MPA Versus MBA Comparison
The MPA is an intriguing degree program that can prepare learners for a career path within social and public services. This degree program is a helpful tool for public service professionals that are seeking to move up the career ladder in their current place of employment, or for those that are interested in becoming a part of the field for the first time.
American University's Online MPA Program is a NASPAA accredited MPA program. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months with a foundational skillset to build on for life, strengthening your ability to adapt to changing needs and advance within or across sectors. 100% Online.
Earn your MPA online from USC Price and learn to design and run new public systems and programs; evaluate, develop and implement new policy; and track, allocate and raise public funds. Graduate in as few as 24 months. Bachelor’s required.
Earn a top-ranked Master of Public Administration online from UNC-Chapel Hill without relocating. [email protected] can be completed in as few as 18 months and no public service experience is required to apply. Advanced degree GRE waivers are available to those who qualify.
Norwich University's Online MPA Program has 8 different concentration MPA programs you can choose from. Graduate in as few as 18 months. 100% Online MPA Program. No GRE or GMAT required.
Regardless of your purpose, choosing this degree program can be a great option for a providing and fulfilling future. Our team of educational experts has provided this guide to assist you in making a degree decision that can influence your future for the better.
The United States is filled with organizations, agencies, and businesses that promote the greater good of society. Within these organizations, there are many levels of responsibility for upcoming professionals to become a part of. In order to properly introduce yourself to the many different aspects of public service and what it entails, it is necessary for you to receive proper education from a reputable and reliable degree program.
MPA Focusing On The Community
The MPA is a great resource for students that not only want to become a part of public service, but want to make a difference within the communities in which they live.
The Master of Public Administration is an accumulative degree program that encourages students to consider the needs of the community within their professions. This program is based entirely around the public sector, and includes courses that educate students on the laws and regulations of state and federal governments, non-profit organizations, and public business practices within their local area.
Topics Covered In An MPA Degree
There are many different topics that are included within the general degree program, some of which our team has listed below for you to review.
- Finance and Leadership: Two of the most common topics discussed in MPA programs is Finance and Leadership. In government agencies, non-profits, and public businesses, organizational leaders may be responsible for developing a reasonable budget that is complementary to the needs of their agency as well as effective leadership skills. Throughout different courses within the MPA program, students can learn more about business accounting, employee management, leadership styles, and purchasing power.
- Program Planning and Evaluation: Programs that can potentially affect the well-being of people within the community require great time and effort during their planning and implementation. For example, public safety campaigns that are implemented by local government agencies must be adequately organized and tested before being released in the public domain. As a student in the MPA program, you can learn more about the stages of planning and evaluation that are present within public service agencies. The skills that are taught within these courses can help students become more knowledgeable leaders within the field of Public Administration.
- Public Policies, Laws, and Regulations: Like any other organization that is concerned with the public interest, Public Administration agencies are also subject to regulations and laws from the National Government. While taking courses under this topic in your MPA program, you may have the opportunity to review and study some of these regulations in order to better familiarize yourself with them. Your work in Public Administration can be more lawful and reliable when you have knowledge within this topic.
Concentration Options for the MPA
After you have gained the skills presented within the generalized program, you have the option of pursuing a specialization with your MPA degree. There are many different concentration options available to students in the MPA program. Some colleges offer students the option of enrolling in a generalized degree program, which just contains general topics in Public Administration, while other colleges offer a wide range of possible specialized choices.
Our team of educational experts has provided a list of common specializations to browse
- Environmental Health
- Public Policy
- Information Systems
- Global Health
- Non-Profit Management
- Emergency Management and Homeland Security
What is the MBA?
The Master of Business Administration is a highly versatile degree program that is useful for business-minded adults that are looking for more opportunity for growth within their field. This popular degree program is among one of the highest chosen by upcoming master’s-level students, due to the wealth of information and experience it can provide.
The MBA consists of courses that are helpful in increasing student awareness in leadership, financial responsibility, marketing, and even global business. Each course takes on a different perspective, which are all relevant to effective business practice. Students that choose a specialty may spend half of their time in the MBA to generalized course, with the other half consisting of concentration-specific classes.
Colleges that offer this degree program often seek out graduates from business-related bachelor’s programs that have some experience working for businesses or organizations at different levels. Most reliable degree programs require some work experience so that students have a good understanding of the fundamentals of business practice prior to entering.
The MBA is also a great way for professionals to advance their career opportunities within an organization or agency, since it can communicate experience and dedication to their career.
Topics Covered In An MBA Degree
The field of business can be applied to many different sectors within the United States. While the MBA focuses on the managerial aspects of business practice throughout the United States, a lot of its curriculum can provide skills that are relevant in all levels of business.
This degree program can help students better understand what goes into making a successful business – from start to finish. Read more below this section to learn more about what specific topics may be covered in a MBA program.
Leadership and Management
MBA programs are filled with topics that are relevant to future leadership professionals. Since CEOs and other top executives usually carry a MBA or higher degree, this program focuses on the need for effective leadership within business organizations. Some of the common courses in this topic include those that are concerned with leadership styles, employee training, conflict resolution, and employment laws. These are all important topics for leadership professionals to know when working for businesses at all levels.
Advertising and Marketing
Public businesses are often concerned with delivering their products or services to the public through advertising and popularity. Courses that focus on advertising and marketing can help students learn more about how to connect with their customers.
There are actually courses that investigate the psychology of purchasing from a customer’s perspective, methods for integrating products into the media, and financing marketing plans to help spread the word about a company’s services. These courses are a great way for students to learn more about sales and product demand in the public domain.
Finance and Accounting
From the inside, business contains a lot of factors that can help make or break their operations. Courses that focus more on the financial management of organizations are vital to the success of future business professionals. Selling products, buying supplies, paying employees, and employee benefits are just a few of the many points that can be covered through courses within this topic. Students that complete their MBA should have a stable knowledge of how money is collected and spent within successful businesses.
Concentration Options for the MBA
The Master of Business Administration on its own is a highly versatile degree program that includes topics ranging from Finance to Communication. Each subfield of business contributes knowledge and expertise that is vital in the role of practicing sales and service professionals.
Students that choose to take part in generalist programs may get a widespread introduction to all factors involved in the field of business, while students choosing a specialty receive a more focused experience throughout their programs.
Since business contains so many different subfields and responsibilities, students can take advantage of one of the many concentrations offered. Depending on what interests you as an individual and a professional, you may find that different concentrations are more fitting for what you desire. Our team has provided a helpful list of potential concentration below for you to review.
- Information Technology
- International Business
Major Differences Between the MPA versus the MBA
As you have seen in the sections above, both the MPA and MBA have a lot to offer students that take the time to achieve them. Each program has a strong dedication to educating the business-minded learner about leadership techniques, effective business management, and finance.
Within both programs, students can work hard to achieve their goals of learning more about their particular fields and the laws and regulations that govern them. The MBA and MPA programs have similar completion times separately and can be completed through online degree programs.
However, there are several distinctive properties that set these programs apart. Even though there are similarities between the structure and some of the topics within these programs, what is actually learned throughout each can be very different. If you are not sure which program would be better for what you have planned for your future, read more in this guide below.
Our team of educational experts has provided you with some noticeable differences between the MPA and MBA.
Even though the MPA and MBA contain some similar topics throughout their educational programs, there are many topics that are relevant to the private and public sectors online. Similarities include courses that cover leadership topics and those related to the function of businesses in terms of employee maintenance and finance. Differences can be found within courses that pertain to policies and regulations, as well as those that are social in nature.
During a MPA program, students may take courses that are related to healthcare policy, education, or even non-profit management. Since the MPA is focused on work within the private sector, courses are likely to reflect this. The MBA may be more focused on the creation of effective marketing strategies, communications, and profit management. The MBA is more geared towards individuals that are interested in working in the public domain, so students are not likely to see courses that are concerned with human services, public service, or social science.
One of the biggest differences between these 2 degree programs is the end result. Students that enroll in the MPA program may be interested in pursuing work within the public sector, in jobs with the government, non-profit agencies, or public service agencies.
Some titles earned by degree holders may include Social Service Managers, Healthcare Managers, or Non-Profit Managers. The MBA can also lead graduates into leadership positions after graduation, with most people from this program seeking out management positions in private businesses as CEOs, general management, or marketing management.
In addition to the job roles that graduates can obtain, their career responsibilities may also differ after obtaining either the MPA or MBA. The MPA program is a highly policy-driven degree program that can lead students into public-wellness organizations or those that are concerned with increasing the quality of their communities.
Their roles may include intense research and planning that can result in more effective programs or services for the public. These professionals may also work one-on-one with the public to deliver their services. MBA graduates that have obtained positions in the private sector may work hard to lead a team of professionals in the development and delivery of products or services. This can be through consumption research, product manufacturing, or service delivery.
Can I take Online Options for Both Degrees?
When you decide which route is best suited for you, you can then move on to decide which method you would like to pursue for your degree program. Both the MPA and MBA are offered at numerous universities across the United States in both traditional and online formats. Since this degree program can be completed online, most students interested in pursuing these programs may be required to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) prior to becoming accepted into the programs.
Our team of educational experts wanted to help make your journey easier, so they have provided a list of online MBA and MPA programs below for you to browse.
- The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill – Online MPA: UNC Chapel Hill current provides a high ranking online MPA program for students interested in pursuing their degree completely online. This university has 3 start dates per year and accepts students that have completed their undergraduate degree from an accredited university and had an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The online program consists of 27 credit hours of core courses, 15 credit hours of electives, and 3 credit hours dedicated to practicum and portfolio.
- Auburn University – Online MBA: The online MBA at Auburn University is an excellent option for students that want to obtain their degree from a well-known and reputable school. Students from all academic disciplines are welcome to enroll in this program, with the program requiring that students complete the GMAT prior to being admitted. This program includes course work that touches on topics such as Financial Analysis, Marketing, and Strategic Analysis. There are 13 total classes within this online degree program. The entre program can be completed within about 2.5 years.
- Ohio State University – Online Dual MPA/MBA: Students that have the desire to get the best of both worlds may be interested in pursuing online degree programs that result in the acquisition of both the MPA and MBA. Ohio State University current offers a dual MBA/MPA program that is available to students from varying undergraduate programs. Students are required to be accepted into both programs separately in order to participate. While in this program, students may take courses that are directly related to business in both the private and public sectors of business. This program can be completed in 2-3 years for full-time students.
MPA Versus MBA Career Outcomes, Job Growth, and Expected Salary Differences
After you have obtained your MBA, you can potentially seek out careers in many different branches of business. Most students that enroll in MBA programs already have some experience in the field of business, since most MBA programs require this for acceptance. Students may also choose to pursue their MBA in order to become qualified for higher tier positions in their current place of employment. For those that are looking for advanced opportunities or seeking different types of career options, the MBA is definitely a great option.
MBA Careers and Salaries
This degree program can result in the acquisition of careers for top-level businesses that provide brand name products to the public. Having a higher level degree can also set the stage for career advancement, which could lead to leadership opportunities within these businesses.
Take a look below at some of the potential salaries for MBA graduates.
MPA Careers and Salaries
On the other end of the degree spectrum, MPA graduates may also pursue a wide range of careers after they have completed their programs. The MPA has a curriculum that focuses heavily on the need for program planning and policy development. With that being said, a lot of graduates are seeking out careers at the government level. These positions involve research and team work in the development of social policies and restrictions that public services agencies must operate by.
At the lower level, MPA graduates may also seek careers working for public service agencies that abide by such regulations. In these agencies, professionals may manage a team that is responsible for administering services to the public in an effort to improve health, education, and services for society.
Here are potential salaries for MPA graduates
Final Decision Choosing Between an MBA or MPA
Both the MPA and MBA have helpful topics that can help shape the futures of upcoming professionals. Like you have read in the guide above, there are differences between each program that can make one more suitable than the other for students with differing ideas for their future. The MPA program is a popular choice for people that have a history in the field of social work, public service, or even healthcare. This program is a great method for pursuing advancement within a current position or getting a foot in the door within a different field.
The MBA is also a transforming degree program for those that want to work in the private sector of business. The MBA is one of the most popular degree programs for upcoming college students to choose when enrolling in college and can provide excellent results for those that obtain it.
There are numerous opportunities and branches of business open for students that are willing to dedicate their time and effort to obtaining a graduate level degree. Students that have an interest in providing leadership within the field of business often choose this degree program as a well-rounded option for career advancement.
Now that both programs have grown into popular choices for college students, colleges are even offering programs that blend ideas from both subjects. If you are not sure which program would be right for you, or you see qualities in both programs that you would like to gain – there are dual degree programs available at universities across the country. These dual programs can help you obtain skills within both Public Administration and Business Administration so that you have optimum capabilities as a professional in the field.