Public policy encompasses many services, such as human services, social work, public administration, community organization, policy analysis, law enforcement, advocacy and more. Skills in research, critical thinking, data analysis, communication and creativity are vital for social service and public policy professionals. To succeed in the world of public policy, professionals must also have strong interpersonal, analytical and quantitative skills. Public policy professionals need to understand statistics, business, the humanities and social sciences to convey informed policy recommendations.
An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of West Florida (UWF) offers a comprehensive curriculum for students to gain expert business skills, experiences and tools to advance a career in public policy. This online degree program provides real-world learning experiences to develop the required knowledge to pursue careers in public policy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and community service managers earn an average of $74,000 annually. The job outlook should grow 12% — much faster than average.
Essential Skills for the Public Policy Professional
Public policy impacts every part of everyday life — from healthcare to education to law enforcement, public policy impacts society’s political, economic and social needs. Below are some of the vital skills that public policy professionals need and why they’re important.
- Persuasive communication is an essential skill for policymakers. Public policy professionals must successfully communicate ideas in a clear, compelling manner with written, verbal and multimedia communication. Speaking with a wide range of audiences to persuade and enact policy change is one of the prime objectives of a policymaker. Tactful engagement with clients, community members, government officials and other leaders can foster dynamic relationships. Providing and responding to criticism and feedback in straightforward and productive ways is beneficial for those interested in a career in public policy. Students can learn strong communication skills while writing, presenting and speaking during their MBA studies at UWF.
- Critical thinking. Having strong critical-thinking skills can aid in anticipating the needs and potential issues of every situation. Analyzing information gleaned from research and synthesizing the pros and cons to develop new solutions involves creativity and strong critical-thinking skills. When public policy professionals understand the cause of a problem and provide innovative solutions, they can make informed decisions.
- Research skills come into play in various areas of public policy. From developing research models, interpreting data, defining issues, assessing needs, understanding research findings and policy reports, research skills are an important part of the public policy package. Public policy professionals need to be adept at using various research tools and methodologies to understand any problem that comes their way.
- Data analysis. Data analysis and research are closely associated. Public policy professionals need to wade through large amounts of information and extract the data to make sense of information, solve problems and suggest informed solutions. By having evidence-based facts about a given situation, public policy professionals can have an objective viewpoint of the data to consider problems from multiple perspectives.
How Can an Online MBA Prepare Students for a Career in Public Policy?
Students enrolled in the online MBA program at the University of West Florida can gain the necessary preparation to succeed as a public policy or social services professional. UWF’s online program equips graduates with versatile, broad business skills and experience in public policy practices, teamwork, group problem-solving, leadership, analytical and research skills.
Learn more about the University of West Florida’s online Master of Business Administration program.