March, 2011The University of Texas’ newest undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Public Administration, will prepare students for jobs in the public and non-profit sector, by giving them a broad background in the basics of administration, combined with a contemporary focus on urban management, the non-profit sector, tools of analysis, and the role of ethics. Graduates may also find jobs in large companies in the private sector whose business requires contacts and relationships with public agencies.
In the public and non-profit sectors, the aging of the national population will trigger two significant trends related to job market need: First, as the percentage of the U.S. population over the age of 65 continues to rise (2010: 12.7%; 2020: 15.8%; 2030: 19.4%), this will increase the need for qualified staff to administer the programs and services this aging population will require; Second, the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation will mean many openings in existing positions. A shortage of qualified personnel to fill these jobs will only increase as retirement numbers grow.
At the general municipal level, one can find a wealth of job opportunities for a graduate with a Bachelor of Public Administration degree. A small illustration can be found at www.govtjobs.com, one of the leading sources for a variety of jobs in all levels of government. Out of 19 categories of jobs, 18 include numerous listings with the Bachelor in Public Administration either required or appropriate.
Because our proposed degree includes specialized foci on both urban management and non-profit management, the opportunities are expanded even further. The Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, which collects and reports data on the size and breadth of the nonprofit sector in the United States, reports that the nonprofit sector has grown nationally over 60% in a ten year period (www.nccsdataweb.urban.org). Nationally, the number of non-profits in 1998 was 593,802; by 2008 the number increased to 947,274. The trend is similar in the state of Texas. In 1998 there were 37,587 public charity nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status registered in Texas. In 2008, the number rose to 63,931, an increase of nearly 60%. This trend is expected to continue.
In regards to student demand, the U.S. Public Service Academy reports the following: “Young Americans have a strong ethic of public service, but they are often priced out of public service.” More than 70% of the 2007 collegiate freshman class expressed a desire to serve others, according to the Higher Education Research Institute, the highest rate in a generation. This broadly indicates that young people in Texas, if they follow this national trend, are likely to be very interested in this degree and the opportunity it presents. Further, the relative affordability of UTSA means that, unlike the average student who incurs a larger amount of debt, they may be able to afford to enter this field upon graduation.
For more information about the Bachelor of Public Administration degree at The University of Texas at San Antonio, please visit http://copp.utsa.edu/public-administration/home/ or call 210.458.2533.