Public Administration and the Golden Question
By Tosan Begho
Imagine a world where the government of a state cannot be held responsible for their actions, a world where due process is absent, a world where laws are not implemented and executed properly. The list goes on, but for us to fully understand the importance and benefits of Public Administration and answer the question “Why Study Public Administration?” you have to define the term.
The word Public Administration is very often used but very difficult to define, this is because the boundaries of the field have never been delimited. According to Hodgson 1969 Public AdministraWhy Study Public Administration? The Golden Question.tion comprises all activities of people or groups in government or their agencies whether these organizations are international, regional or local in their scope; to fulfil the purposes of these government agencies. This definition shows that Public Administration is government in action, it is concerned with the executive, operative and the most obvious part of government which deals with the formulation and enforcement of public policies. Government cannot exist without administrative machineries for implementing public policies.
Now that you have a fair idea of the concept of Public Administration, the question still stands “Why should you study the course?” or “What jobs can you end up having?”, well let me share a quick story; you see Public Administration wasn’t my first choice initially, it wasn’t even part of my top 5 courses (and now you might be thinking so why write this article), I was part of those asking “what does an Administrator do, what jobs can I get after this, why am I studying this course” but by my 200L I was in awe of the course, a course so broad and versatile that gave a detailed insight to so many other courses, I found myself studying Accounting courses, Economics, Social Psychology, Social works, Customer Relations Management, Human Relations and Personnel Management, International Relations and so many others all under Public Administration, already these courses gives you an advantage of having variety of jobs to apply for and also a variety of professional courses to enroll in to add a boost to your CV which you will already have intermediate knowledge of. Amazing right!
Now it’s time for some of the attractive benefits and jobs available to an Administrator
- Ability to work/manage people: Implementing programs and managing the people who are involved (Managerial Position)Chance to hold important government positions: Some of the most important government officials followed a career in Public Administration (Cabinet Member, Working with the United Nations, State Governors)
- Make an impact on your government: You can do this by holding the power to implement or recommend programs and also having the ability to make direct impact on your local, state and federal government
- Chance to hold a position in the news and entertainment field: Political analysts for major news networks often pursued careers in Public Administration which helps them understand the political system and provide analyses of the situations.
- Serve as consultants: Many Public Administration professionals can go into consulting and make policy and procedural recommendations for meeting budgets, deadlines, etc.
- Specific job titles include: Customs Inspector, Labour Management Relations Specialist, Mediator, Systems Analyst, Civil Servant, Foreign Affairs and International Policy Operations.
To conclude this article I will like to take you back to the beginning and ask once more for you to “imagine a world where the government of a state can’t be held responsible for their actions, a world where due process is absent, a world where laws are not implemented and executed properly”, well a world like that needs an Administrator and that alone shows enough importance to study Public Administration.
SACE is a governance project funded by USAID to support civil society to advocate for reforms that improve transparency and...