A trend in public administration recently is the tendency of graduates to begin their careers in the private sector as opposed to the public. Some are disturbed by this because public sectors so desperately need qualified persons to fill the empty job slots. Others are encouraged because it suggests that the public administration programs are creating graduates with enviable skills that even the private sectors can benefit from.
As a public administration student, what this means to you (aside from a new potential job market) is that you have a wide variety of interesting public administration thesis topics that are available to you that have not been open to public administration students in the past. In 1983, Donald A. Schön wrote in The Reflective Practitioner, “When a practitioner becomes a researcher into his own practice, he engages in a continuing process of self-education.”
You may not choose research as your career path in public administration but with a strong public administration thesis, you will have that option. Whether your focus is the public school system or the environment, you have a wide range of choices for your public administration thesis.
Some solid public administration thesis topics include:
One of the biggest challenges when researching your public administration thesis will be verifying that you have the most up to date research. Laws and policies as well as key administrators in every field and office are constantly in flux. To make sure that your thesis is absolutely up to the minute and not anymore outdated than necessary, make sure you verify all your sources, your names, dates, and latest laws and regulations governing the topic of your public administration thesis. Unless you are writing on pure theory or an historical aspect of public administration, your arguments and questions will be irrelevant from the start if, for example, the law or practice you are questioning has already been replaced with a newer version.
Competition for the top positions in public (or private) administration is fierce. Your public administration masters or doctoral thesis could be your most valuable selling point when your schlepping through job interviews. If you know which direction you’d like your career to take after graduation, you would do well to use your thesis as a way to research the job.
For example, if elementary school administration is your intended job destination, focusing on challenges or successful management skills that would benefit an elementary school administrator will help you immensely. You will do a bulk of research on the subject that will extend far beyond your subject matter, giving you a well informed knowledge of what the job entails. If you happen to be in the area in which you would like to settle, a few well placed interviews with local ‘important people’ in the education sector wouldn’t hurt you in making contacts that you could put to use later.
Use your public administration thesis topic and research to advance your career and put yourself ahead of the job search pack after graduation.