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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Public Administration & International Affairs

Careers & Alumni

Career Pathways

career-results-overviewThere was a time, two decades or more ago, when Maxwell's MPA graduates were expected to take rock-solid jobs in government. Today, that is only one piece of the picture.

The market for "public service" careers has diversified to include new and expanding NGOs, evolving roles for nonprofits, the emergence of a "quasi-public sector" (private consultants whose primary clients are governmental), and more international students and employers. To meet these trends, Maxwell has diversified - a move evidenced most obviously by the emergence of the MA in international relations alongside the MPA.

In 2015, 51 percent of MPA graduates took jobs in government, over half of them in state and local; 41 percent of MAIR grads went into government, though with fewer in state and local and more (11 percent) in international.

In both programs, another 20-30% percent found work in the private sector. The fields served include economic development, energy/environment, finance, health and human services, research and evaluations, education, communication/media/public relations, and business development. (The remaining cohorts, totally less than 10 percent, went into law or on to further education.)

The message in these statistics is that Maxwell's MPA and MAIR degrees are a doorway to an expanding set of possibilities. And, our graduates leave here prepared to do the work they desire (without required further study) and have an immediate professional impact. The Maxwell MPA and MAIR degree is all the degree you need. Students pursuing (or considering) a degree in PA and IR owe it to themselves to research the wealth of career potentials before them. To begin, visit Maxwell's Center for Career Development.

To see a fuller statistical snapshot of PAIA hiring trends (over the past five years), download 2015 MPA Employment Statistics and 2015 MAIR Employment Statistics. Also available is a 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).