Students who graduate with a master’s degree in public policy and administration may base much of their work on surveys and polls, depending on which types of careers they choose after graduation. Some who eventually earn a masters of public administration and public policy may even find a career where they are involved with the construction of these types of informational tools.
Public policy polling explained: Gathering public opinion in order to create polls is a career choice that may require a degree from a public policy graduate program. Opinion polls are often developed in order for officials to get a better idea of what is going on in the minds of voters. People from a certain area are asked to participate and then their results are used or published.
The history of public polling: Public polling fist occurred in France. The Minister of Finance conduct a poll just before the French Revolution in order to get a grasp on “l’opinion publique.” PBS also uses the Declaration of Independence as an example of early public polling, as the American document was created to take the common person’s opinion into account.
Public opinion: Getting a handle on the public’s perception helps politicians greatly, especially before official voting is conducted. These surveys also help figureheads, such as the president, to see just what the people think about him. Surveys provide context of common opinions and greatly utilized as tools in the public policy arena.
Popular policy issues:From economic issues to the state of foreign affairs, polls and surveys can be taken about a wide variety of subjects. Students who are earning a master’s degree in public policy will therefore have many options to choose from if they are interested in this industry.
Public policy polling careers: Those interested in survey and public opinion work should know that individuals can enter this field with a bachelor’s degree, but those who have graduate credentials, such as a master’s in public policy, may enjoy the best opportunities. The BLS reports that most people involved in this market and survery research careers that relate to public opinion work, will have structured schedules and can work alone or with teams.
Poll companies compile research that they then sell or give to organizations that request it. These organizations exist all over the world and some have multiple locations in different countries.
Public Policy Polling (PPP): This company strives to produce accurate polls through the use of Interactive Voice Technology (IVT), a method used by the company since 2001. IVT is performed over the phone and instantly registers results. PPP produces polls for politicians as well as universities and has a broad range of clients.
National Opinion Research Center (NORC): The NORC helps serve the public interest by providing insight for informed decisions. As a company dedicated to the social sciences, the NORC, based in Chicago, help improve public policy in areas like health, education, crime and the environment.
Odum Institute for Research in Social Science: The Odum Institute is the nation’s oldest institution for social science at a university institute. Public opinion on a wide range of subjects helps this organization distribute information to universities for furthering research, service and teaching.
Pew Research Center: Pew produces a number of political polls that help politicians see certain opinions, such as how many people support tax increases or views on foreign policy.
U.S. Census Bureau: The Census Bureau sends out surveys in the mail to help the country get a better grasp on subjects like population and density.
Presidential popularity: Presidential popularity will always be a poll that is watched and used by many types of people in the arena of public policy. Some public opinion companies focus on this aspect of surveying and update this information every day.
Firearms: Firearms are a controversial topic and public policy polls show that certain areas will have differing opinions. This information can be used in legislatures in many areas of the country.
Climate change: Some people believe in global warming and some do not. Environmental subjects, however, extend beyond just the black and white.
Healthcare: Another hot topic in American politics, healthcare is an issue that requires constant surveying and updating to give politicians a better idea of the public’s opinion.
Organ harvesting: Organ harvesting is a controversial subject that involves people’s specific opinion about death. Current laws in this area may be effected by how people view the practice.
Marine life protection: A survey for this area of pubic policy may include a poll of those who think fishing should be banned in the Florida Keys.