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Should I get an MPA or an MBA? Explanations inside!
June 15, 2009 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Should I get an MPA or an MBA? Explanations inside!

I have an undergrad degree in IT and have applied to both the MBA and MPA programs at 2 local schools. Assuming I get into both, which should i choose? Which looks better on a resume? Are they both respectable in the eyes of employers?

I am not as skilled at math and finance as i am at writing and english, which is why i'm leaning toward the MPA.

i am also a POLITICAL JUNKIE, and would one day be interested in elected office. but at the same time one of my dreams has always been to oversee an IT department, which the MBA would be perfect for. HEEEEELP!
posted by l2yangop to Education (5 answers total)
 
i should also note that i am 26 and graduated 3 years ago with my bachelors. I am currently working in the IT department of a large local hospital full time.
posted by l2yangop at 8:46 AM on June 15, 2009


If you have an undergrad degree in IT there is no math in an MBA program that should concern you.
posted by JPD at 8:47 AM on June 15, 2009


IMO, a good MPA will contain a lot of quantitative analysis. Budget and approps are the foundation of public policy.
posted by jgirl at 8:48 AM on June 15, 2009


I'd like to suggest that you look at job postings for the types of jobs you'd be interested and see what degree they require or prefer. I'd also suggest that you make contact with some folks (or HR departments) in companies you might be interested in working in and see what they require or prefer. And since you are interested in public office, take a look at the degrees of local politicans in your area and those surrounding it. And then take all that information balanced with what is that you'd like to learn (business or public administration) and go forward.
posted by Pineapplicious at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2009


MBA's tend to be cross-discipline (i.e., an MBA will be valuable in may different contexts, including leadership roles in government). MPA's are really only applicable for government. Since you're still young, and don't know where you might be 15 years from now, maybe an MBA would be more useful.

If one of your dreams is to oversee an IT department, you could probably get by with a few (cheap) management courses at a community college.

If your dream is to become a CIO in government (overseeing the IT policy and direction of an entire department or ministry), you might want to talk to a CIO and see what education s/he has.

i am also a POLITICAL JUNKIE, and would one day be interested in elected office.

You probably know this, but most government managers are apolitical and are cynical about politics in general.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:40 PM on June 15, 2009


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