Policy Researchers & Analysts
Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Policy analysts review and analyze political and social events, raise public awareness of issues and shape government or organizational policy. They may specialize in areas such as: education, health, national defense, public finance, international trade, industrial organization, international relations, energy, environment, labour, urban and regional development or agriculture. (alis) They are employed by a range of organizations, including: municipal, provincial and federal government departments and agencies; private industry; hospitals; educational institutions; consulting establishments; professional associations; research institutes; non-government organizations; and international organizations; or they may be self-employed (NOC).
Policy analysts may move across areas and between specialty fields throughout their career. Some positions may require specific knowledge and experience. The page below includes information about policy analysis generally, with an overview of some areas. Note that a separate profile exists for Economic Policy Analyst.
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Canadian occupational descriptions
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information
- Environmental Policy Analyst career profile - ECO Canada
- O*NET Online - detailed occupational information (U.S.)
- Policy Analysts: Shaping society through research and problem-solving (U.S.)
- Article: The coolest government organization you've never heard of - Policy Options
- Interview: Science Policy Analyst - from Scitable by Nature Education
- Member Interviews - Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
- Government of Canada - policy analyst career profiles: International Telecommunications & Internet Policy and Science & Research Sector
- Career Mentor profile - Federal Public Service Program Manager
- Discover Your Future in Healthcare session recording - Health Policy and Health Education and Promotion
Some entry-level policy analyst positions may require only a bachelor's degree, but professional advancement often requires a master's or doctoral degree. A wide range of majors can prepare a person for a career as a policy analyst, but common fields of study include political science, sociology, economics, law, public policy and international relations. (alis)
U of M Academic Calendar
The Academic Calendar & Catalogue outlines program admission and course requirements. Use the left menu to navigate to a specific faculty and program. To determine which degree path suits your unique occupational goals, speak with a Career Consultant. For support with course registration and academic issues, speak with an Academic Advisor.
Faculty and Department Homepages
Visit U of M's faculty and department homepage to learn about program application deadlines and processes, as well as additional in-house resources and opportunities.
Exploring Other Education Options
- Search Education Directories
Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration - Member Schools
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration - Accredited Programs (U.S.)
Information for foreign-trained professionals - Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
- Trend Analysis: Job Market Report - Gov. of Canada Job Bank
- Economics and Social Sciences Group Annual Rates of Pay - Government of Canada
- Government Employees' Master Agreement (select "Social Sciences" - classified as "PM") - Manitoba Government
Professional associations may organize events and provide directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities may also be available. This is a great way to learn and network!
- Institute of Public Administration in Canada (IPAC) - Manitoba Chapter
- Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) - U.S.
- Canadian Evaluation Society - Manitoba Chapter
Directories, Industry Associations and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA)
- Canadian Think Tanks listing - University of Alberta Libraries
- List of Canadian Think Tanks - from McGill University
- Think Tank Search - from Harvard Kennedy School
- OnThinkTanks.org - Directory of over 2700 Think Tanks
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities
- Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) - members list
- International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum - List of International Partner Associations
Search the industry-specific job boards below to learn about skill requirements, employers, job duties and available jobs. You may also wish to search more general online job boards.
These external resources may provide you with additional information about the occupation and opportunities to build experience as well as provide a sample of organizations from various policy areas:
- UM Research Centres, Institutes, Affiliates and Groups
- Manitoba Centre for Health Policy - University of Manitoba
- Manitoba Institute for Policy Research
- Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)
- Policy Options - Podcast by the Institute for Research on Public Policy on a variety policies effecting Canadians
- Podcasts and Webinars - from APPAM (U.S)
- Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
- The Conference Board of Canada
- Brookefield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship
- Education and Training - Urban Institute (U.S)
- Government of Canada - Policy Horizons
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Canadian Council on Social Development
- Canadian Public Health Association
- Institute for Mental Health Policy Research - Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
- Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research
- Health Policy - World Health Organization (WHO)
- The Canadian Science Policy Centre
- Environmental Studies Association of Canada
- Global Council for Science and the Environment (U.S.)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (U.S.)
- European Science Foundation (International)
- Canadian International Council - Winnipeg Branch
- International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
- International Development Research Centre
- Economic Analysis and Policy Division - United Nations