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Equip public managers with data analytics skills: a proposal for the new generation of MPA/MPP programs with data science track

Kevin K.W. Ho (Graduate School of Business Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo, Japan)
Ning Li (Department of Political Science and Public Policy, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Eastern Washington University, Spokane, Washington, USA)
Kristina C. Sayama (College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 17 January 2023




This research uses a multifaceted approach to develop an MPA/MPP curriculum to support a data science track within the existing MPA/MPP programs by identifying the core and elective areas needed.


The approach includes (1) identifying a suitable structure for MPA/MPP programs which can allow the program to develop its capacity to train students with the data science and general public administration skills to solve public policy problems and leave explicit space for local experimentation and modification; (2) defining bridging modules and required modules for the MPA/MPP programs; and (3) developing of data science track thought to make suggestions for the inclusion of suitable data science modules into the data science track and benchmarking the data science modules suggested with the best practices developed by other professional bodies. The authors review 46 NASPAA-accredited MPA/MPP programs from 40 (or 22.7%) schools to identify the suitable required modules and some potential data science and analytics courses that MPA/MPP programs currently provide as electives.


The proposal includes a three-course (six–nine credits, not counted in the program but as prerequisites) bridging module, a nine-course (27 credits) required module and a five-course (15 credits) data science track/concentration.


This work can provide a starting point for the public administration education community to develop graduate programs focusing on data science to cater to the needs of both public managers and society at large.



Ho, K.K.W., Li, N. and Sayama, K.C. (2023), "Equip public managers with data analytics skills: a proposal for the new generation of MPA/MPP programs with data science track", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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