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Career Paths

Leadership in the Public Sector

Want to make a difference? Interested in starting or working for a nonprofit? Preparing for advanced education? Explore your options for a career in public sector leadership.

Explore Your Options

Our B.A. and certificate programs provide an excellent foundation for several career options. Our graduates typically excel in the following fields.

Nonprofit Administration

Organize events, recruit and direct volunteers and build relationships with donors to fundraise and establish partnerships with businesses and supporters. Nonprofit administration typically involves running communications and public relations efforts — and directing and volunteer efforts. You may also manage financial planning, including responsibilities related to accounting, fundraising, and allocation of funds.

  • Community Organizer
  • Nonprofit Director
  • Nonprofit Manager
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Director of Volunteer Outreach
  • Fundraiser
  • Volunteer Resource Manager
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Development Director
  • Program Manager or Director
  • Advocacy Director
  • Community Relations Director
  • Marketing Manager or Director
  • Communications Specialist
  • Executive Director

The vast majority of employers require a bachelor’s degree, but some only require an associate’s degree or certificate. In some cases, a master’s degree will also be expected. You will need to demonstrate leadership capabilities and the ability to work independently. You should have deep knowledge of communications, business principles, volunteerism, finance, and organizational skills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for those working in nonprofit organizations are growing at a rate of 10% per year, which is faster than the average rate. North Carolina leads the way, with a job opportunity forecast of 15%.

As of 2016, nonprofit social and community managers earned a median salary of $62,740, public relations managers earned a median salary of $101,510, and fundraisers earned a median salary of $54,130.


Most of our graduates find a wide range of government positions. You will have a solid foundation, preparing you for work in federal, state or local government positions.

Professionals working in government typically do the following:

  • Research and analysis of policy and/or procedures.
  • Documentation of and/or presentation of research findings or policy analysis.
  • Evaluation of adherence to regulations or policy, and/or communication of regulatory boundaries.
  • Development, evaluation or enforcement of policy, procedures and protocols.
  • Clerk
  • Program Administrator
  • Analyst
  • Records Specialist
  • Contract Coordinator
  • Research Program Specialist
  • Inspections Officer
  • Auditor

The vast majority of jobs for government agencies require a bachelor’s degree. The leadership in the public sector degree provides the skill set required for positions in political science and public administration, which is why students wishing to work in government find this degree to be a solid foundation.

If you are interested in making policy, you will probably need to identify the office of policy in which you’d like to work and take an entry-level position as support staff to get your foot in the door. You will then need to become an expert on that particular issue, which may or may not entail advanced education specific to that topic. Most policymakers work their way up the ladder internally.

You will find most government jobs are divided into fields. Explore options at to see what types of positions exist in a wide range of capacities. You will also learn more about career paths specific to these positions and hiring paths.

Career Advancement

Frustrated because you need certain credentials to advance your career? Nonprofit and government employers are looking for graduates with a bachelor’s degree from NC State.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in Leadership in the Public Sector?

  • Advance from an entry-level job or internship to the position you really want.
  • Use the degree as a first step for acquiring teaching accreditation.
  • Pursue a career in government.
  • Apply for graduate school. 

The leadership in the public sector degree completion program allows individuals driven in their careers to complete their degrees online while sustaining their career momentum. Many of our students are already on a set career path, but they need a bachelor’s degree to go further. The skillset delivered in this degree program is particularly helpful for those who need to lead, inspire and work with people. The flexibility of this program is ideal for those who need to get a degree while working a full-time job.

The leadership knowledge provided through this degree is applicable for both public and private sector positions. People working entry-level jobs in the following fields find this bachelor’s degree supplies the experience and credentials needed for career advancement:

  • Public Sector
  • Public Administration
  • Government
  • Nonprofit Administration
  • Education Administration
  • Leadership
  • Private Sector Leadership (Management, Consulting)

Higher Education Administration

As a higher education administrator, you will formulate and execute strategic plans related to admissions, research, instruction, campus safety, or student, faculty or staff services. 

Professionals working in higher education administration typically do a variation of the following:

  • Supervise staff responsible for administering academic institutions, departments, services or alumni organizations.  
  • Recruit, hire, train, and terminate personnel.  
  • Direct and execute student recruitment, selection, and admission processes.  
  • Design, uphold and oversee various aspects of faculty or staff roles, experiences and services.
  • Advise students concerning admission, selection of major or courses, career preparation or issues related to graduation. 
  • Make and uphold decisions regarding policies and procedures affecting students, faculty and staff.

In general, higher education institutions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and most require a master’s degree. Some require additional advanced education, such as a PhD, M.D. or J.D.
The Leadership in the Public Sector degree is an undergraduate degree designed to give you a solid foundation for the advanced degrees required for careers in this sector. The topics and skills covered in this degree program will set you up for success in this career path.

  • Academic Affairs Dean
  • Academic Affairs Vice President
  • Academic Dean
  • Admissions Director
  • College President
  • Dean
  • Dean of Students
  • Financial Aid Director
  • Provost
  • Registrar
  • Postsecondary Education Administrator

The demand for higher education administrators is on the rise, as job growth in this field is increasing at a rate of 9-13%. This is a faster job growth rate than average. Administrators earned a national median salary of $90,760 in 2016.

Graduate School

This degree prepares you for graduate school in a unique way. It is especially beneficial for students who:

  • Need the credentials required to get into a reputable graduate school program.
  • Recognize the value of getting an undergraduate degree from a recognized and respected brick-and-mortar university, but who need the flexibility afforded by an online program.
  • Desire a broad liberal arts foundation, including experience researching and writing academic papers and extensive critical thinking challenges that result in strong leadership capabilities.
  • Are interested in the ethical, theoretical and analytical skills needed for effective public sector leadership.

If you want to get into graduate school, you should invest time and energy into the following:

  • Develop relationships with your professors. The Leadership in the Public Sector program is designed such that you can interact with our professors online and build relationships that will help you get into the graduate school of your choice.
  • Get an internship or job related to your field. The Internship in Leadership in the Public Sector (LPS 490) provides valuable experiences that will improve your standing as a graduate school applicant. These are non-paid internships that are completed in agencies in the public and nonprofit sectors.
  • Work on your graduate school application long before it’s due. You will need to get references from work and your undergraduate program, so start early. Take your time with your application. Develop a thesis proposal.
  • Identify and reach out to professors at the graduate school of your choice. Do your research before you initiate, and be sure to explain why you are contacting them. Write three to four sentences outlining your work and describing why you are interested in working with them in particular. Be specific, and keep it brief.
  • Prepare for the GRE. The bachelor’s degree in Leadership in the Public Sector provides a solid educational foundation to support your preparation.


Leverage your benefits and add academic credentials and education to your military experience. The NC State community prides itself on its longstanding military history and providing a supportive environment for veterans, military personnel and their families.

Soldiers and their family members can work toward their B.A. wherever they are stationed and retain their in-state tuition as long as they begin the program while stationed in North Carolina and maintain their enrollment status. The LPS program provides military-friendly resources, such as advisers trained to assist with military and VA benefits.

Employers are looking for leaders.

Round out your military experience with a civilian leadership degree. The LPS program provides a leadership strategy for civilian life. Use your benefits as a veteran to complete your bachelor’s degree in leadership at NC State.

Veterans and active duty military personnel will find themselves in a supportive environment at NC State.  Students at NC State operate a Student Veterans Affairs group on campus to support and advocate for strong student veteran services.

NC State offers special advising services to active duty and veteran military personnel. The NC State Veterans Affairs website provides a great deal of information and useful links for enrolled and prospective military students.

For further information about military cost verification documentation, contact Allison Bennett at (919) 513-4277.