Studies & Degrees in Local Government Administration
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Local governance can be considered as the grassroots of modern politics. Local Government Administration encompasses the administration of public offices in the municipalities, towns, cities, provinces, and other political units, which are governed autonomously from the national government up to a predetermined degree. Local governments are established essentially to promote the common good; and the sole purpose of the offices within it is to serve the constituency by providing peace and security, justice, infrastructure, livelihood, healthcare, and other public services. Area of governance or territories of local governments are usually identified by geographical markers and landmarks. In many societies, local government administrators or officials are selected for office either through an electoral process or by being appointed by an elected official - usually the chief executive of the local government unit. For many, having local government administration as a career is a matter of choice, while some consider it as a calling to be a public servant. Others see it as a family legacy and a birthright.
Divergence in the modern society has created complexities in the political arena, which is felt more significantly in the local government level. This is brought about by the increasing population, cross-cultural interaction, and emergence of different ideologies, beliefs, and sentiments of sub-sectors of the society. It is the job of the local government administrators to address the concerns of different sectors by providing the necessary services, enacting laws to promote the welfare of the people within its territory, and initiating reforms as needed.
Local Government Administration has turned into an academic field of study during the late 19th century as a multidisciplinary subfield of Political Science and is often a post graduate course in many colleges and universities (as such, it requires a Bachelor’s degree before being admitted into the program). Schools that have Local Government Administration in their course offerings immerse their students in public administration theories and principles, financial management, strategic planning, economics, sociology, and leadership ethics. The subjects in the curriculum are designed to ensure that the students are adept in evaluating possible courses of action, as well as making sound decisions. These also equip them with the necessary skills in strategic planning and management through the use of planning models. All in all, students are being prepared to work in different areas of government administration - this could be the legislative, the judicial, or the executive branch.
Ideally, a career in Local Government Administration is for individuals with the innate desire to serve the public. It is for individuals who possess the leadership skills and who can challenge the status quo and initiate reforms that would be beneficial to their constituents. It is for those who uphold justice and put the common good in front of their own. Moral uprightness is an equally important trait for those who would choose to be in this career. The public should be able to entrust the wealth of the community to the hands of the administrators; and these administrators should be worth trusting in steering the course of the lives of their people for the better.