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What Types of Problems Will I Learn to Solve With an MPA Degree?

A Master of Public Administration degree program can provide hands-on practice addressing complex problems.

Today’s urban communities face a plethora of increasingly complex challenges, including crime and public safety, poverty, homelessness, pollution, and healthcare access. If you plan to pursue a leadership job in public administration, you’ll need to gain the skills and knowledge required to tackle tough problems surrounding these pressing issues.

To help aspiring public administration leaders develop good problem-solving skills, many colleges and universities have integrated hands-on learning experiences into their public administration degree programs. Through these practical-learning programs, students can practice solving problems by applying textbook theory and concepts to real-life situations in public administration—building valuable job skills they can use in their careers right away.


Online Learning Tool Teaches MPA Students to Solve Problems

The virtual city used as an interactive teaching tool in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) online degree program at Walden University is a great example of how public administration students learn to solve problems through practice. The fictional city of New Harbor offers scenarios of real-life challenges in public administration faced by local leaders. Community issues involving a high school, businesses, city hall, and a hospital are explored throughout the MPA degree program.

For example, public administration students use the virtual city to address issues like gun control. In one New Harbor scenario,1 a local bar owner, who feels unsafe because of increased crime in the city, gets a permit to carry a concealed weapon. However, his state does not allow concealed handguns in bars. Public administration students are challenged to address this problem using the theories and concepts they learned in their online classes.

In another scenario,2 a shooting at the virtual city’s high school has prompted a debate at local, state, and national levels about gun violence and school safety. In response, the mayor of the city suggests school officials carry firearms. However, some teachers are opposed to the idea. MPA students are challenged to analyze and evaluate real-world data sets, surveys, and reports and develop a recommendation to address the situation.

Using the complex and challenging community issues of New Harbor as a learning tool, online Master of Public Administration students can apply the knowledge and skills they acquire in the MPA program’s online classes to solve problems they could encounter in their own public administration careers.

Earn an MPA Degree Online

Whether you want to work as a city manager, lead a government agency, or pursue a director job at a nonprofit organization, a public administration degree can provide an excellent foundation for a rewarding and challenging career in public service.

In an MPA degree program, you’ll learn to implement policy, manage public programs, and address tough public issues affecting communities today. You can also expect to develop your competencies in areas like budgeting, human resources, communication, and management—all important skills needed for a career in public administration.

By earning an MPA degree online, you can solve problems and make a real difference in your community.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,