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2021 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 Growing in Popularity

#14 Most Popular Major
93.9k Degrees Awarded
1.6% Increase in Graduates

Public Administration & Social Service was the 14th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 93,881 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.6% increase in public administration and social service degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 92,375.

There are 1,128 schools offering degrees in public administration and social service in the United States. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Public Administration & Social Service ranking analyzes 341 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for public administration and social service students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of public administration and social service programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Public Administration & Social Service

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.

Prior Education for a Public Administration & Social Service Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most public administration and social service degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific public administration and social service careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Public Administration & Social Service Degree Types

There are many different public administration and social service degree levels. You can get anything from a in public administration and social service to the highest public administration and social service degree, a . The type of public administration and social service degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

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. People currently working in careers related to public administration and social service tend obtained the following education levels.

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%

About 82.5% of workers in careers related to public administration and social service obtain at least bachelor's degrees. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in public administration and social service have received.

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This of course varies depending on which public administration and social service career you choose.

Public Administration & Social Service Careers

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 People With a Public Administration & Social Service Degree Make?

Public Administration & Social Service graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $39,126 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. 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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Highest Paid Public Administration & Social Service Careers

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 2,999 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 56,271
Public Administration 16,342
Human Services 12,175
Public Policy 5,762
Community Organization & Advocacy 2,611

View All Public Administration & Social Service Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 106,583
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies 69,376
Legal Professions 54,849
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 2,638

View All Public Administration & Social Service Related Majors >

References

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