Josie Gatti Schafer, director, Center for Public Affairs Research, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Millennials have been described in many ways, but no one can deny their lust for social change and betterment. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, tracking the number of persons completing degrees in the public service, shows this to be true. Between 2011 and 2014, most public service fields saw increases in the number of degree completers, particularly in graduate programs.
A few degree fields buck the trends. Public health related degree programs have had a steady increase in degree completers going back to 2002. In contrast, the number of students completing political science degrees has been steadily decreasing since 2010. However, the most recent year of data, 2017, shows a small increase. The current political climate may be attracting students to political science. The other degree program that has had a steady decline in degree completers is library science.
Interested in a degree in public service? Many programs are accredited through national associations, like the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/current_tables.asp.