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Public Administration Resources

Public administration is one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States, largely because of recent growth in the size and scope of the federal government which has warranted a greater demand for professional administrators. Already a healthy occupation before this recent growth, public administrators have a wealth of professional resources available to help them succeed in their career and the pursuit of further education in their field.

The American Society for Public Administration

Known in the industry as ASPA, the American Society for Public Administration is a membership organization that focuses on professional development and continuing education for public administration professionals. The organization hosts an annual conference which revolves around a different theme each year. The goal is to further educate public administrators in the new and evolving ways that their profession is being used around the country and the world.

On top of that, ASPA maintains an extensive nationwide network of local chapters and organizational sections that allow members to connect with local public administrators and work together toward the advancement of their careers and the profession. They maintain an extensive listing of industry news and developments and keep tabs on legislative policies and impacts that affect their members.

And finally, the American Society for Public Administration maintains ASPA International, which focuses on public administration opportunities abroad. The profession is increasingly popular among expatriates, and this resource helps to connect them with the jobs and information they need to set their sights overseas.

Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do And Why They Do It

Because a significant number of public administration jobs — if not the majority — are in the public sector, it’s important to understand how each government agency works, and why they operate the way that they do. In this book, author James Wilson looks at all of the current government agencies and bureaucracies and explains their functions while comparing them to their earlier incarnations and predecessors. In making that comparison, he highlights how things have become more efficient over time and how they have become less so.

And the book then proceeds to discuss what public administrators can do in order to better manage their departments and ensure efficiency inside a continually-growing government. The reader is presented with a number of ways to increase productivity, effectively manage staff, and perform more tasks with less people on the job. It’s a great way for public administrators to really consider their options in a government role, examining their potential to save money, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. Essentially, it applies the fundamentals of administration to the government’s management system.

Administrative Behavior (4th Edition)

Herbert A. Simon has been publishing and continually updating “Administrative Behavior” for fifteen years. That process has given him some unique insights on human behavior and the way groups of people act within organizations; it has also provided him an excellent opportunity to educate administrators on the best ways of dealing with human nature both individually and in groups, as well as how to successfully manage departments and organizations that seem to be in perpetual chaos.

In the latest addition, he sums up everything he has learned over the course of a decade and a half. He discusses the effectiveness of his methods — and where they could be improved — as well as the ways that administration has changed over the course of 15 years. With technological advances that have changed the way everyone works, in any capacity, it’s great to have a fresh view on just how public administrators should perform their jobs in a high-tech, increasingly handheld workplace with more distractions than ever before.


The increasing role of government in the public administration profession means that those seeking a job in public administration need to be constantly reviewing government job postings. Public Service Careers doesn’t exclusively serve public administrators, but it does serve people looking for a public sector job with burgeoning federal government agencies.

Select private employer listings are also included on the website, and Public Service Careers provides a wealth of great information about how to successfully land a job and how to tackle a job interview with department heads. They even break down each public administration and public service degree, as well as explain the virtues of entering a public service occupation — of which there are quite a few.

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

Considered the go-to academic body for the public administration profession, NASPAA is a great resource for aspiring public administrators as well as those seeking to further their education. The website contains a wealth of information on the best schools for undergraduate and graduate-level studies in the profession as well as industry news and events that should be of importance to any student or public administration educator.