Following your Bachelor’s degree, if you want to go to graduate school you will have to decide whether to earn an MPA (Master’s in Public Administration) or an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration). The MBA and MPA are both professional postgraduate degree courses. There are a lot of similarities between them: both teach students organizational and managerial skills to help them work in middle and top positions in public and private sector organizations. However, they are also very different.
The MBA helps develop your business administration and management skills, whereas the MPA focuses on the public sector, nonprofit management and administration. The MBA will be more suitable for you if you are interested in modern business and the private sector. You will study finance, marketing, and administration of a business, whereas in an MPA the focus is more on policy making and implementation.
The MPA prepares students for a career in public administration, middle and top level posts in governmental agencies, NGOs and other public sector departments. The coursework covers public institutional values, administrative analysis, and theory of organizations, law and public administration, service leadership and ethical theory. They will learn how to deal with organization, human resources, and financial challenges in the field of policy making and implementation.
The skills required for work in the public sector are different from those required for success in a private business. An MPA helps students find social solutions, and teaches them the skills to manage a public sector enterprise, whereas the MBA teaches how to make maximum profit in a private business. Those with MBAs help make more money for companies whereas those with MPAs help lead organizations in making the world better.
In conclusion, the MPA is more suitable for you if you are interested in a leadership position in public service through governmental agencies or nonprofits, whereas MBA is ideal for you if you want a managerial position in private enterprises.