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.

Occupational profile


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)

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