What Jobs Can I Get in the Private and Nonprofit Sectors with an Online Master of Public Policy?

Man on business call
Man on business call

One way experienced public policy professionals can advance their careers is by completing graduate degrees. The traditional Masters of Public Policy trains degree candidates how to design policies. The Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership (MPPL) program from the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University builds leadership skills that take policies to the next level and affect change across roles and industries.

Public policy career options extend beyond the public sector. A fast-moving, interconnected world calls for trained leaders who can muster solutions to complex challenges. Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership graduates qualify for a wide range of jobs because of the program’s focus on equipping leaders who can leverage that complexity to ensure their nonprofits and businesses stay competitive and evolve into the future.

Translating Public Policy Skills into Non-Governmental Jobs

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) surveyed 16,000 public-sector managers on the skills needed for success in government. This research found four common themes from respondents:

  • Leading employees

  • Facilitating change

  • Involving employees in important decisions

  • Working within the confines of policy-making environments

In short, the public sector requires change-oriented leaders who understand the limits and possibilities in their work while building teams that can redefine both. These traits are not exclusive to government positions; in fact, CCL found similar priorities in responses to a separate survey of business managers.

An online Master of Public Policy and Leadership gives you public policy skills applicable across sectors and industries to produce data-driven leaders who rightfully center their decisions on the people they affect. These skills are invaluable among organizations of all types and sizes in their search for future-proof leadership.

Private-Sector Careers with Public Policy Degrees

In today’s environment of expanding government action, knowing how to navigate the vagaries of local, state, and national government processes is invaluable to startups and established companies. Public policy career options in the business world also draw on interpersonal skills honed through work with diverse audiences. An online Master of Public Policy and Leadership can be parlayed into the following job titles that will be in demand for the foreseeable future.

Government Relations Manager or Director

Corporations rely on government relations personnel to communicate with legislators. Managers and directors oversee skilled staffers who brief public figures on beneficial regulatory environments for specific industries. A government relations team secures permits, licenses, and other documents necessary for future projects.

Bloomberg Government’s 2020 compensation report places government relations among the most lucrative public policy career options. The median salary for a government relations manager was $101,336. An online Master of Public Policy and Leadership unlocks promotion opportunities including director ($163,785) and executive ($241,682) positions.

Marketing Manager or Director

Developing an effective marketing strategy requires a knowledge of what people want and need. Public relations firms and corporations need marketing managers and directors who are capable of turning their policy goals into impactful campaigns. Experienced professionals who complete the online Master of Public Policy and Leadership balance audience needs with client goals in this public policy career option.

Robert Half Talent Solutions found a median salary of $81,250 for marketing managers and $112,250 per year for marketing directors. The top 25% of directors averaged $138,500 in base compensation.

Public Relations Director

Public relations directors are tasked with strengthening client reputations among consumers and media outlets. This public policy career option mixes clear communication, strategic thinking, and oversight of myriad components of relations strategy. Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership graduates are perfectly poised to elevate the public images of business clients.

The average salary of a public relations director is $100,750, according to Robert Half Talent Solutions. Experienced directors can move into vice presidencies at their firms with median salaries of $143,750.

Nonprofit Public Policy Career Options

Social service providers, charities, and educational institutions need policy-minded leaders. The nonprofit sector frequently collaborates with public-sector entities to achieve their missions. Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership graduates can stand astride these two worlds with these public policy career options.

Community Service Manager

Charities and nonprofit organizations rely on community service managers to connect with local stakeholders. Managers develop plans that maximize the impacts of programs provided by their employers. The BLS includes the following tasks in the typical week of a community service manager:

  • Writing proposals for public and private sector funding

  • Facilitating public workshops to gather feedback on needed services

  • Monitoring performance metrics when considering program evolution

Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership graduates can fill the projected 15% growth in community service manager jobs through 2030. The BLS lists a median salary of $69,600, with experienced managers in specialized roles earning $115,800.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

Colleges and universities constitute interrelated departments all geared toward the education of students. Public policy professionals can develop student service programs, advise students, and guide departments as postsecondary education administrators. An online Master of Public Policy and Leadership that centers decisions on people prepares graduates for this public policy career option.

The BLS projects postsecondary education administration jobs will grow 8% by 2030. Administrators earn a median salary of $97,500, with top earners earning more than $199,000.

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Opening Public Policy Career Options at Pepperdine University

The Online Master of Public Policy and Leadership from the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University produces graduates who synthesize history, philosophy, and data when making decisions. Online MPPL students learn to infuse ethics and morality into the policy world. The program presents a diversity of viewpoints and leadership styles applicable to any public policy decision.

Every Master of Public Policy and Leadership candidate starts with a five-course Public Policy Leadership core. A capstone project in the final semester challenges each student to create an implementable policy or program for a real-world challenge. Students prepare for public policy career options by completing at least one of the following specializations:

Public policy practitioners get the best value for their educational dollars at a leading university. U.S. News & World Report showed where Pepperdine University stands among its competitors with rankings including:

  • No. 23 in Best Colleges for Veterans

  • No. 47 in Best Value Schools

  • No. 49 in National Universities

Find out how the online Master of Public Policy and Leadership from Pepperdine University can elevate your career

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