5 Careers That Change the World & How To Get Them with an MPA

5 Careers That Change the World & How To Get Them with an MPA-image

People want a career that counts. 

For many, finding a job that aligns with personal values and provides opportunities to create positive change has become just as important as finding one that meets their salary requirements.   

If you’re looking for a way to align your skills, passions, and purpose with a career that can solve societal problems, earning a master of public administration (MPA) degree could be your first step.

What is an mpa?

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) defines a Master of Public Administration as: “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." 

NASPAA also notes that 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.”

Five Careers That Change the World

With an MPA on your resume, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of careers in public administration. Read on to learn about five change-making options. 

Policy Analyst

Policy analysts play a crucial role in evaluating and shaping policies that address society's challenges. In this role, you may address policy that relates to areas including healthcare, education, or the environment. You could also find yourself working as a political scientist (a role that’s closely related to a policy analyst). For political scientists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% job growth from 2022 to 2032, and the median annual pay in 2022 was $128,020. Note that policy analysts, like political scientists, influence society by crafting effective policies that shape a more equitable and prosperous future.

Urban and Regional Planner

Urban and regional planners are professionals who develop plans and programs for land use in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Their work is aimed at creating sustainable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing communities by considering factors like population growth, transportation, environmental impact, and social and economic needs.  The projected job growth from 2022 to 2032 is 4%, and the median annual pay in 2022 was $79,540.  

Nonprofit Executive Director

Executive directors in the nonprofit sector lead both global and local organizations that address a variety of challenges faced by society. For the Bureau of Labor’s purposes, people working in this position fall under a wider category called “social and community service managers.” The projected job growth for social and community service managers from 2022 to 2032 is 9%, and the median pay in 2022 was $74,240. As an executive director, you have the opportunity to create direct, positive change for marginalized communities and contribute to solutions that improve society.   

Government Affairs Director

Government affairs directors influence legislation and regulations and bridge the gap between organizations and the government. In this role, you have the unique opportunity to foster legislative advancements that improve the well-being of societies and residents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers data on public relations and fundraising managers, as their roles are closely related to government affairs directors. The projected job growth from 2022 to 2032 is 6%, and the median pay in 2022 was $125,620. 

Emergency Management Director

Emergency management directors coordinate and oversee emergency response efforts to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural or man-made disasters. Their role is crucial in ensuring public safety, minimizing damage, and facilitating effective recovery in the aftermath of emergencies. The projected job growth from 2022 to 2032 is 3%, and the median pay in 2022 was $79,180.   

The Value of an MPA

With an MPA, you can drive change. This program teaches and hones your analytical abilities, management tactics, fiscal understanding, and communication skills. Whether you use your degree to influence policy development, lead nonprofit organizations, contribute to urban planning, or help communities recover from emergencies, you’ll be able to influence a better, more sustainable future for all. This degree isn't just a credential. It's a toolkit that empowers you to change the world.

Cornell University's MPA Program

Cornell University's dynamic and innovative MPA program is designed to mold future leaders in public administration. With a strong emphasis on practical experience and collaboration, the program positions graduates for success in sectors spanning government, nonprofits, and international institutions.

Cornell Brooks School MPA graduates go on to careers where they enact significant change, influencing policymaking, community development, environmental planning, and more. They are changemakers shaping a better world.
Are you ready to join them? Are you prepared to explore careers that change the world?  Take the first step by downloading our Career Report.


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