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Affordable Online MPA Program

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 | 12:00 AM

For most people, career advancement means going back to school to earn an advanced degree, but the financial costs can be considerable. For example, it is estimated that 37 million Americans have some type of student loan debt, totaling more than $1.1 trillion. However, there are affordable ways to earn an advanced degree, including earning an MPA degree online.

A master's degree pays for itself

A master's degree lends itself to a higher salary and it can pay for itself in a year or two. The average salary of someone who holds a master's degree is $74,217, while the average salary of someone with a bachelor's degree is $58,762. An individual with a master's degree in public administration can find work as a political scientist, where the average salary was $104,920 in 2014, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Smart choices make it affordable

Making the choice to head back to school can seem like a big commitment of resources. There are several ways to make it affordable. First, an online MPA degree eliminates the need to commute to and from school. Second, online programs are flexible, making them an ideal choice for working adults. That means you do not have to quit your job while pursuing your education online. There is no loss of income and no added expense of gas and wear and tear from commuting. In addition to school being available online, many books and study resources are available online as well. This is typically a cheaper option than purchasing books from a bookstore. Additionally, many employers offer tuition reimbursement for employees who go back to school for career advancement purposes. Finally, there are also scholarships available for degrees in public administration.

Opportunities are available for an advanced degree to pay for itself

An online MPA degree opens the door for many opportunities with jobs in the government, public management or health and human services. According to the BLS' 2013 data, there were more than 700,000 administrative positions with the federal government and more than 450,000 professional positions. With thousands of government employees retiring each year and the rise of globalization, the need for emerging leaders in public administration is growing. Between online classes and books, the availability of scholarships and the ability to earn income while in school, an online MPA degree can be a smart investment.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online MPA program.


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