Government or Business? Identifying Determinants of MPA and MBA Students’ Career Preferences
Public Personnel Management , Vol. 42, No. 2 , June 2013
20 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2015
Date Written: June 13, 2014
This article reports on a survey study into provisional career determinants of masters in public administration (MPA) students and masters in business administration (MBA) students (N = 131) in the Netherlands. The survey measures whether both student groups hold different values, motivations, and sector perceptions and how these, in turn, determine provisional sector choices right before they graduate. Differences between both groups are larger and more classical than current literature and previous studies suggest: MPA students hold public values, have high levels of public service motivation (PSM), positive public sector perceptions and negative private sector perceptions, and opt without exception for a public sector career. For MBA students, the results are completely opposite. Arguably, both groups have a rather nullified image of professional lives in both sectors, reinforced by their respective degree programs. Implications are offered for future debates on public and private sector differences and the relation between attraction and socialization of different people types by both sectors.
Keywords: PSM, values, career choice, MPA, MBA
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