Careers & Alumni

A solid foundation and professional network to sustain your career

The validation of any professional degree program is the success of its graduates. The careers of a program's alumni predict the type and quality of the career path current students can aspire to achieve.

There are nearly 7,000 PAIA alumni working in public administration and international relations across all sectors – public, private, and nonprofit. What is common to many of the positions that MPA and MAIR alumni hold is influence.

Because of the breadth and richness of their degrees - the varied applicability of the managerial and analytical skills, combined with a strong balance between high quality scholarship and practice - our alumni are known to demonstrate superior understanding and perspective. This serves them not only in their first post-Maxwell position, but wherever their careers lead.

Students and alumni benefit from a highly regarded and well-placed network of Maxwell alumni throughout the United States and all over the world; and they benefit from Maxwell's comprehensive and well-connected Palmer Career Center.

Career Pathways

There was a time when Maxwell's public administration and international relations graduate students were expected to take jobs in government. Today, that is only one piece of the picture.

The landscape of "public service" careers is changing. It has diversified to include new and expanding NGOs, evolving roles for nonprofits, and more international students and employers.

At the same time, more “public” work is being carried out in the private sector, through consultancies, contractors, and public-private partnerships. In fact, almost one-third of Maxwell graduates find employment in the private sector after graduation, and many more move seamlessly between sectors throughout their careers serving the public good.

The MPA, MAIR, and midcareer degrees are a doorway to an expanding set of possibilities. Our students graduate prepared to do the work they desire (without required further study) and have an immediate professional impact.

Students pursuing (or considering) a degree in public administration or international relations owe it to themselves to research the wealth of career potentials before them. To begin, explore the Career Field Guides made available by Maxwell's Palmer Career Center.

To see a fuller statistical snapshot of PAIA hiring trends, view the Employment Statistics, also on the Career Center website or view the long list of Recent Employers of PAIA Graduates.

You may also appreciate some broader field specific data. This can be found at NASPAA - the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (the administrative body that accredits the MPA program) and/or APSIA - the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (which represents professional programs in International Relations).

Career Development

To assist students in every aspect of their job search, Maxwell maintains the Palmer Career Center. With a combination of online and in-house services, the Center prepares students for the demands of job search (e.g., interviewing skills, resume preparation) while nurturing student-alumni networking and posting hundreds of available jobs and likely employers.

For more information, visit the Palmer Career Center.

Alumni Network

Among the more than 35,000 graduates of the Maxwell School are nearly 9,000 with master's and doctoral degrees in public administration, international relations, and other professional fields. They are diverse and widespread and work in a broad distribution of fields.

Our alumni work in all levels of government, nonprofits and NGOS, private sector business, working in the United States and internationally.

PAIA graduates are famous for their affinity to the School and to one another, forming one of the strongest professional networks they will ever have. To optimize this network, Maxwell's Office of Alumni Relations supports a variety of online services, including LinkedIn and SectorConnect, while sponsoring regional events and other means of alumni connection.

Visit the Office of Alumni Relations to learn more. You will also find there a small collection of Alumni Profiles and the @MaxwellAlumni blog.