Public policy professional’s craft, advocate for, and implement legislation and programs in a variety of areas. Public policy jobs exist at local, national, and international levels. As such, public policy is a broad field that may present a variety of potential career opportunities and a range of specializations from which to choose, from public policy consulting to environmental public policy, and more.
Some of the more commonly known jobs in public policy include:
- Public policy analysts:Analysts research and analyze potential policies and make recommendations. They also analyze the effectiveness of current policies, and gather and share information.
- Public policy consultants:Consultants provide public policy consulting and advice to clients, who might range from governments to private companies.
- Urban planners:Urban planners use their knowledge of a community’s social, economic and environmental issues to make recommendations and advise local officials.
- City managers:City managers are the Chief Executives of the city’s government and are responsible for directing the city’s bureaucracy.
Public Policy Internships and Entry Level Public Policy Jobs
A good public policy internship enables students to apply theories and concepts in a professional work environment. Landing an internship in a desirable setting may provide an opportunity for invaluable networking.
Entry-level public policy jobs can function in much the same way as an internship. Recent graduates of public policy programs may find that the job they obtain right out of college or graduate school is not necessarily the job of their dreams. However, it may provide important ground-level experience and exposure to a wide range of job functions, as well as the aforementioned networking opportunities that may bear fruit down the road.
Those entering internships or entry-level jobs are advised to engage in and experience this professional setting as much as possible. Some of the best ways to make the most of the time spent in these roles are to ask questions, volunteer for a variety of projects from menial to challenging, sit in on meetings and take the time to get to know co-workers.
Public Policy Job Application Tips
In addition to the standard job search sites, public policy professionals searching for jobs can also visit sites such as www.publicpolicycareers.org and www.policyjobs.net, as well as exploring potential career opportunities leveraging their network on social media sites like www.linkedin.com. Those seeking jobs in state legislatures can also search http://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/jobs-clearinghouse-service.aspx. When job searching, it’s also a good idea to leverage connections, such as professors, advisors, and even fellow students, or workplace connections made via a public policy internship or entry-level job.
Public policy students should also keep in mind that they may be qualified for different career opportunities depending upon which degree they hold:
Potential Career Opportunities for Individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy:
Those holding a bachelor’s degree in public policy may be qualified for jobs such as researchers, advocates, political aides, and even, in some cases, program administrators.
Potential Career Opportunities for Individuals with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy:
Those holding a master’s degree in public policy may find that they are qualified for a more diverse field of career options than those with only a bachelor’s degree. They may identify potential career opportunities in areas ranging from economic policy making, local and urban policy management to global policy. They may be qualified for careers such as legislator, analyst, and research scientist, to name a few.