Public administrators are often charged with implementing policy set forth by elected officials. Working in government agencies, public administrators often manage the departments charged with providing services to the people.
Name: Jim Holgerson
Position: Deputy City Manager, City of San Jose
Education: BA Political Science, Masters Public Administration
Career Bio: Assistant, City Manager's Office, City of Davenport; City Manager, City of Kalamazoo; City Manager, City of Waco; Executive Director, Rapport Foundation; Deputy City Manager, City of San Jose.
Advantages: The opportunity to travel, meet new people, and face new challenges is something you will definitely find in public administration. In your career you will be provided with a diversity of experiences that will give you the opportunity to learn about different cultures.
Disadvantages: With the constant moving that is often involved with public administration it becomes difficult to keep long term friends. Public administrators, because of the constant moving, sometimes do not get to see their projects all the way through.
Advice: You must be open to life long leaning and invest in a good education. There are no guarantees in your career so you have to be willing to explore the unknown.
How a background in Political Science will help: Understanding of politics at all levels is a definite plus for a public administrator. Especially at the local level, where you can effect the most change and feel the biggest impact.