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2020 Public Administration & Social Service Degree Guide

Do you want to make a difference in people's lives? Pursuing a major in the field of Public Administration and Social Service will prepare you for a fulfilling career of bringing help and hope to those that need it the most.

This major comes with a lot of responsibility, but also a great opportunity to help improve the lives of others. You will learn how to analyze, manage, and deliver public programs and services for the greater good of the community. Many of these programs will be centered on youth, teens, and family services.

Public Administration and Social Service is an interdisciplinary field. Be ready to dive into course work that includes classes on public policy, human behavior, psychology, communication, financial management and community development. No matter what direction you decide to go into upon graduation, your main responsibility will be to bring positive social change to local communities.

One of the majors available in this field is Community Organization and Advocacy, which involves the study of strategies to challenge and change the current community social system for the enrichment of its residents. Another field is Public Administration, where you will be prepared to run the executive arm of local, state, and federal government and learn how to create policies that will bring about positive change. A major in Public Policy Analysis allows you to study public policy decisions in order to be able to influence how those decisions are made. Another option is a major in Social Work that will prepare you for a career implementing programs to improve the overall quality of life for a variety of vulnerable populations.

Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Remain Stable

#16 Most Popular Major
97.1k Degrees Awarded
0.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, public administration and social service was the 16th most popular major nationwide with 97,063 degrees awarded. This is approximately the same as the 96,184 graduates the prior year.

The United States has 865 different schools where you can get a degree in public administration and social service. This year's Best Colleges for Public Administration & Social Service ranking compares 401 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom public administration and social service rankings further below.

Public Administration & Social Service Degree Requirements

A career in Public Administration and Social Services demands that you have great interpersonal skills. You need to be able to build the trust of your clients as you help empower them. Building and maintaining professional relationships will lead to your success. Practice empathy and active listening in order to deliver the best service possible to your client.

Much of your undergraduate work will involve team collaboration on group projects. Learn how to effectively communicate with others in a creative and clear manner. You will also need to develop problem solving skills and gain an advanced knowledge of government policy.

Public Administration & Social Service Degree Program Entry Requirements

public administration and social service degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional public administration and social service certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Public Administration & Social Service Degrees

Public Administration & Social Service degree levels vary. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in public administration and social service to the highest public administration and social service degree, a professional practice doctorate. How long it takes to complete some common public administration and social service degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to public administration and social service, with approximately 34.9% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for public administration and social service workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 35.5%
Master’s Degree 21.8%
Doctoral Degree 13.9%
High School Diploma 8.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.8%

Most workers in public administration and social service have at least a bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in public administration and social service careers have.

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The education level required is different depending on the public administration and social service career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Public Administration & Social Service Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$39.1k Average Starting Salary
11% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates in this field can find work as community organizers, social workers, grant writers, or program directors. Some of these career choices will require a master's degree or more. No matter what direction you choose to go into, you will make significant social change in the community around you.

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Solid Growth Projected for Public Administration & Social Service Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your public administration and social service degree? Public Administration & Social Service careers are expected to grow 10.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to public administration and social service.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
General and Operations Managers 2,468,300 9.1%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Social and Human Service Assistants 453,600 16.4%
Medical and Health Services Managers 424,300 20.5%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 362,600 14.2%

How Much Money Do Public Administration & Social Service Grads Make?

Recently graduated public administration and social service students earned an average of $39,126 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $7,100 to as high as $138,400. As you might expect, salaries for public administration and social service graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for Public Administration & Social Service Majors

Salaries for public administration and social service graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers public administration and social service grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Chief Executives $200,140
General and Operations Managers $123,880
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Managers $115,590
Political Scientists $115,300

Getting Your Public Administration & Social Service Degree

With over 3,724 different public administration and social service degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased public administration and social service school rankings to help you with this.

Public Administration & Social Service Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Social Work 55,945
Public Administration 16,874
Human Services 14,962
Public Policy 5,550
Community Organization & Advocacy 2,775

View All Public Administration & Social Service Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 150,819
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies 72,116
Legal Professions 61,800
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 3,229

View All Public Administration & Social Service Related Majors >

References

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