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Public Management Career Information and Education Requirements

Learn about common careers available in public management, including public policy analysts, non-profit managers, and directors of development, and the education and requirements to fill these positions.

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Public management is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of high-level positions in many different industries. Interested students may find supervisory positions in businesses, nonprofit organizations, or government institutions.

Essential Information

Common career titles in public management include public policy analyst, non-profit manager or director of development, among others. Many high-level positions in this field require at least a master's degree in public management.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Top Executives Political Scientists
Percent Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% 6% -2%

Source *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public Relations Managers Executive Directors Public Policy Analysts
Median Annual Wage (2016)* $60,784 $73,698 $52,914

Source *Payscale.com

Public Policy Analyst

Public policy analysts generally work for think tanks and government organizations. They are responsible for analyzing policies that are directed toward helping society. Research is at the core of determining the effectiveness of a particular policy, after which a policy analyst makes recommendations based on his or her findings.

Career Information

While the BLS does not offer job growth projections for public policy analysts specifically, it did state in May 2015 that related professionals, political scientists, could expect a 2% decline in jobs through 2024. Payscale.com reported that, as of October 2016, public policy analysts had a median annual salary of $52,914.

Educational Requirements

There is no formal degree path for students who wish to become public policy analysts. Many analysts have a graduate degree in public administration with an emphasis in policy studies, economics or political science. It is not unusual for a public policy analyst to have an undergraduate degree in philosophy, psychology or business administration.

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Director of Development (Non-Profit)

Non-profit organizations, public interest groups and think tanks do not generate income through the sale of goods or services. Rather, a director of development connects with ideologically aligned individuals and companies that are willing to donate money and supplies to them. As of October 2016, Payscale.com reported that the median annual salary for a program manager in a non-profit organization was $48,428. For an executive director at a nonprofit, the median annual salary was $63,866.

Career Information

In October 2016, Payscale.com stated that the median annual salary for public relations managers was $60,784. While the BLS didn't have any job outlook information that pertained specifically to directors of development, there was job outlook information for social and community service managers, who work in a related field to directors of development. According to the BLS, social and community service managers can expect a 10% growth in employment from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This outlook was attributed to an increase in the elderly population, the growing numbers of people seeking treatment for addictions and general increases in the population.

Educational Requirements

Directors of development may come from many different educational backgrounds, but generally hold an advanced degree in public management. Since a director of development interacts with many potential donors and companies on a daily basis, it is important that students who wish to enter into this career are outgoing, persuasive and have strong interpersonal communication skills. Graduate-level certificate programs offered by the National Society of Fundraising Executives provide information on fundraising ethics and theory.

Non-Profit Manager

Managers of non-profit organizations are responsible for overseeing all components of their business. They work with personnel from many different departments, participate in hiring new employees and make decisions on the development of new programs and projects.

Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that top executives will see 6% employment growth for the period 2014-2024. The median annual wage for executive directors, according to Payscale.com, was $73,698.

Educational Requirements

A master's degree in public management is the minimum requirement for a career in non-profit management. Many master's degree programs offer areas of concentration. Students are encouraged to choose an emphasis area that suits their professional interests and goals. Some common concentration areas include human resources, health systems management, education leadership and financial management.

In conclusion, there are multiple careers available to pursue in public management, and the educational path to each can differ, although most leadership positions require a graduate education. Comparing job duties, salaries, and occupational outlook for some of these careers can help you decide which one is right for you.

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