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5 Great Reasons to Earn a Doctor of Public Administration Degree

Explore the different reasons you should earn your Doctor of Public Administration degree.

For many professionals serving in the public services sector, career advancement is a rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. One way to advance your career is by earning your terminal degree in the field. But pursuing your doctorate in public administration is a big decision that requires much consideration. To help you decide whether going back to school is the best choice for you, we outline five benefits of earning your Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree.


1. Unlock More Employment Opportunities

One of the many lines of work you might choose to enter with your DPA degree is community service. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social and community service managers is expected to grow by 13% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 This prediction is based on the increase in demand by an aging population for social services. By earning your DPA degree, you can gain the skills you need to design, implement, and manage these key social services, such as adult daycare, in-home care, transportation services, and specialty medical services. Earning your advanced degree in the field can also prepare you to serve in a variety of executive-level and leadership roles in both government and nonprofit organizations.

2. Acquire the Most In-Demand Skills

The public services sector is constantly evolving. From leadership and management principles to ethical concepts and data analytics, it’s important to stay abreast of the ongoing changes in the field. By enrolling in a DPA degree program, you can stay up to date on the latest and most relevant industry topics. Programs like Walden University’s are designed so that you can immediately apply what you’re learning to your work.

3. Increase Your Earning Potential

If your objective is to achieve a long and rewarding career as a public administration professional, earning your DPA degree can offer the highest probability of success—especially financially. As of July 2020, here are the average annual salaries for some doctoral-level jobs in the field, according to Glassdoor:2

  • Division chief: $138,378
  • Government relations officer: $135,280
  • Executive director: $125,002
  • Director of public affairs: $97,078
  • Director of administrative services: $74,051
  • City manager: $63,338

4. Contribute Further to the Field

Beyond the potential for an increased salary and career advancement, enrolling in a Doctor of Public Administration program can help you elevate your expertise and enable you to contribute more to the public services sector. Success isn’t solely defined by the amount you can gain, but also by the amount you can give back. When you participate in coursework that prioritizes topics that center on culturally sensitive public administration research and meeting the needs of diverse populations, you bolster your position as a thought leader in the field. Becoming an invaluable resource to others—particularly those serving vulnerable populations—is one of the best outcomes of earning your DPA degree.

5. Become Future Ready

More than ever, public administration professionals must obtain the 21st-century competencies that can help lead public sector organizations into the future. These competencies include evidence-based decision-making, grant writing, and data analytics—all of which can prepare you to navigate the public services challenges that may lay ahead. You can help solidify your career by earning your degree from a program that’s designed to give you the knowledge and insight that you can broadly apply to organizations in the public sector, now and in the future.

Advance Your Career in Public Services by Earning Your Degree at Walden University

At Walden, an accredited university, you can earn your Doctor of Public Administration online, allowing you to continue to work full time. That means you don’t have to put your career on hold while you further your skills and competencies. With online education, there’s no need to completely rearrange your schedule or commute to campus—you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you as you work to earn your degree and position yourself to impact and improve public services.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Doctor of Public Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

2Source: Glassdoor, accessed August 2020, Division Chief, Government Relations Officer, Executive Director, Director of Public Affairs, Director of Administrative Services, and City Manager. National salary estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual salaries, and are subject to change.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,