Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in public affairs. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and potential job growth information.

Public Affairs Explained – What is Public Affairs

What is public affairs?

Public affairs is a discipline that focuses on an organizations relationship with its stakeholders and with the public. Professionals in this field can work in a variety of settings to analyze, monitor and manage an organizations decisions and polices. They may help create policies within an organization, study how policies affect the community or manage an entitys relationship with media and other public sources.

Work in public affairs often combines knowledge and practices from a range of areas, such as:

15 public affairs degree jobs

Here are 15 jobs you can explore with a public affairs degree:

Primary duties: Event planners coordinate and manage events for individuals or companies. They scout locations, arrange deliveries and payments, execute contracts with vendors and manage the event budget. Event planners who work for large organizations must ensure the event reflects a positive brand image. Earning a degree, like a public affairs degree, can help event planners earn more in their field and provide a broader range of clients.

Primary duties: Gather facts, conduct interviews and write news reports on topics such as world events, politics, health and entertainment. Deliver reports live on the air or via online streaming. News reporters must understand a wide variety of issues, including public policy, and must have strong communication skills.

Primary duties: Advocacy managers oversee the development and implementation of advocacy initiatives. This may involve client or customer advocacy, organizational advocacy or government programs. Advocacy managers develop strategies to empower their clients, create a positive public image of their organization and incorporate market trends. As supervisors, many advocacy managers will need at least a bachelors degree to hold this position.

Primary duties: Public relations managers are responsible for building a companys public image. They manage the organizations public-facing communications, such as news articles, interviews and press releases, and assess current market trends to keep their company relevant. A public affairs degree can provide PR managers with an in-depth knowledge of public relations topics, including professional communications, media and organizational ethics.

Primary duties: Political consultants analyze political events and trends and study historical data. They make recommendations to clients about political strategies and policies. Political consultants may work for independent campaigns, news agencies and government organizations. The political science and law courses included in a public affairs degree can help political consultants understand political and legal processes.

Primary duties: Government administrators work in local, state or national government offices to supervise staff members, manage budgets, communicate with other departments and government officials and reach out to the community for feedback. They often serve as a link between the agency and the public and work to increase transparency and enhance the agencys positive image. Typically, administrators must have at least a bachelors degree in public affairs or a related field.

Primary duties: Corporate communications managers oversee the communications processes for organizations. They manage internal communications, like newsletters, intranet articles and physical documents and public-facing communications, such as press releases. They are responsible for working across departments, including marketing and public relations, to build the organizations brand awareness and reputation. A public affairs degree can help communications managers navigate public image issues.

Primary duties: Political analysts monitor political events, candidates and potential candidates. They study historical data and make political predictions. They can work for campaigns, news agencies and government organizations. A public affairs degree can help you understand how the political system operates and best practices in the industry.

Primary duties: Urban planners help develop and review plans for using land. They create plans for developing communities, facilities and parks. Urban planners help rebuild and revitalize communities and plan for future growth. A public affairs degree can help urban planners understand and analyze policy issues related to land use.

Primary duties: Media relations managers oversee an organizations interaction and communication with media outlets. They develop and disseminate articles, press kits, press releases, official images and statements. Media relations managers build relationships with their contacts at media agencies and work to develop a positive public image for their organization and brief executives and stakeholders on media initiatives. In this management role, most media relations managers must have a bachelors degree.

Primary duties: Policy analysts develop public policy and monitor environmental, governmental or political climates to help drive policy decisions. They can work in a variety of public and private sectors and may focus on environmental, healthcare, children or legal policies. The coursework in a public affairs program can help policy analysts understand the development, presentation and implementation of public policy.

Primary duties: Policy managers direct and oversee the creation of new policies that reflect an organizations mission and values and can communicate that image to the public. They often work for nonprofit or government agencies, leading policy or communications teams. Many employers require at least a bachelors degree in public affairs or a related field to hold a policy manager position.

Primary duties: Regulatory affairs managers ensure that an organization follows all necessary protocols to obtain and maintain regulatory compliance. They oversee filing applications with the appropriate governing bodies, ensuring licenses and certifications are current and facilitates all necessary inspections. A public affairs degree can provide the foundational knowledge of the required steps for regulatory compliance.

Primary duties: Political affairs officers monitor political and governmental issues in designated regions. They draft briefs and reports on current political issues or conflicts and devise strategies for mediation and other peaceful resolutions. A public affairs degree can broaden your knowledge base of reporting, presenting and assessing political events.

Primary duties: Park managers oversee the daily operations of public and private parks, such as landscaping, maintenance and construction projects. They manage contracts with vendors and supervise park staff, including maintenance workers and administrative personnel. Park managers ensure all park features are safe and compliant for public use.


What do public affairs majors do?

Public affairs professionals develop and manage programs, policies and protocols for initiatives that serve the public interest. Public affairs covers a broad range of activities in government, business and social services, giving you a wide variety of choices for employment.

How do I start a career in public affairs?

Yes, public affairs is a good career.

In fact, public affairs are ranked the number three in best creative and media job writing, according to U.S. News & World Report. Public affairs cover a broad range of activities in government, business, and social services, giving you a wide variety of choices for employment.

What is a public affairs job like?

The job typically requires a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Communication, Journalism, or English, though some employers will accept a number of years of experience in this position instead, or a mix of education and experience. IT and social media knowledge is also a bonus.

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