Benefits of an MPA for Veterans and Military Personnel

Benefits of an MPA for Veterans and Military Personnel-image

Are you a veteran or current service member looking for a career where you can continue to better the world around you? If so, you have a range of choices to consider, but you should know why a professional graduate degree like a Master of Public Administration (MPA) could be the stepping stone you need to jumpstart your next career in public service.

An MPA degree prepares those seeking to work in public service in a variety of positions related to the field of public affairs/policy. Candidates will learn the intricacies of leadership, management, analysis, and organization within a variety of agencies and institutions. The MPA also prepares individuals to work nationally and internationally and offers a diverse range of class subjects to cultivate well-rounded minds working for public interest.

In short, the Master of Public Administration opens an expanse of opportunities for those driven by the desire to make a lasting difference in their communities. For this reason, the MPA is an especially appealing option for those with military backgrounds. Both veterans and active military personnel can continue service to their fellow citizens with an MPA degree.

Take your first step into entering a lifelong career to improve the lives of others — let’s talk more about the benefits of an MPA for veterans and military personnel.

What are the benefits of an MPA for veterans and military personnel?

Those with military backgrounds display a strong ethic for public service. 

Military service requires a dedication to the betterment of fellow citizens that not everyone can claim, and an MPA further grows the unique dedication, skills, and passions of veterans and military personnel. The MPA program also deepens understanding of the connections between civilian life, legislation, and leadership, and how these areas relate to a military career. 

For veterans seeking a career in public service, an MPA offers career choices in all areas of public policy and administration. Candidates might find their futures at home or abroad, in work ranging from research and analysis to law-making. 

Whether you are currently serving or served in the past, an MPA will help you pursue a career that continues to enact real change that benefits society locally, nationally, and globally.

Note: If you want to learn more about the benefits of an MPA for veterans and military personnel, read this interview with a veteran who pursued his MPA after his military service.

Careers for veterans with an MPA

Cornell’s MPA program offers students eight different areas of concentration in their education of public administration. Of these eight, three concentrations are particularly popular amongst military personnel and veterans: Government, Politics, and Policy Studies; Public and Nonprofit Management; and Science, Technology, and Infrastructure Policy.

See below for some career path options in each of these concentrations.

Government, Politics, Policy Studies

  • Work in legislative drafting, editing, and publishing as a legislative assistant
  • Apply research and analysis skills to specific needs across public administration in roles such as a political analyst, political scientist, or program specialist
  • Use skills internationally and work in foreign policy as a foreign service officer
  • Run for public office, as many Brooks MPA alumni have, to make policy change in their communities at the local, state, federal, and international organization levels


Public and Nonprofit Management

  • Conduct research and analyze data for the growth and development of nonprofit organizations as a program analyst or senior consultant
  • Use practical organizational and leadership skills as a program coordinator or executive director
  • Generate money for nonprofit organizations as a fundraising manager


 Science, Technology, and Infrastructure Policy

  • Aid organizations in financial performance or operational efficiency as a financial analyst or a management analyst
  • Lead in running a city and bettering life for its citizens as a city manager, or help maximize use of a city’s resources as a city planner
  • Help organizations run smoothly and fulfill their potentials as an operations manager or develop data-driven strategies as a logistics manager in the tech field.

Why an Ivy League MPA program is perfect for military professionals

There are a number of reasons why military service members are an excellent fit for the Brooks School MPA. First, military service members bring a wide range of highly relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities into the program that allows them to succeed. These include leadership and strategy, effective communication, self-discipline, integrity, collaboration, and teamwork. And these are all skills that are absolutely essential to succeeding in a rigorous program like the MPA as well as succeeding in the the job market. 

In addition, military service members are trained to work effectively in environments that are vague, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, which characterizes virtually every “wicked” public policy problem we're facing today.

An Ivy League MPA immerses students in the thought and education necessary to developing strong public leaders.

At Cornell, students will study through an interdisciplinary curriculum that seeks to develop well-rounded leaders that can create a variety of solutions to some of society’s most complicated issues. Candidates will be prepared to think and act from multiple angles when working in their fields.

Why is the Cornell Brooks School MPA a great fit for veterans?

The Cornell Brooks School MPA is a degree where you get your hands dirty. It's undoubtedly an applied degree for students passionate about improving people's lives. Veterans tend  to want to  connect to colleagues, the training, the resources that will allow them to make a difference. So, that means thinking and acting beyond the classroom. At Cornell, we have a commitment to immersing students in experiential learning opportunities where they’ll have to work to solve problems in real-time.

Some of the highlights of Cornell’s MPA curriculum include:

Students will also find opportunities in and form connections with those in their field through the tight-knit, well-respected community of an Ivy League school. Because of the discipline, leadership, and critical thinking necessary in all military careers, those with military backgrounds will find themselves to be natural fits for the MPA program.

Ready to continue a career in public service? Connect with us!

The world needs people dedicated to serving their communities through public administration. With a Master of Public Administration from the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, you can equip yourself to enact positive change in the world.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of an MPA degree, explore the MPA resource library.

If you have a passion for public service and are looking to take your next step in a career that will benefit countless individuals, request more info about the MPA program or apply now.



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