Consider the Impact: How One Master of Public Administration Class Can Have an Immediate Impact on Employment Marketability

EKU Online > Consider the Impact: How One Master of Public Administration Class Can Have an Immediate Impact on Employment Marketability

One of the remarkable things about getting a master of public administration (MPA) degree is the number of courses students will take that can have an immediate impact on enhancing their marketability by increasing knowledge, skills, and abilities. Classes that fit this bill include, public financial management, public policy analysis, human resource management (HRM), and grant writing and strategic planning.

Students that have taken these courses routinely report an immediate enhancement in career opportunities or proficiency in current professional capacities. To get a clearer understanding of how one MPA course can have an immediate professional impact on employment marketability, we will consider three competencies a student in the HRM class will master.

Competencies Gained: Job Analysis and Job Evaluation

Two important competencies students gain from completing the HRM course are conducting job analyses and job evaluations. These competencies are necessary for writing job descriptions. An adequate job description consists of three components:

  1. The requirements and responsibilities
  2. The knowledge required to perform the functions of a position
  3. The minimum and preferred education and experience 

Well-constructed job descriptions are a prerequisite for posting a job advertisement that is compelling enough to attract a pool of qualified applicants.

Job analyses are critical because they serve as the starting point for classifying jobs in an organization’s job or position schedule. Moreover, job analyses and job evaluations are both necessary competencies for developing an organization’s program of training. Regardless of one’s job title or position at the time of taking this course, exposure to and proficiency in these two concepts have the potential for enhancing their value to their current or prospective employer.

The Importance of Employee Performance Evaluations

A third concept students in this class will be exposed to is conducting employee performance evaluations. One need not be an HRM director, or even work in an HRM office to benefit from taking this class and being exposed to this particular competency. Indeed, as anyone who as ever managed people can attest, conducting an evaluation of a subordinate’s performance is a vital skill that should be mastered in order for the unit to maintain optimum levels of performance and productivity.

Nearly everything that pertains to personnel management, from promoting personnel to awarding – or recommending – pay raises or other forms of merit-based compensation stems from a manager’s evaluation of a subordinate’s performance. Therefore, regardless of one’s current position or job title, proficiency in conducting performance evaluations only serves to enhance their value to a current or prospective employer.

The takeaway from this is that HRM concepts are important administrative and managerial skills that students in the MPA program stand to gain, just by taking this one class. Anyone who desires to advance the management ranks in a public or nonprofit organization would benefit from exposure to some of the concepts covered in this class as well as any one of the other courses previously mentioned.

By: Randall D. Swain, Professor, EKU Department of Government

Are you ready to increase your professional skills and competencies with an MPA degree?

Earn your master of public administration degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for over 15 years. Our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.

Complete the form to learn more about how EKU’s online MPA program can help advance your career.

Learn More