Public Management vs Public Service: Career ROI

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Updated: February 27, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

Public Management vs Public Service - featured image

Public Management and Public Services often come in the same field because both focus on the community’s needs and demands. Despite some of their shared duties, these majors are very different.

Both fields aim to improve society, but management and services approach this goal from distinct perspectives and with different methods. Public Management involves strategic planning, resource allocation, and policy implementation, while Public Service involves direct interaction with individuals and communities. 

In addition to their methods, Public Management and Public Services have other key differences. This includes their career Return on Investment (ROI). While both fields offer opportunities for meaningful work and societal impact, the nature of the ROI can vary significantly.

A Quick Look At the Differences Between Public Management and Public Service

Public Management emphasizes leadership and strategic planning within governmental contexts, while Public Service encompasses a broader spectrum of roles dedicated to serving the public good, ranging from frontline workers to policymakers across various sectors.

Let’s explore the key features of each discipline:

Public ManagementPublic Service
Average Salaries$92,198$62,575
Job Growth6 percent from 2022 to 20326 percent from 2022 to 2032
Focus and ScopeAdministration, organization, and implementation of policies and programs within the public sector.Covers several job responsibilities but mainly delivers services and assistance to the community.
Education RequiredMaster’s in Public ManagementIt will depend on which Public Service sector you pursue

What is Public Management?

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Public Management is where managerial operations for the public take place. Public administration aims to optimize the effectiveness and guarantee the caliber of services provided by public organizations.

Public Management is actually used in both nonprofit and governmental organizations. It manages the Public Service delivery system using business and management strategies from the commercial sector. 

As a public manager, your task will also involve interpreting public policies and exacting the necessary course of action to deliver. You can work internally or externally within the private, nonprofit, and public sectors with the responsibility of making the most use of available resources and seeing that projects under your direction succeed.

There are several challenges you’ll face in Public Management. Before pursuing a career in this industry, you should be aware of the most common challenges, which include:

Public Management: Education and Career Path

A Public Management degree will be interdisciplinary at the undergraduate/bachelor’s level. This means you can expect various disciplines to be integrated into your curriculum, including Political Science, Economics, Strategic Planning, and Human Resources. This level will prepare you for entry-level roles in public and private firms dealing with government agencies. 

With a bachelor’s degree in Public Management, you can assume positions as 

After earning your bachelor’s degree, you can pursue professional experiences or directly enroll for advanced studies. The most common continuing education pursued by Public Management is a Master of Public Management (MPM). 

However, you have other options, including a Higher Certificate in Public Management (HCPM), a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management (PDPM), or a Public Administration and Management Diploma (PAMD).  

An MPM degree will open doors to higher roles and career advancement opportunities. MPM programs focus on ethical leadership and sound governance in the Public Service. As a student, you will undergo training to increase your potential to accomplish the more ambitious objectives of transforming communities and strengthening the country.

MPM title holders can pursue leadership positions, such as:

If you want to teach at postsecondary institutions, you should obtain a Ph.D. 

Public Management ROI: Education Cost and Salaries 

On-campus learning is costly, which is why many students are now opting for online programs. According to the US News and World Report, Public Management can cost between $25,000 and $68,000 in tuition for a four-year degree program. An on-campus master’s degree costs an average of $20,513

If you don’t have the financial resources to pursue a graduate degree program, you can opt for short, career-focused postgraduate certificates and diplomas. These options will provide you with specialized skills at a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional degree program.

Public Management salaries vary greatly, depending on which sector you pursue a career in. However, ZipRecruiter listed an average salary of $92,198 per year for public sector management jobs.

A career in Public Management is for you if:

A career in Public Management is not a great fit if:

What is Public Service?

What is Public Service - Image

As a taxpayer, have you ever wondered where your taxes go? Well, your taxes help support local, state, or federal government projects for the betterment of communities. 

By definition, services rendered to the broad public by a public body are considered Public Services. Public Service also includes aid rendered by nonprofit, philanthropic groups, which may operate entirely independently of any government.

Thus, Public Service can be seen as an act carried out by an organization whose goal is to further the greater good rather than to benefit the organization itself. 

Public Service and Administration workers are often called public servants. Public Management is under the purview of Public Service. The main difference is that Public Service encompasses a broader spectrum of roles and responsibilities beyond just management. Public Service extends to all activities and positions dedicated to serving the public good.

Their employment position mostly determines a public servant’s particular responsibility. Public servants can include not only managers and administrators but also frontline workers, policymakers, social workers, educators, healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and many others.

However, the main tasks of a public servant include:

Public Service: Education and Career Path

There are several types of Public Service careers. Earning a bachelor’s degree is your starting point. To rise through the ranks, you need to earn a Master of Public Service degree and pursue a doctorate for research-focused work.

Here are some of the most popular Public Service career paths and the required training and education. 

Public Service ROI: Education Cost and Salaries

The education cost for a career in Public Service varies significantly. But the average costs of undergraduate tuition are as follows:

For a master’s degree, the averages are:

According to ZipRecruiter, Public Service and government employees make $62,575 on average. The highest-paid employees are those in the medical, technical, and engineering fields.

A career in Public Service is for you if:

A career in Public Service is not a great fit if:

Public Management vs Public Service - fact

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