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How a Master of Public Administration Degree Can Help You Transition From the Military


From combat to community, an MPA can help you transition.

By University Alliance
How a MPA Degree Can Help You Transition From Combat to Community

If you are transitioning out of the military and into civilian life, you may be wondering how you can continue to serve your community, just as proudly as you served your country. Public service can take on many forms, from working with local community organizations to regional, national or even international organizations. There are many options available when you have the right education and training.

If you want to explore the advanced opportunities awaiting you in the nonprofit sector, read on to learn more about what nonprofit executive directors do, and how to prepare for this rewarding career.

What Does a Nonprofit Executive Director Do?

Nonprofit executive directors are responsible for a number of initiatives, including creating and implementing programs, hiring staff, supervising volunteers and managing fundraising, marketing and communications. Depending on the size of the organization, they may perform the appropriate tasks to accomplish these initiatives, or manage personnel who do.

With all of these responsibilities, a nonprofit executive director’s typical day might consist of meeting with community leaders in the morning, running a volunteer orientation at mid-day, updating the organization’s blog in the afternoon and attending a fundraiser in the evening.

For most nonprofit executive directors, their job is more than a career. It is a calling and a passion, with a great potential for personal satisfaction and the opportunity to make positive changes in people’s lives.

If you’re interested in working in public service, then you may want to know how earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree can help. If you are interested in starting your own nonprofit business, earning an MPA degree is important. Any start-up business requires a broad base of skills, and nonprofits are no exception. From strategic planning and financial management, to administration and personnel management, an MPA program provides the knowledge you’ll need to succeed.

A Master of Public Administration Degree Will Give You Confidence and Help You Develop Vital Skills:

  • Influencing organizational change
  • Developing programs
  • Analyzing budgets and making financial decisions
  • Managing public-sector personnel
  • Collecting, measuring and analyzing data
  • Effectively communicating with individuals and organizations
  • Overseeing board development and volunteer recruitment 

7 Reasons to Start a Nonprofit Business

Starting a nonprofit business can be gratifying in many ways:

  1. See ideas be put into action - In the nonprofit world, new ideas are embraced and desirable. Your creativity can create positive change.
  2. Enjoy variety in your work - Nonprofit executive directors can focus on several different areas on any given day, including marketing, accounting, information technology and more.
  3. Make the world a little better - If you visualize the world more idealistically, starting a nonprofit business gives you the chance to bring your vision to life and make it a better place.
  4. Work with likeminded people - You’ll be surrounded by passionate, motivated people who believe in your cause and want to improve the lives of others.
  5. Develop critical skills - You’ll learn how to work with a variety of people, diffuse difficult situations and improve your negotiation skills.
  6. You’ll meet interesting people - From donors and board members, to the clients you serve, you’ll meet people whose stories will amaze and inspire you.
  7. You work for people, not profits - When you work for a nonprofit, the people you serve will be your driving force. They will motivate you to be and do your best.

Military Nonprofits

For many former military men and women, serving their fellow veterans or current armed services personnel is the preferred way to give back. Here are some examples of charities working to improve the lives of our military families that you may be able to emulate in your own nonprofit organization:

Operation Special Delivery

Preparing to give birth is a big event in any woman’s life, but for military wives it can be overwhelming when their partner is deployed, injured or deceased. This organization provides trained doulas for expectant mothers to ensure they have the help and support they need.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Military Mentoring

This special program is designed to help military children handle the separation, loss and other challenges unique to their lives.

Armed Services YMCA

This nonprofit has branches at 14 military bases across the country, focusing on making military life easier with childcare, food services and deployment support.

Operation Amped

Operation Amped is an organization that empowers injured veterans by teaching them how to surf, despite their injuries.

Operation Hug a Hero

Operation Hug a Hero specializes in helping young children deal with separation by creating lifelike, stuffed dolls that resemble their deployed parent.

Plan on earning an MPA degree to help you succeed  

No matter what road you choose for your post-military life, you can help make the world a better place by creating or working for a nonprofit organization. Discover the possibilities and get the skills you’ll need to be successful by enrolling in a Master’s in Public Administration program.

Category: Public Administration