Policy Analyst Job Description

Policy Analyst Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a policy analyst job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a policy analyst. Feel free to use our policy analyst job description template to produce your own policy analyst job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a policy analyst.

 

Who is a Policy Analyst?

A Policy Analyst is an individual who examines policies to evaluate their efficiency.  research policies to ascertain if the policies match objectives, review and amend policy drafts, and suggest ways in which policies can be improved. The role they play is to try and influence policies set aside by the government of the day. They achieve their aim by conducting in-depth research and collating data. Policy analysts try to checkmate the data to ascertain whether it is working or not and then project what may be effective.

Policy analysts try to address social circumstances surrounding society and they achieve this by conducting in-depth research to determine current regulations and estimate the impact of the current ones they also present their research findings and give suggestions to politicians, executives, legislators, and those that are responsible for passing bills and formulating laws. They also study political trends, factions, and tensions to look for various solutions to circumstances facing society. These professionals perform a great responsibility in society, they have a great influence on governance and they also pass across information to the populace about public programs and governance. A good policy analyst is expected to possess a strong specialized knowledge and a strong grasp of the legal considerations related to policy development. Excellent policy analysts must provide direction and good suggestions that will bring about rapid growth and development within the organization. They specialize in topics such as labor, defense, energy, transportation, health services, environment, science, criminal law, economy, urban planning, and finance.

 

Policy Analyst Job Description

What is a policy analyst job description? A policy analyst job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a policy analyst in an organization. Below are the policy analyst job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a policy analyst job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a policy analyst include the following:

  • Examine and review legislation and policies
  • Specify the benefits and drawbacks of existing policies
  • Recommend suggestions to improve the effects of policies
  • Recognize legal flaws in policies and recommend an amendment
  • Edit and amend policy draft as required
  • Liaise with stakeholders to determine the needs and goals of policies
  • Compile data and produce reports on the qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Assess market trends and condition
  • Discuss with internal and external stakeholders to ensure the inclusion of relevant factors
  • Report findings and recommend current policies or amendments to existing policies
  • Document processes and disseminating information to stakeholders
  • Recognize benefits, disadvantages, and omissions in exciting policy frameworks
  • Monitor political events such as current events and news media coverage
  • Raise public awareness about a current or impending issue
  • Project political and social trends in the society
  • Present reports and suggestions to government employees, politicians, and public audiences

 

Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations, Public Administration, Legal Studies, Sociology, Economics, Philosophy, Public Policy, Mass Communication, or a related field
  • A Master’s  degree in political science or a related field
  • In-depth experience in determining if policies align with objectives
  • Outstanding ability to determine policy oversights and omissions
  • Progressive ability to recommend new policies or amendments and prepare draft versions
  • in-depth knowledge of legal considerations relevant to policies
  • Progressive knowledge of conventions and standards in policy writing
  • Capacity to work together with internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience in preparing reports and presenting findings
  • Excellent recordkeeping and communication skills
  • High organizational and time-management skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Outstanding team player with a strong ability to contribute positively to a team environment
  • Capacity to sit in front of a computer for long hours

 

Essential Skills

There are certain skills and competencies that a policy analyst needs to have to make an impact on social issues and the society they find their selves in. Here are some skills that can help them be successful in their responsibilities:

  • Analytical thinking: This is a core skill policy analysts need to possess to be able to think critically and brainstorm suggestions that help Analytical skills equip them to observe a situation critically and get a logical interpretation from it. Policy analysts can gain a lot from this skill because their responsibility is to analyze information or data and draw up conclusions by making necessary recommendations to influence a policy already set aside by the government of the society.
  • Research: Government officials, executives, and politicians rely on the research of policy analysts before they formulate a policy. In most democratic societies, the government of the day will brief the populace about a new policy they are about to implement and this will attract policymakers to make debate or research it; if the prospective policy is accepted by policy analysts then the government of the day proceeds to implement the policy.

Policy analysts conduct research that consists of collecting data and analyzing the data through various methodologies such as surveys, focus groups, case studies, outcome studies, and cost-benefit analysis.

  • Critical Thinking: Policy analysts must know how to think very deeply about the information they receive to ascertain if the information is authentic. To think critically, they have to ask intelligent questions and come up with different assumptions before making conclusions about issues. They must possess a mindset that loves to investigate deeply into a prevalent issue in society.
  • Problem-solving: Policy analysts use their analytical and critical thinking skills to bring solutions to a lot of problems society is facing. They can achieve this because they are important components of the government and they have a role to play in the resolution of public challenges.  They utilize tools  and methods of government to bring about a positive transformation in the society
  • Communication: Policy analysts must possess outstanding communication skills to present their research findings at conferences, seminars, and press briefings. Communication is very important because policy analysts communicate governmental policies to the public and they also debate about government policies and how they can make or mar society.

In addition, having good verbal communication skills is not enough, you need to also have writing communication skills to document your report and research findings. Policy analysts may sometimes be mandated to do a paper presentation; this paper presentation must be documented for future reference or consultation.

  • Creativity: this field demands the use of creativity to analyze a policy. A good policy analyst must make research or consult historical documents about government policies to use the past to project the future. Good policy analysts can predict what the future will look like based on the policy the government executes. They also use their experience with previous projects and policies to settle current difficulties.
  • Team Spirit: Policy analysts do not work in isolation; they work with other colleagues to conduct research and analyze topics such as defense, finance, labor, energy, environment, and others. When they work together with a team of experts, it will be very easy for them to achieve their goals. They are also responsible for enhancing unity and solidarity among factions, especially in a divisive political atmosphere.

 

How to Become a Policy Analyst

  • Enroll for a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a policy analyst is to enroll for a bachelor’s degree in Political science, Public Administration, International relations, Legal Studies, Economics, Philosophy, and Public policy. This degree usually takes four years to complete and that is the minimum qualification a policy needs to have. Most employers offer entry-level positions to degree certificate holders and if you want to advance in your career; you may need to enroll for a master’s degree. This undergraduate degree will help you hone some salient skills such as analytical and critical thinking skills.

  • Enroll for a Master’s Degree

The role of policy analysts is a top-notch role and most employers may demand an advanced degree. Acquiring an advanced degree can build your skills and help you gain favor from your potential employers. Consider enrolling in any of the following professional master’s courses:

  • Master of Public Administration: acquiring a master’s in public administration will help you to harness some exceptional skills that policy analysts have. You will be tutored in topics such as policy analysis, ethics and managerial accounting, public management and budgeting, microeconomics, statistics, and program evaluation.
  • Master of Public Policy: Pursuing a master’s degree in public policy means you will be exposed to areas such as democracy and governance, urban planning, government and business regulation, education and labor, and economic growth. Exposure to these areas will help you to become an outstanding policy analyst
  • Master of International Affairs: Pursuing this degree can expose you to interesting areas such as; international economics, trade politics, foreign societies, international law, and cultures.
  • Get the Requisite Work Experience

Having the relevant work experience can make you fall in the good books of your potential employer. While in high school or college; you can join the press club, debate club, or any other club where you can learn about public policy skills. You can also get experience after you graduate from college or university. You can enroll in a voluntary internship with the government or a lawmaker to build your knowledge about legislation and governance. This will also help you to see how policy analysts gather data and conduct research and also lobby government officials to influence a policy.

  • Earn certification

Although certification is not mandatory as most employers will employ you without it but it can your chances of securing a job. Certifications prove that you have completed other training and you are competent for the job. You can try out the following certifications especially if you want to apply for a managerial role and they are: Policy Analysis Certification Program, Public Policy Analysis (graduate certificate), and Certificate in Policy Strategy.

  • Build your Professional Network
  • You need to build a professional network to help you secure a job fast as a policy analyst. To achieve this, you should start by building a good relationship with your colleagues at work, supervisors you meet on the field, and other sets of people you may come across on the field.
  • In addition, another way to expand your professional network is by joining a professional organization or society that shares the same interest as you. This group will expose you to professionals in the field that you can get to learn more about policy analysts. You can also get first-hand opportunities to attend conferences and participate in webinars on relevant industry topics. For instance, you can join the following groups: The American Society for Public Administration, The American Political Science Association, and The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
  • Apply for Jobs

Once you have the requirements a policy analyst needs to have; draft a marketable resume and apply for jobs. Highlight your education, experience, and skills in the resume. Apply for open positions available in your locality and you can also utilize the online search engine to look out for open job vacancies.

 

Where can a Policy Analysts Work?

A policy analyst works in an office environment at a desk. They spend most of their time researching public issues, especially current ones. They can also travel to attend conferences, political debates, and legislation procedures to lobby for a particular policy or regulation. They mostly work full-time at normal office hours but they may be called upon for an urgent issue. They can work in the following:

  • Lobbying agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Nonprofits organization
  • Media houses
  • Government agencies
  • Special interest groups
  • Businesses

 

Policy Analyst Salary

The salary of a policy analyst varies across different countries and these are some examples:

  • In Nigeria, The national average salary for an Analyst is NGN 180,000 per month. The salary varies based on the geographic location and experience of the policy analyst.
  • In the United States, The average policy analyst earns up to $76,241 per year or $39.10 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $62,070 per year while most experienced workers make up to $111,442 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, The average salary for a Policy Analyst is £37,685 per year in London. The salary comes with other benefits such as medical, transportation, and housing.
  • In South Africa, The average research analyst earns up to R 2 832 108 per year or R 1 452 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at R 300 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 7 200 000 per year.
  • In Australia, The average policy analyst earns up to $106,117 per year or $54.42 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $93,993 per year, while most experienced workers up to $126,797 per year.

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