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Career Planning and Placement

Resources for Career Planning

How do WSU Graduates Do?

The MPA program periodically monitors the careers of its graduates. The most recent study was conducted in preparation for a Self Study Report submitted in connection with re-accreditation by NASPAA. Note: The MPA program was reaccredited for a period of seven years in July 2006, underwent the reaccreditation process again in 2012 - 2013, and received a one-year reaccreditation through 2014. It is currently in the process of extending that accreditation.

Recent graduates have been successful in finding professional employment, even in this challenging environment - in the year 2012 - 2013, 95% of our graduates secured or continued employment in the sector within six months of graduation. Of these graduates, 32% worked in local government, 26% worked in nonprofits, 16% in state government, and the balance in the federal government, private sector, or continued education.

MPA Alumni

MPA alumni are usually in the best position to help students, so all students are encouraged to engage them. Most alums are willing to help, and are waiting for your contact. The MPA Director can assist you in finding alums that may be of assistance and the Director can also provide the relevant contact information.

MPA Faculty Members

All MPA faculty members, particularly the Director, are available to provide you with guidance in planning a career. It is your responsibility to contact MPA faculty members for this purpose. They may help you to identify internship possibilities. They may suggest that you talk with a public service professional, perhaps with one of the MPA program's graduates. They will furnish you with advice on professional development. MPA faculty members, especially the Director, may be alerted by MPA program alumni and other public service professionals about job openings, particularly locally. The Director will post information on such openings on the student email list.

Career Services, Wayne State University (http://www.careerservices.wayne.edu)

The Office of Career Services is located in 1001 Faculty/Administration Building. Their telephone number is 313-577-3390. This office can be helpful in developing a professional resume. They also offer career counseling and several job search resources.

Professional Development

Professional Development refers to the socialization of public service professional - the education, community involvement and service, organizational membership and participation, and study and reflection that contribute to acquire the knowledge, skills, professional norms and ethical values, and personal relationships that are distinctive to the public service professions.

Things that contribute to professional development include participation in MPA program activities, attendance at Department of Political Science and Wayne State University events, membership and activity in professional associations, attendance and participation in community and public service related meetings and organizations, and the reading of newsletters and journal articles.

For MPA students, professional development contributes to the acquisition of what is often called the professional edge and it is the sum of qualities that define excellence in a public service professional. There are many organizations for public service professionals.

Professional Associations

American Society of Public Administration (ASPA): http://www.aspanet.org

Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM): http://www.appam.org

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA): http://www.arnova.org

Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) http://www.compaonline.org/contents/

International City/County Management Association (ICMA): http://www.icma.org

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA): http://www.naspaa.org/

National Forum of Black Public Administrators: http://www.nfbpa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

National League of Cities: http://www.nlc.org/

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN): http://www.ynpn.org

Public Service Job Openings (Both Nonprofit and Government)

Public Service Careers.org: http://www.publicservicecareers.org. Public Service Careers is the most comprehensive nationwide career site for those wanting to work in the public sector, including government, nonprofits, and NGOs. This site is co-sponsored by Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), American Society for Public Administration, and (ASPA), and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Government Job Openings

Federal jobs: USAJOBS http://www.usajobs.gov/

State government jobs in Michigan: http://www.michigan.gov/mdcs

Michigan Municipal League: http://www.mml.org/classifieds/index.php

Careers In Government http://www.careersingovernment.com/index.cfm, dedicated to government jobs, is a clearinghouse of information, resources and jobs available in public sector organizations in America and abroad.

International City/County Management Association http://icma.org/en/icma/career_network/home: The online source of jobs available in state and local government.

Nonprofit Job Openings

Council on Foundations: http://jobs.cof.org/home/home.cfm?site_id=11690/

Chronicle of Philanthropy: http://philanthropy.com/section/Jobs/224/

Idealist: http://www.idealist.org/

Nonprofit Career Network: http://www.nonprofitcareer.com/

Nonprofit Times Career Center: http://www.nonprofitjobseeker.com/

Opportunity Knocks: http://www.opportunityknocks.org/


Public Administration
2049 FAB
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-9831
Fax: (313) 993-3435
Website: clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/MPA
Email: mpa@wayne.edu