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What policy jobs can I get without an MPP?

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I just finished a summer program in public policy, and discovered that while I love the topic, I'm not a big fan of how it is taught in MPP programs. What kind of jobs in public policy can I get without a degree? If I want to do policy advocacy, should I go ahead and pursue the degree? #policy #public-policy #masters-degree #career #job

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Claire’s Answer


Hi Deana! I've spent the last 7 years working in the public policy/nonprofit space, and there are tons of people there without MPPs. You can do research, project/program management, analytics, operations, etc. in the public policy space without an MPP. In fact, it might even be more advantageous to have a degree in the specific skill you are interested in doing (ex. Masters in Communications, MBA for strategy, Project Management Professional certificate for project management work, Masters in Statistics or Analytics).

I've also seen many people who are specifically interested in policy advocacy pursue graduate degrees in the specific content area that they want to work in, such as graduate degrees in Housing, Transportation, Government, etc. While the MPP is a great generalist degree, it's not a requirement to work in the public policy space!

Claire recommends the following next steps:

  • Though you've identified that you want to work in the public policy space, what specifically do you want to do skill-wise (ex. writing, organizing, research) and what type of policy do you want to work with (ex. housing, transportation, financial regulation)? Identifying these things will open up your options for next steps and graduate degrees to pursue.