Continued education is an important part of every field, and so is networking. Conferences are a convenient way to take care of both things at the same time. They provide an opportunity to converse with peers and experts in the same field, and the newest developments are discussed and explained to all in attendance. Here are the top five conferences to attend:
The Annual ASPA ConferenceThe ASPA conference is held in Louisiana, and the organization is devoted to advancing public administration in the public and non-profit arenas. ASPA offers two scholarships for graduate students who are looking to break into the field, and those within the organization work tirelessly to innovate new and more effective models for solving the problems that accompany implementing government policy. They work with people from around the world, and they seek to provide professional opportunities to everyone values public service.
NECoPAThe Northeastern Conference on Public Administration is also the product of ASPA. It takes place in the north near the coast, and it exists to provide information and opportunities to those who can't make it to main conference or those who prefer something closer to their location.
Sino-U.S. International Conference on Public AdministrationThis conference is held bi-annually and it boasts the largest attendance numbers of any public administration conference. It focuses especially on exchanges between public administrators in the US and China, and it attracts over 600 experts each time it's held. The SPAA has published materials relating to the conference since it started, and the next conference is scheduled for 2014.
COMPA National ConferenceCOMPA stands for Conference of Minority Public Administrators. It's an offshoot of ASPA that was founded in 1977 to focus on the elimination of discriminatory practices within public administration. It also focuses on helping other organizations and providing opportunities to students. COMPA goes beyond stamping out discrimination to strengthening minorities within the field so that their influence can expand and the needs of minorities on every rung of the ladder can be met. COMPA also works to raise funds for charitable causes and social programs. COMPA conferences are held yearly.
The NFBPAThe National Forum for Black Public Administrators caters exclusively to the black community. It seeks to raise the number of black men and women promoted to high positions within public service organizations, and it focuses heavily on grooming students to step into the field. It holds conferences every year.
OpportunityNo one can work effectively in a vacuum, and the generous nature required to step into the field of public administration can make attending industry conferences even more valuable. When the best minds from around the world come together to solve problems things get done.
Connie Lyons is an avid blogger. If you're in the public admin field or interested in learning more on your own, you may consider a degree such as those offered by University of Southern California or American University.
Photo by: Tsar Kasim