Anirudh Tagat is an Adjunct Faculty, Behavioural Economics. Ph.D. Economics, IITB-Monash Research Academy. MSc Economics, University of Warwick. He teaches Behavioural Economics as part of the Academy’s PGP Economics program. He also designs course curriculum for courses in Public Policy as part of MDAE’s online courses platform.
Over the past few years, public policy has become a sought-after career among young Indians. Especially in a developing and democratic country like India, the youth seek greater participation in creating sustainable and effective policies to recover from global pressing issues such as climate change, with one eye on enabling growth. To do so, professionals need to be equipped with an in-depth understanding of public policy.
Increasingly in India as well as in other countries, the government is becoming more open to new talent, concepts, and designs from outside the ranks of the bureaucratic establishment. This has given rise to the demand for public policy professionals. For economics or finance professionals with specialization in public policy, the opportunities are endless. Furthermore, a career in public policy opens work opportunities in various national and international organizations across domains, in both public and private sectors. Below is a list of potential career opportunities that public policy professions have:
Development and Research Specialists
One of the core essentials in policymaking is research. Therefore, most national and international organizations have a dedicated team of researchers. A public policy professional uses data, market trends, surveys, and polls to advise stakeholders, lawmakers, and other individuals in making strategic policies. It helps the government, as well as private organizations, understand the current and potential economic trends, thereby helping them set a future course of action. Greater demand for research by organizations across the spectrum has also increased the job opportunities for researchers with expertise in public policy.
Public Policy Faculty
With the increasing demand for public policy professionals, there is also a proliferation of public policy courses integrated into existing programs or taught as specialized postgraduate programs as well. This has created a multi-fold demand for professors and lecturers in universities across the country. In India, leading management institutes have started imparting public policy specialization to students pursuing graduate and postgraduate degrees. This has, in turn, increased positions for public policy experts as lecturers at Indian public and private universities.
Public Policy Experts in Government Sector
In the public sector, policymaking is a crucial department for almost every vertical, including public administration, political science, law management, international relations, geography, economics, science, environmental laws as well as social welfare. The state and central government offer a plethora of job opportunities for public policy professionals in different fields. As per a recent survey, there will be a 17% rise in vacancies for social and community service managers with expertise in policy making.
Public Administrators in the Public Sector
For most professionals in the public sector, certification in public policy enables a better understanding of policy making. This also facilitates forging sustainable and humane policies that benefit both people and the administration. Therefore, having expertise in public policy gives professionals an added benefit when working in the public sector.
Policy Experts in the Corporate Sector
Gradually, more organizations have started focusing on developing policies that align with the company’s triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial impact). This has given rise to the demand for policy analysts, public policy managers, and public affairs managers in the private sector as well. A policy analyst reviews, evaluates, and monitors policies and legislation to ascertain their benefits, shortcomings, and potential consequences for stakeholders. By collaborating with various stakeholders, a policy analyst ensures that holistic perspectives on specific policies are considered before their design and implementation.
Public policy is no longer solely the domain of the government – research and practice in this area are used across a diverse set of stakeholders (nonprofits, think tanks, research institutes, and private corporations). This gives numerous opportunities for those trained for policymaking in administration, management, and research. Post Graduation with public policy elective opens new avenues for employment in dynamic fields such as education, healthcare, administration, management, corporate, and national and international institutions. A rigorous qualification in public policy includes training in economics, data analytics, and political science. For those seeking a career in policy-making, a Post Graduation with Public Policy Major will open a plethora of opportunities in different domains in the public and the private sector.