level public management are typically positions for hire, while jobs in advanced public management are elected by the voting public or appointed by elected officials.

Attending college is generally a prerequisite to go into public management. You can choose to earn your undergraduate degree in any subject that interests you, but it may be a good idea to decide to earn a degree in a related field such as political science or business administration. When you are interested in going into a public managing career, the type of degree you earn is not nearly as important as your grades and extracurricular activities you complete while attending school.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Internships and volunteering are critical experiences to obtain during this stage of your preparation. This may be especially helpful if you wish to apply to a graduate school program. Even if you choose not to attend graduate school, volunteering and internships can allow you to begin networking and making contacts that you will use when it comes time to look for your first management job.

Graduate school programs in public management can prepare you to begin a career working for the government or at a non-profit by teaching you unique strategies for efficient services administration. The classes and coursework also cover relevant topics to the job area such as health care, environmental concerns, and financial budgeting. Programs can offer a masters degree, a special program certificate, or allow you to earn a doctorate that utilizes research to complete a thesis project. Hiring offices in regional government departments often look for job candidates who have dedicated themselves to public service by completing higher education of this type.

Once you have successfully finished your education and internships, you can ultimately use your connections and experience to find a job working in public management. Employment positions are offered by many varied regional government departments and offices. The job offerings are typically posted in a centralized location such as online at the regional department's website, or at an online government job board.

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