Someone with a public policy degree will process, implement and analyze policies. These policies range from legislation all the way to public order. Public policy seeks to address a public issue or problem. The solution may come in the form of instituting laws, regulations, and making important decisions. This is a large field which means there are plenty of sectors in which you can work. If you are someone who has excellent problem solving skills, strong oral and written communications abilities, and out of the box thinking, then perhaps a public policy degree would be ideal.
General information program requirements and information
It is possible to find colleges that offer a bachelor’s public policy degree. However, most programs focus on a masters degree in public policy. The great thing about these masters degree public policy programs is that you can apply with a BA or BS degree from any field. Most masters degree public policy programs have per-requisites of solid passes – grade B or better, in college algebra, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and political science. You should also expect to submit your GRE scores. All of these requirements will also be mandatory for a public policy degree online.
General course/curriculum overview
Curriculum content will vary depending on the college and the public policy degrees offered. An online public policy degree will have a similar curriculum to a campus based program. Students can expect to fulfill certain requirements and skill sets in any program focused on public policy. Public policy degree programs are designed to nurture analytical skills. Public policy students should ask questions and assess problems within society and public/private sectors. Not only should students be able to assess these problems but they should be able to come up with creative and logical solutions (based on probability and predictions) to fix many-sided policy issues.
All students in public policy degrees programs can expect to take classes in economics (micro and macro) and statistics. Students will also need to be well versed in budgeting, accounting and public financing in order to excel in and understand public policy. A public policy program will also put an emphasis on management concepts and organization. These are all the core components of the program. Students will also have the opportunity to select a specialization which would entail more focused coursework. A public policy degree online will also offer students specializations so students can pursue their interests.
Why the degree program is beneficial
Receiving a masters degree in public policy is beneficial for a number of reasons. But the most important reason is the high job prospects for graduates. Job growth is expected in public policy research for the next decade. A public policy masters degree can open the door for graduates and ensure career advancement.
Another benefit of a masters degree public policy is there are plenty of online public policy degree programs that will offer students flexibility. A public policy degree online is just as impressive as a degree earned on campus. Online public policy degree programs aren’t any easier than campus based programs. Expect to be extremely disciplined to ensure that coursework gets completed.
Career opportunities for graduates
There are a plethora of career opportunities for those who have obtained a public policy masters degree. It is imperative that workers have at bare minimum a bachelor’s degree. Most positions will prefer a public policy masters degree or higher. These examples of public policy degree jobs are just a snapshot of some of the opportunities available. Public policy graduates may have the opportunity to become legislators or politicians, these positions, however, are limited and difficult to secure due to long and expensive campaigns. Public policy degree jobs may include political staff positions, policy researchers, policy analysts, non-profit employees, or lobbyists. Public policy degree jobs are broad in spectrum and need not be limited to what is listed above. Graduates can move on and become excellent community leaders and managers.
There are numerous professional organizations that will appeal to graduates with public policy degrees. The great thing about these organizations is that there is one to represent many sectors of this field. The organizations range from the American Political Science Association (APSA) which focuses on expanding the understanding of politics to the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) which seeks to improve public policy through research, analysis and education. Another important association that graduates may want to associate themselves with is the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). This organization focuses on improving the running operations within governance systems, nonprofit organizations, private and public sectors, by implementing public policies.