What can you do with a MPP? The following are the positions held by some of the graduates of the Masters in
Public Policy Program at the University of Northern Iowa:
POSITION AGENCY OR FIRM
Resource Development Director Family services agency (non-profit)
Coordinator Multi-county health agency council
Director County health department, mid-size urban county
Project Manager Human resources software development company
Economic Development Director Economic development agency serving communities in a rural Iowa county
Policy Analyst National housing research foundation
Grants Administrator State department of economic development
Chief Economist and Vice President National trade association
Police Chief Mid-size suburban city, Missouri
Planner and Neighborhood Liaison City housing & community development agency
Transportation Director Regional council of governments
Economic Development Consultant University external services division
Sales and Training Manager Security consulting firm
Presidential Management Intern U.S. Department of the Interior
Transportation Planner Large Texas city
Director Food Pantry and Community Garden Agency
Supervisor National health association
Market Analyst Publishing firm
Manager Data analysis division, national trade association
Health Planner Private health provider
Ph.D. Candidate Political science, major Midwestern university
State Senator State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa
As the above list illustrates, a number of career paths are available to graduates of the MPP program. In general, they may be grouped into four categories:
Employment in local, state or federal government agencies.
In Iowa, approximately one sixth of the workforce is employed by local or state governments. Government requirements for policy analysis and evaluation have increased, as public policies have grown ever more complex and far reaching in their impact. Persons in managerial positions also face increasing demands to conduct systematic evaluation of the programs for which they are responsible. Economic development, environmental policy, health planning, and criminal justice are some of the areas that have experienced increasing attention from all levels of government and which require persons with professional training in policy analysis. MPP graduates have the opportunity to have a major impact on the choices that the public sector makes in these important areas.
Employment in non-profit agencies.
Non-profit organizations, often called the "third sector" because they are neither governmental nor private, for profit entities, have become increasingly important in the delivery of a wide range of services. Decentralization and devolution of authority in the areas of social welfare and housing, for example, have placed community based non-profits in a central role in delivering services to citizens in need. The management of these agencies increasingly requires professionals with knowledge of the policy process and with policy analysis and evaluation skills to help them deal effectively with their increasing responsibilities. MPP graduates have moved quickly into positions of responsibility in several non-profit organizations.
Private sector employment.
Because public policy greatly affects many of the decisions made by private, for-profit organizations, they often require the services of professional policy analysts. Teams of professionals, including policy analysts, may also help then in the areas of reporting, negotiation, and litigation. Finally, some local and state governments have turned to the private sector to implement policies and to provide policy analysis services. This creates further employment opportunities for MPP graduates.
Further graduate education.
The MPP provides a solid base of preparation for students who wish to advance to the doctoral level in a variety of fields related to public policy. MPP graduates have gone on to Ph. D. programs in political science, public policy, and urban studies. Persons with a public policy background are highly employable as faculty in a number of university programs or in research organizations.
Training for advancement.
Many persons already employed in the he public, non-profit, or private sectors find that pursuing an MPP helps them develop new skills and places them in a better position for advancement. The program is set up so that it may be pursued part-time, in the evening, in order to encourage participation by those already employed full time.
The program works closely with the UNI Career Placement Office, which subscribes to several online listings of public and non-profit sector jobs.
The program maintains contact with MPP graduates who may be aware of openings in their area.
Many public policy faculty do consulting, contract research, and community service in Iowa and elsewhere, and may learn of job openings in this fashion.
The internship may provide the student with contacts for relevant job openings.