Career Opportunities in Public Policy: Bachelor’s Degree vs. Master’s Degree

There are many job opportunities at both the state and national government level for both bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates of public policy programs. Graduates typically find jobs in the following sectors:

  • Congress
  • Conservation and industry organizations
  • Scientific societies
  • Federal agencies

With a public policy undergraduate degree, you can find entry-level positions in any of the above sectors. Typically though a master’s degree graduate is more likely to find an advanced position with a higher salary.

Popular Career Options for Graduates of Bachelor’s of Public Policy

Often bachelor’s degrees allow you to specialize in a certain area of public policy. Some of these areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Law and Justice: Careers relating to the legal aspects of public policy
  • World Politics: Careers in national security, international relations, and comparative politics, and can help prepare you for a multinational or foreign affairs position
  • American Politics: Careers in campaign management, political consulting, polling, and politics
  • Public Management: Careers in leadership and staff positions in local, county, state, and international government

A Public Policy undergraduate degree also provides an excellent background for entry into a variety of graduate programs, including law school, Master of Public Administration degree programs, and graduate degree programs in political science and public policy.

Possible Job Titles for Graduates of Undergraduate Public Policy Programs

  • Government Administration/Management
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Legislative Staff
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Survey Research
  • Strategic Planner

Popular Career Options for Graduates of Master of Public Policy

Master’s degree programs in public policy provide students with the analytical, legal and ethical skills and understanding needed for a career in shaping and influencing policy at the local, national or international levels.

The following types of organizations often have positions for master’s degree graduates:

  • Consulting agencies
  • Public interest groups
  • Advocacy organizations
  • National, state or local government agencies
  • Media outlets
  • Public relations organizations
  • Research institutes

For more information on careers in public policy, The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers this “Resources for Public Policymakers” page.

Top Masters in Public Policy Schools

Walden University MPA: Law & Public Policy MPA: Policy Analysis MPA: Healthcare Policy MPA: Homeland Security Policy Walden University › Walden is a highly popular choice for students wanting to pursue graduate degrees online due to the flexibility, affordability, and convenience distance learning provides. Students can earn an MPA in Law and Public Policy or Healthcare Policy entirely online. Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Kaplan University MPA Kaplan University › While Kaplan University does not offer a degree specifically in public policy, the Master of Public Administration teaches students many of the skills and credentials needed to pursue a career in this field. Over 53,000 students have chosen Kaplan for their education and with 70 campuses in the US, there is always one near you.
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Liberty University MA: Public Policy Liberty University › Liberty University is the largest Christian college in the US with over 72,000 students studying either online or at its campus in Lynchburg, Virginia. The MA in Public Policy from Liberty can be completed in just two years if you already hold a bachelor degree. Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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