Current Issue 13thSep - 19th Sep 2014, i.e. No. 24
 
CAREER GUIDE


CAREER IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
By
 

Dr. Abhishek Kumar Srivastava

In the contemporary world, every government is facing certain challenges like globalization, economic competition that cuts across national borders, social and political upheavals, technological changes, threats of terrorism, and a rapidly-changing labour market. These challenges could only be met by capacity building through people and institutions. It is only people who are at the heart of performance; they provide services, promote innovations, and carry out reforms through the best use of their knowledge and skills. Thus, the job of a public administrator in any nation has become very crucial and his role indispensable. In order to have good governance, there is a huge requirement of specialized and skilled public administrator.

Public administration is a system through which the government carries out its business of ruling and controlling effectively. This system has been created in order to maintain a civil society and to cater to the needs of the public. Any unelected public employee who deals directly with the general public can be said to be a public administrator. They perform a wide range of functions, including managing city budgets, developing policy and legislation, implementing policies, analyzing data to determine and solve public needs, ensuring security, etc. Its functions come under the spheres of public well being. Maintaining public administration is the first and foremost responsibility of any government. The roots of public administration go back to the times of Plato and Aristotle who highlighted the importance of the government in public life. In this regard Kautilya’s (Chankya) contribution through his book Arthshastra (Economics) is noteworthy. 

Of late, public administration has been introduced in Academia. The aim of educating people in public administration is to train them in democratic values such as equality, justice, security, effectiveness, and order. It also prepares such human resources who can critically analyze and review public policies of the government. These public administrators are enabled to bear the responsibility of determining the policies and programmes of the government like planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling of government operations. Because of the specific training in public administration, execution, and direction, it has become a distinct profession with immense opportunities. There are five main heads of Public administration:  

Human Resource Management

The function of human resource management is to equip the employees with the capabilities to manage records, promotion and advancement, benefits, compensation, and to impart certain trainings in life skills in order to develop in them resilience to cope with the organizational and personal strain. Human resource management trains people to become professionals, administrative, and technical staffs.            

Organization and Public Administration

The study of the structure of the governmental organization is performed through this branch. It helps the trainee to understand the complex system of the organization and how to perform there. It also helps them to understand how the power is divided among the employees. There are a number of organizational theories of public administration which cover up the major transformation in the areas ranging from classic model to humanistic model of management.           

Ethics in Public Administration

Knowledge of ethics provides public administrators, an understanding of ethical principles and a practical framework for applying them. It also gives the administrators an idea of ethical theories and concepts from which ethical principles are derived. Ethics is basically concerned with the moral justification and consideration for decisions and actions made during the completion of daily duties when working to provide the general services of government.           

Public Policy and Public Administration

This enables the administrators with the knowledge of the governmental rules and programmes. This includes laws, local ordinances, court decisions, executive orders, and decisions of administrators. They also become familiar with the roles of different pressure groups while making decisions. These pressure groups include various political parties,  interest groups, social movements, mass media, and international agencies.           

Finance and Public Administration

Financial management is one of the major concerns of any organization and the effective functioning of that depends upon the skilled financial administrators. Through the study of finance and public administration, one is informed about the objectives, principles and important issues of financial relations and administrations. It also makes them understand various issues of financial administration of urban and rural government.           

Career Prospects

The modern competitive world has given rise to a huge a requirement of specialized, educated, Public Administrators because of the ongoing pressure of globalization, information technology, and terrorism. Public administration requires high level of  diplomatic skills and thorough knowledge of public issues. There are a number of jobs and career prospects for a trained and motivated Public Administrator.           

Administrative Officer

Public Administrators may choose careers in the government sector. This job requires the exercise of analytical ability, judgment, discretion, and personal responsibility, and the application of a substantial body of knowledge of principles, concepts, and practices applicable to one or more fields of administration or management. These positions do not require specialized education, but do require skills usually gained while attaining a college level public administration education. Though, to a great extent, public Administration is an inborn quality, it is further groomed through any of the courses in public administration but requires a sound practice of whatever you have learnt.           

Corporate Manager

The job of a management official requires strong leadership skill; creativity and logic, problem solving skills, diplomacy and change readiness, and team skills. As a public administrator graduate is trained in these skills, he may seek positions in organizational management or programme management in the public or private sector. Management professionals may be employed by government agencies, small businesses, health care facilities or educational institutions.            

Consultant

The task of a consultant ranges from budgeting and financial analysis, conducting research related to public relations or marketing, shaping organizational policy, program development and implementation, problem-solving and critical thinking and the oversight of managerial or leadership programs. They also organize certain training courses for improving quality of the employees. They may be employed in public or private sectors and their mission is to lead these organizations to the optimum benefit.           

Teacher

Teaching has recently been a good option for a public administrator as public Administration is one of the most sought courses in every Management Institute. Teachers play a role in helping students develop and learn the nature and approach of public administration. Teaching is no more a monotonous job, rather includes many off the track responsibilities, for example, training and placement, wardenship, and discipline. Since the growth of an institute is totally dependent on the job placement of its students, the role of a public administrator as a trainer becomes very crucial.           

Education

A degree programme in Public Administration will prepare you to a work in many governmental and other management careers, including health care administration, human resources management and even city management. Though there are a number of universities and institutions offering graduate, post graduate, and Ph. D. degrees in Public Administrations, I list a few of them here:            
                           
  • University of Delhi, Delhi
  •            
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi
  •            
  • Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Delhi
  •            
  • University of Lucknow
  •            
  • South Gujarat University Surat
    Placement
          With a degree in Public Administration, you will be prepared for a variety of careers in public and private organizations, educational institutes and government organizations.           
            (email : - aks.dpa@gmail.com)
 
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