Careers in budget analysis are often focused on policy issues rather than number crunching and accounting. Budget analyst positions with public agencies frequently include research into program history, analysis of program funding and spending, and budget recommendations. Entry-level budget analyst positions require only an undergraduate degree, but more advanced positions require an advanced degree in public administration or public policy. Federal agencies that review overall budget issues provide many opportunities for MPA careers.
The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is an office within the General Services Administration (GSA). The FAS generates and guides approximately $95 billion in annual government spending. The commissioner leads the FAS organization and is responsible for bringing savings to taxpayers and federal agencies through strategic sourcing, contract reform and acquisition expertise. Other commissioner responsibilities include creation and support of GSA's strategic direction and continuous improvement of current programs and solutions for contracting, travel, fleet and card services. The commissioner also must mentor leaders and provide growth paths for members of the FAS organization.
The congressional liaison specialist position is located in the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID functions as an independent agency of the federal government and works in support of economic growth, trade, education, global health and humanitarian assistance in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. The agency receives foreign policy guidance from the secretary of state. Responsibilities of the congressional liaison specialist include advising senior staff on congressional actions related to programs and policies that are funded by the Foreign Operations Bill, the Foreign Assistance Act, the Farm Bill, and other related aid programs and authorities. Additional responsibilities include preparing written speeches and researching proposed legislation, regulations and statutes.
The position of budget analyst for the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) includes financial management, administrative management, procurement and contract management. The position requires support for current policies and procedures related to the museum's budget and finance as well as training for museum personnel on federal funding procedures. The budget analyst is responsible for analyzing and assembling data for development and justification of the NASM's annual trust and federal budget and the development of five-year projection plans.