11 Jobs you can get with a public policy degree

public policy degree

A public policy degree offers diverse career opportunities. Did you know these graduates influence societal change by navigating government decisions and addressing issues – both within their country and on a global scale? The degree provides analytical skills to tackle complex problems and devise practical solutions. Apart from the traditional roles, public policy professionals shape legislation, guide nonprofits, and contribute to sustainability. 

So, let’s explore eleven careers for those with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy. The field is dynamic, with the demand extending to online education coordination, reflecting the evolving role of public policy professionals in shaping societal transformations.

  1. Policy Analyst:

Public policy analysts are crucial players in the policymaking process. They research and assess existing policies, providing data-driven insights to improve their effectiveness. Moreover, they even craft entirely new policies. Their work is essential in navigating complex societal challenges. In the United States, the median annual wage for policy analysts was $61,510 in 2020, highlighting the importance as well as the financial stability this career path can offer.

  1. Legislative Assistant:

Legislative assistants serve as essential intermediaries between lawmakers and the policies they navigate. Their tasks might include researching legislative proposals, preparing briefings, and facilitating communication between constituents and legislators. Hence, they form a crucial link in the policymaking chain. The average salary for legislative assistants in the U.S. ranged from $40,000 to $60,000 in 2021, indicating the influential nature and financial competitiveness of this role. Legislative assistants navigate the intricacies of legislation, ensuring lawmakers are well-informed. They facilitate effective communication between elected officials and the communities they serve.

  1. Online Education Coordinator:

With the increasing popularity of online education, there’s a growing demand for professionals who can coordinate and oversee programs, especially in the field of public policy. For a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy online, these coordinators facilitate the delivery of courses, ensure program effectiveness, and engage with students in a virtual environment. The role requires a blend of organizational skills, knowledge of online education platforms, and a deep understanding of public policy concepts. Salaries for online education coordinators can vary, but the median annual wage for education administrators was $97,500 in 2020 in the U.S., emphasizing the significance of this role in the evolving landscape of education.

  1. Nonprofit Program Manager:

Public policy graduates often find fulfilling roles as nonprofit program managers. Tasked with overseeing initiatives aligned with organizational missions, they play a pivotal role in driving positive societal impact. These managers collaborate with diverse stakeholders, ensuring effective program implementation. While salaries vary, nonprofit program managers typically earn between $50,000 and $70,000 annually, reflecting the meaningful and impactful nature of their work in the nonprofit sector. Their responsibilities include strategic planning, resource allocation, and ensuring that programs align with the organization’s broader mission and objectives.

  1. Urban Planner:

Urban planners wield influence in shaping communities, employing expertise to develop sustainable land use plans. Analyzing social, economic, and environmental factors, they strive to create functional and aesthetically pleasing urban spaces. The median annual wage for urban planners is an attractive figure, reflecting the responsibility and impact associated with this role. Urban planners play a vital role in fostering community development, ensuring that urban spaces are designed to meet the needs of residents and contribute to overall sustainability.

  1. Public Relations Specialist:

Effective communication is paramount in the public policy realm, and public relations specialists play a key role in conveying organizational messages. They ensure that policies and initiatives are effectively communicated to the public and policymakers. The median annual wage for public relations specialists in the U.S. was $62,810 in 2020, underlining the importance of communication expertise in the field of public policy.

  1. Environmental Policy Analyst:

With a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability, policy experts specializing in environmental issues are in high demand. Environmental policy analysts assess existing policies related to environmental conservation and propose strategies for improvement. Despite differences in experience levels, environmental scientists in the United States had a median job satisfaction score of 82 out of 100 in 2020, demonstrating the relevance and potential for success of this career path.

  1. Health Policy Researcher:

Public policy graduates can make significant contributions to the healthcare sector as health policy researchers. They delve into the intricacies of healthcare systems, examining policy effectiveness and proposing reforms. By conducting in-depth analyses, they contribute valuable insights that drive evidence-based health policies. In the U.S., the median annual wage for health policy analysts was $82,450 in 2020, highlighting the impactful nature and financial viability of careers in health policy. Health policy researchers play a crucial role in shaping healthcare landscapes, ensuring policies align with evolving societal needs and contribute to improved public health outcomes.

  1. International Relations Specialist:

Public policy graduates with a global perspective can pursue careers as international relations specialists. These professionals analyze foreign policies, assess geopolitical trends, and contribute to diplomatic strategies. Salaries in this field vary widely, but the median annual wage for political scientists, which includes international relations specialists, was $125,350 in 2020 in the U.S., reflecting the importance and potential financial rewards associated with this globally focused career.

  1. Data Analyst:

Public policy graduates often possess strong analytical skills, making them well-suited for roles as data analysts. In this capacity, they collect, interpret, and present data to help make informed policy decisions. The median annual wage for data analysts varies but can range from $60,000 to $80,000 or more, depending on experience and industry.

  1. Community Outreach Coordinator:

Public policy degree holders can make a significant impact as community outreach coordinators. In this role, they connect organizations with the communities they serve, facilitating dialogue and collaboration. Community outreach coordinators work to understand community needs, build relationships, and implement initiatives to address those needs. Salaries for community outreach coordinators vary but typically range from $45,000 to $65,000 annually, reflecting the importance of community engagement in effective policymaking.


A public policy degree opens doors to a diverse range of impactful careers. Whether shaping legislative agendas, advocating for environmental sustainability, or contributing to international diplomacy, public policy graduates play vital roles in addressing societal challenges. These varied career paths clearly highlight the adaptability and significance of public policy education in the modern world.