Conducting research and interpreting data on social and political issues such as national security, crime prevention, health care, infrastructure, and environmental protection are all part of policy analyst jobs. Proposing solutions to societal problems and working to influence government action on the issues are also part of the policy analyst job description. Analyst positions in the federal government, state governments, nonprofit organizations, private companies, and foundations or trusts are the most common policy analyst jobs. Subcategories can be created within each type.
Foreign policy analyst, government policy analyst, antiterrorism policy analyst, and arms control policy analyst are examples of typical policy analyst jobs in the federal government. There is some overlap between these two types of policy analysts. A foreign policy analyst and an arms control policy analyst, for example, are both familiar with the details of treaties governing missiles and chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. All types of government policy analyst jobs necessitate the ability to evaluate the principles underlying current policies and present proposals for developing new policies based on statistical data.
Some of the most common policy analyst jobs in the private sector and within nonprofit organizations, foundations, and trusts are health policy analyst, public safety policy analyst, and higher education policy analyst. A health policy analyst, for example, usually works for a group dedicated to improving access to health care for specific groups of people. Attempting to influence relevant government agencies through formal or informal memos, articles in the media or academic journals, and presentations before public or professional audiences are all part of the job description.
Strategic research policy analyst, product development policy analyst, aviation policy analyst, medical material policy analyst, and occupational safety policy analyst are all examples of policy analyst jobs. Accounting, data gathering, meeting deadlines, effectively communicating, and analyzing data are all required skills for any policy analyst job. Analysts in charge of policy should also be able to research the effects of new technologies in their field.
A bachelor’s degree is usually required for entry-level policy analyst positions. A master’s degree and several years of experience in the field are required for more advanced positions. Top-secret security clearance is also required for some high-level policy analyst jobs in sensitive areas of the federal government. A policy analyst’s typical fields of study include political science, economics, business administration, and public policy. Some policy analysts begin their careers as program analysts, college instructors, or assistants to seasoned policy analysts.