Some of my classmates and I had a discussion over lunch today about job prospects for MPA graduates in the next 12-18 months. Those of us that are not currently in the full-time work force would be by that time. As a someone currently working for the great (not so great budget) State of California, I know how difficult it is for me to advance, even apply for a lateral move in the current environment. From what my sources say, I could still have difficulty finding a position within California State government after I complete my program.
Local governments in California on a whole are not doing well either. In fact, a lot of CA local governments have laid off employees. I do not know what the federal employment prospects are like in CA.
Is it just a matter of a combination of patience and luck? Are there any qualities an MPA grad in early to mid career should have to maximize his or her attractiveness to potential employers?
If anyone reads this, please share your thoughts with me. Do you have any insights or advice that I could share with my classmates? On a personal note, I really love my state for a variety of reasons, and would prefer not to move if I can help it. Any ideas about how to make the most of CA opportunities would be helpful, too.