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Students interested in public affairs have a number of different career opportunities, including: nonprofit management, urban policy, health policy, public finance, information technology, social policy and environmental policy, among others.
Many students who study public affairs find they have a variety of career options in public service, either in the United States or abroad. Public service positions include most jobs funded by public tax dollars, such as working for a parks and recreation or police department.
A graduate degree in public affairs is a good idea for a student considering a career in nonprofit management. While many nonprofit positions require students to have degrees in social work, the management aspect requires a different skill set. A candidate for this position would be expected to have the ability to fundraise, lead and manage employees, communicate effectively with donors and colleagues and manage finances. A graduate degree in public affairs with a nonprofit management track would prepare someone in these areas.
Students interested in urban policy will also be interested in earning a masters degree. Their coursework will prepare them to plan and develop urban municipalities, analyze urban policies, work on urban redevelopment, create plans to mitigate poverty, and create sustainable cities. Programs in social policy prepare students to implement and analyze policies aimed at improving the lives of marginalized populations. Environmental policy students will focus their work on careers as environmental and public managers. Health policy programs are tailored to students who wish to become advocates for healthcare, policy analysts, healthcare managers and leaders in the healthcare industry.