Post # 1
I applied to law school. Twice. Didn’t get in both times. My LSAT score sucked the first time because I didn’t study enough, and the next year I studied my ass off, got really good timed practice scores, but then my dad died 3 days before the LSAT. Needless to say I did horribly on that test. My Fiance thinks I should study and take the LSAT again, but you know what, I’m really over it all. I think that things don’t work out for a reason. After thinking about it some, I’m not sure if I want to be $100k in debt for 3 years of schooling.
I am DYING in my current job. I took this after I relocated to this state, and then I figured I’d be out of here quickly because I’d get into law school. That obviously didn’t happen, and I’ve been at the same sucky company for 1.5 years.
My BA was in sociology & criminal justice, but I haven’t done anything with the degree. Right before I graduated a career counselor told me about a masters in public policy. I’ve kind of looked at that, but not seriously. I found a masters in public administration at the university an hour away and am the process of applying. I am excited!! The degree looks like exactly what I want to do/what my interests are.
Is there anybody on here that has a MPA? What do you do for your job? What was your starting salary (or average)? What area of the country do you live in? I’m in Colorado.
Post # 3
I’m not – but congrats on applying! I just applied to Grad School a few months ago too. Good luck!
Post # 4
I’m currently in my 3rd grad class for my Master’s in Public Administration. My concentration is Human Resources since I currently work in Human Resources for the Dept. of Homeland Security. I love my job and although I may have started out at a lower grade, I am constantly moving up the ladder. I decided to go for my Master’s because it will really help to propel me to the next level. My undergrad degree is a BA in History so I was a little worried that I didn’t have the business and administration background but my program has not been that daunting so far! There are so many outlets and concentrations when dealing with Public Administration like environmental policy, public policy, homeland security, human resources, program evaluation, etc. My best advice would be to go for it! There is no such thing as having TOO much education! Good Luck!
Post # 5
I got my MPA in 2007 (oh my gosh, I guess it was a while ago! Feels like yesterday). My BA was in Legal Studies, with minors in Criminal Justice & Psychology. I went in unsure of what I wanted to do exactly.
I currently work in an office at a major research university in an office that does environmental sustainability programing & research administration. Before this, I worked as a consultant helping develop a new graduate university in Saudi Arabia. Before that, just when I was about to graduate, I had decided I wanted to work in higher ed admin, so I quit my paralegal job & took a TEMP job at the U. I was there for about a year before getting the consulting job, which I was at for about a year before getting the job I’m at now. All during the time I was temping & consulting, I was looking actively for regular employment, it just took that long of looking & getting experince.
So, I guess it’s obvious, but getting a masters doesn’t make it automatic that you’ll find a job easily. It’s still very hard, and since it’s public work (rather than private business) it still doesn’t pay very well compaitivly. But, if you know what you’re looking for, it may be worth the risk!
Post # 6
@ms. rice crispy treat: Well, I’m not doing Public Admin, but I also have a sociology degree. I thought about public admin, but then I did some research and realized that if I got a masters in Sociology I could be making 70k as a researcher in washington, dc for a political think tank. Just a thought in case you’re still searching for options.
I agree about the law school thing. Something’s telling you not to go.
Post # 7
Skip law school. Do the MPA. I did the JD thing and then did a master’s in public health. I’m still practicing law, but the MPH was pretty interesting. You might also consider a MSW (terminal degree). What do you want to do? What did you intend to do had you gotten into law school. I ended up practicing in the areas I dreamed would be fabulous when I was in law school (constitutional appellate law with a little trial work thrown in). Still, it’s not that exciting. What is more interesting is the policy aspects that I had been drawn into. That’s why I went back to do the MPH.
Of course, I love school and have another master’s and am studying digital communications now.
Post # 8
I should look into a masters in sociology.
When I was doing my undergrad I was really interested in constitutional & civil law, so I was thinking of getting into that area of law. But, I am really drawn to policy and that sort of thing which is why I’m leaning towards a MPA.
@iswimibikeirun you said what was more interesting was the policy aspects & that’s why you got your MPA. What sort of policy related things do/did you do?
Anyone have any insight into the starting salary? I want to make sure it’s more than I’m currently making 🙂
Post # 9
@ms. rice crispy treat: I’ve helped develop our city’s Isolation and Quarantine Plan, the Pandemic Plan for municipal employees, and Continuity of Operations Plans. I also review proposed statutes to determine whether we should support them, watch them, amend them, or oppose them. I also provide legal advice during emergencies. I did the public health so I’d have a better background in epidemology and other more “health” related ideas.
When i was an undergrad, I got accepted to do my MSW (I would have submatriculated and finished wih both a BA and an MSW), but I decided that the program I was interested in was more a program to prepare administrators and that I’d be too young.
While I was in school, my sister, who was then a recruiter of science students at a major university, also went back to get a Master’s in Public Policy (although technically, her degree is in political science with a policy emphasis). She did it instead of doing an MBA (since she was already a PhD and was no longer a professor).
Hope that helps!
Post # 11
I would love to get my MPA. I have a BA in Business Management and for the last 7 years, I’ve worked for the state government and learned a lot. The program I’ve looked into does a few different “tracks” and the one that most interests me is along the lines of community development, not fundraising, but community planning (building up city centers, etc). It definitely feeds into a lot of different areas. Definitely go for it.
Post # 12
I went on a tour yesterday! The most random thing is that the guy giving me my tour was married on my wedding date last year! Crazy!
I am now more excited about the program! It sounds awesome/right up my ally. The campus is cool/weird at the same time. It’s in the heart of downtown Denver, which is going to make me wish I was living in a “real city” again 🙂
Post # 13
I finished up my MPP last year, and took many of the same courses as the MPA students (at George Washington they’re housed in the same school). I’ve found it to be an incredibly useful degree, and even being enrolled helped me land a job in DC, and helped me to get my current position. PA and PP are really interesting fields with a lot opporunity for growth. Also a bonus…..hell of a lot cheaper than law school! Denver is a great city, I’m so jealous! If you have any questions though, feel free to PM me.
Post # 14
That’s really exciting! I applied for a Master of Public Health program and am waiting to hear if I was accepted. I’ll be starting my last year of a Doctor of Pharmacy program in June, so if I get into the MPH program, I will be super busy! Thankfully they will only overlap for one year, then I will just have one year of work to finish the MPH program.
When will you be finishing your application? I was really surprised that mine was due by January 15th. It seemed a bit early, but maybe that’s normal.
Edit: Just want to add… I’m really not wandering aimlessly to just picking up degrees. LOL. I definitely need both to get the type of job I’m really interested in.
Post # 15
Good luck! I don’t have any advice, but I’m intrigued. I have a JD (good call on skipping law school), and I’m thinking about getting an MPA. Or a masters in public health. So I’m subscribing to this thread!
Post # 16
@EvaBostonTerrier: the application is due by March 15 (but they’ll accept applications all the way up until August, I think I read a week before school starts!). I’m almost done with my personal statement, and am like 90% done with the rest of the application. So I’ll send it all in before the 15th, probably by the end of the month. I’m not sure when I’ll hear back though.