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OU Home  >  Master of Public Administration  >  What Do MPAs Do?  > Skills of an MPA
Skills of an MPA
The following is a list of skills that a student acquires through coursework in the MPA program.  These skills can be applied in a wide variety of public sector and nonprofit organizations and agencies.
  • Theoretical understanding of administrative leadership including legal and ethical considerations
  • Knowledge of best human resource practices for the public sector
  • Knowledge of how diversity, gender, age, and sexuality impact public workplaces and what measures must be taken into account to promote positive work environments
  • Knowledge of organizational management structures and best practices within the public sector
  • Ability to design, implement, and disseminate appropriate program evaluations from needs assessments to performance measures for nonprofit or public sector organizations or agencies
  • Understand public or nonprofit organization financial statements and budgets including the implications of any irregularities or trends
  • Understand fund accounting and strategies for financing public infrastructure
  • Data analysis skills - reading and understanding statistical reports and how to use the reports to make inferences and decisions
  • IT planning skills - understand best practices in careful IT planning for growth and security within public organizations
  • Awareness of political or policy requirements necessary in every area of public service and the process required to make changes
  • Understanding of data collection and interpretation
  • Communication and writing skills
  • Public speaking and presentation skills
Additional skills depending upon electives or concentration (Criminal Justice Leadership, Health Care Administration, Local Government Management, Nonprofit Organization and Management):
  • Knowledge of ethical standards applicable to public administrators
  • Knowledge of best risk management practices
  • Ability to create or evaluate emergency procedures
  • Understand communication, motivation, leadership, and decision-making principles
  • Identify leadership strengths and weaknesses through analysis of case study materials and real world situations
  • Knowledge of fundraising and development methods and best practices
  • Strategic planning
  • Grant writing
  • Understand the processes and laws relating to labor relations for public sector employees
  • Understand specific local government and administration concerns
  • Knowledge of community planning, ordinances, economic development strategies, and best practices in urban renewal
  • Knowledge of concepts, techniques, issues, and policies relating to health planning and human services

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