Four Career Benefits of an Online Master of Public Policy

collaborative business meeting
collaborative business meeting

Solving public policy problems extends far beyond the halls of government to include public and private stakeholders. To make this happen, effective policy leaders must turn a broad spectrum of perspectives, interests, and experiences into lasting and sustainable policy solutions. Effective public, nonprofit, and private sector leaders have the public policy skills to constructively construct, lead, and respond to these complex community environments.

Aspiring policy leaders who want to make a difference in today’s rapidly shifting policy environment can choose to advance their careers with an Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership degree. In this blog, we’ll discuss four benefits this degree can have for your advancing career in Public Policy.

Leadership Skills

Present and future challenges across the world will not fit into traditional policy silos. A Public Policy degree develops subject area expertise in public finance, education, and other topics that will supercharge your understanding in these critical subject areas. Communities and organizations need leaders who can extend beyond traditional thinking in these areas to produce new solutions.

A 2019 Deloitte report evaluated evolving priorities in the public sector over the previous decade. This study found the following changes in public expectations of their leaders:

  • Creativity to achieve policy goals despite budget constraints

  • Resiliency to maintain steady leadership during uncertain times

  • Comfort with ambiguity and unconventional partnerships

  • Team building and prioritization of tasks to specialists

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) surveyed its member countries to determine important competencies for public servants. This survey found common ground in the most common responses including:

  • Values and ethics

  • Leadership

  • Achieving results

  • Strategic thinking

  • Communication

An Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership program can prepare graduates for these expectations.

Cross-Sector Career Opportunities

Public Policy graduate programs equip students for careers beyond government careers. Solutions to today’s complex policy problems require the participation of many public and private actors and a degree in Public Policy and Leadership equips students to not only understand the differences and contributions of each sector, but to successfully lead in any of them. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) tracks where policy students work after graduation. The 2017-2018 report found graduates were engaged in the following sectors:

  • 49% government

  • 23% nonprofit

  • 17% private sector

  • 3% doctoral or other graduate education

Prospective students should ask, “Which public policy degree will be most beneficial for my career?” Policy, affairs, and administration programs without leadership components work best for public sector careers. Leaders who want the flexibility to move between sectors throughout their public policy careers will benefit from developing their leadership skills through an innovative Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership program.

Expanded Career Mobility

Public Policy and Leadership graduates may find expanded career opportunities, including leadership positions within government agencies and think tanks. Leadership-focused policy experts qualify for jobs as city managers and public information officers along with agency management positions.

Public Policy and Leadership graduates can use their skills to lead schools, faith-based organizations, and foundations. Private sector firms look for policy-savvy leaders for positions including:

  • Government Relations Director

  • Public Relations Director

  • Policy Director

  • Executive Director/Assistant Director

  • City Manager

Ability to Anticipate and Adapt to Future Trends

The world is changing fast. The World Economic Forum—an international organization with public and private sector members—studied economic trends in eight countries to determine long-term demand for skills. The Future of Jobs Report 2020 used this research in determining the top skills for 2025 including:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation

  2. Active learning

  3. Complex problem-solving

  4. Critical thinking and analysis

  5. Creativity, originality, and initiative

Current graduate students are training as much for tomorrow’s challenges as today’s in-demand skills. The leadership focus of a Public Policy and Leadership degree is particularly good at fostering the development of just these skills, positioning their graduates well for the future job market.

Pepperdine University’s Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership trains students in data-driven decision-making in demand by employers across the world. This degree approaches leadership as a people-centered enterprise that mobilizes the right resources for each policy discussion. Policy experts with leadership training are ready to respond to shifting future changes in public expectations--a skill that is increasingly in demand by organizations and employers of all types.

Learning Public Policy and Leadership at Pepperdine University

The School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University emphasizes servant leadership with its Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership program. Students are taught to seek and understand the full range of diverse perspectives as they advance organizational and agency goals. Every degree candidate can build on the program’s Public Policy Leadership core courses with one or more of the following concentrations:

  • Education Policy and Innovation

  • Leadership, Advocacy, and Policy Communications

  • Local Government Leadership and Innovation

Public policy students at Pepperdine University benefit from its strong national reputation. The School of Public Policy has trained future employees of the RAND Corporation, Accenture, and the Bipartisan Policy Center, as well as leaders at all levels of government. U.S. News & World Report recognizes the value of a Pepperdine degree in its annual rankings, listing it as:

  • No. 23 in Best Colleges for Veterans

  • No. 47 in Best Value Schools

  • No. 49 in National Universities

Find out more about the Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership offered by Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.

Interested in studying on-campus? Learn more about the on-ground Master of Public Policy program we offer at our Malibu campus.