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What Is a Graduate Certificate in Government Management?

From federal departments down to local government management, a graduate certificate can help you get ahead.

In the U.S., millions of people are employed by government agencies and departments.* Commonly called the public sector, these government entities—at the federal, state, and local level—account for 17.7% of the total U.S. economy. That’s a lot of people and money to manage, which is why every level of government needs strong managers.

If you already have a career in the public sector or are thinking about working for a government agency or department, you can put yourself on the path to becoming a manager by earning a Graduate Certificate in Government Management.

What Is a Graduate Certificate in Government Management?

What Is a Graduate Certificate?

Unlike graduate degrees, graduate certificates focus on a specific skill or topic within a broader area of study. This gives you the opportunity to acquire expertise within your current field of work or within a new field you hope to join. Graduate certificates are an excellent way of enhancing your professional credentials and boosting your résumé without having to complete an entire degree program. To qualify for a graduate certificate, you need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, although many who earn graduate certificates also hold a master’s degree or PhD.

What Can a Graduate Certificate in Government Management Teach You?

A Graduate Certificate in Government Management program can provide you with essential foundational concepts and principles related to government policy, budget and finance, and organizational management and leadership. The program is designed to help you gain public service management and leadership skills while exploring public management career options. Common courses include:

Principles of Public Administration

You’ll explore the diverse political, social, and economic contexts within which public administrators carry out responsibilities. You’ll complete coursework focused on ethical and legal issues, governance, fiscal planning, and current topics and trends in public administration.

Organization Management and Leadership

Using theoretical and applied perspectives, you’ll study the intricacies of leadership and management, including organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development.

Public Policy Analysis

You’ll thoroughly examine key stakeholders involved in the public policy process and devote special attention to their function, impact, and constraint on policy development. Additionally, you’ll examine the theories and strategies used by policymakers and policy analysts to develop, implement, execute, evaluate, and promulgate public policy.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Graduate Certificate in Government Management?

Most Graduate Certificate in Government Management programs are designed to be completed in as little as 10 months.

What’s the Best Way to Earn a Graduate Certificate in Government Management?

It used to be, if you wanted a graduate certificate and were a working professional, your only option was to attend night or weekend classes. Fortunately, online learning has changed that. Many of the top online universities offer online certificate programs alongside their well-regarded degree programs. Certificate programs online let you complete your coursework from wherever you have internet access and at whatever time of day works best for you. This scheduling flexibility is what makes online education—and earning an online certificate in particular—such a great choice for many working adults.

Government isn’t going anywhere, so the public sector will continue to need qualified professionals in federal, state, and local government management. If you want to fill that role, earning your Graduate Certificate in Government Management through an online university can help you meet your career goals.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Graduate Certificate in Government Management. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, NAICS 999000 - Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals and the U.S. Postal Service (OES Designation), May 2016 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, on the internet at

†U.S. Census Bureau, State and Local Government Finance Snapshot, on the internet as a PDF at

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,