Policy analysts are employed by think tanks; local, state, and federal government agencies; trade associations; political parties; colleges and universities; and corporations. Some also work as college professors or own consulting firms.
Nearly 22 percent of U.S. think tanks (approximately 400 institutions) are located in Washington, D.C., according to the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, which is prepared by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
Visit https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=think_tanks for a list of the top think tanks in the United States and the world, as well as the best by area of research.
There are many ways to break into this career. Some people become policy analysts directly after graduate school, but these positions are relatively rare. Most employers prefer to hire policy analysts who are experts in a particular area. Typical paths of entry include:
You can learn about job openings by visiting the Web sites of think tanks, associations, and related organizations. Your college’s career services counselor can provide job leads and help with your job search. The federal government is a major employer of policy analysts. You can access job listings with federal agencies by visiting https://www.usajobs.gov.
Highly-skilled and-experienced policy analysts can advance to become research project managers and, eventually, to executive-level positions in their organizations. Those with a strong track record of publication and attracting clients or funding, or who become influential in the media or through public speaking events, might work for political campaigns or on Congressional staffs. Others run for elected office or open consulting firms.
Visit https://www.appam.org/career-education-resources/career-advice for tips on pursuing a career in public service.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Internships provide an excellent way to learn about careers, obtain experience, and build your network. Visit the following Web site to learn about internship opportunities: