A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. Possible career paths include civil service administrator, city manager, and diplomat. Every industry has policy related jobs. Think tanks, policy analysis, lobbying, research and advocacy organizations have opportunities for almost any policy interest or skill set. Those interested in policy may also work with private employers, acting as higher education advisors, public relations specialists, and healthcare coordinators.
We encourage you to check out these recommended resources for career exploration, internship and job searches as well as engaging with professional associations for networking.
Learn & Explore
- Foreign Policy Jobs: From K Street to The Hill (PDF) — Contains lists of links for a wide variety of foreign policy organizations
- MDRC — Social policy research organization, and the website has links to recent publications, press releases, and public-use files. You can also learn more about current policy issues such as welfare reform, the working poor, family and children and education.
- Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at U Penn — Often referred to as the “think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations.
- Career guide to Environmental Policy jobs
- Partnership for Public Service — Job, internship and career information for students interested in public service.
- Opportunities in Public Affairs — Internship opportunities in the Washington, DC area focused on government, public relations, advocacy, and media.
- Global Jobs — Jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities in NGOs, think tanks, government, and the private sector.
- Indeed — search engine posting various policy jobs and internships
- EMILY’s List — Internship designed to gain political/campaign experience and for those interested in a politics career
- National Council of State Legislatures — Job listings for positions in state legislatures and other public policy jobs. Also includes a video and general information about exploring legislative careers.
- US Department of State — Updates on employment opportunities, including internships and programs for students in the US Department of State.
- United States Senate — Learn about job opportunities, internships and fellowships in the senate
- The House of Representatives — Employment opportunities within the House of Representatives
- Poverty Action Lab — global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence, recruits for hundreds of positions in field research, project management, and data analysis, as well as policy outreach
- Public Policy of California— internships & job for those interested in a public policy career to work in a policy research environment
- Peter G. Petersen Foundation — Internship program engages students in fiscal policy by providing them with paid research experience at public policy institutions in DC (includes Brookings Institution, Urban Institute, Niskanen Center, and many others)
- National Bureau of Economic Research— maintains a list of research assistant job opportunities
Sample Internships, Fellowships & Professional Associations
- Emerson National Hunger Fellows — 11-month fellowship with orientation and field training in DC, five months with community-based organizations throughout the U.S., and the remainder of the time with organizations and government agencies focused on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy
- IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute Fellowship — offers competitive internship and fellowship programs to explore the world of research in support of critical national security issues. Programs offer students hands-on technical experience under the guidance of senior research staff and mentors.
- Soros Justice Fellowships — 12-18 months, funds outstanding individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, spur debate, and catalyze change on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system
- Coro Fellowships — develops emerging leaders to work and lead across different sectors by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and networks to accelerate positive change
- Carnegie James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program — 1-year program where students work as research assistants to Carnegie scholars
- Bipartisan Policy Center– internship program offers stipend, for rising juniors or above