How To Become A Policy Analyst In Australia?

Students want to know what a day in the life of a policy analyst in Australia looks like.

 

Do you have good research and analytical skills and a keen interest in politics, current affairs, and international relations? Then, a career as a policy analyst might be ideal for you. 

 

Policy Analysts develop and examine policies that guide the design, execution, and modification of commercial and government operations and programs.

 

To work as a Policy Analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy, international relations, or another related field.

 

Earning a postgraduate qualification and relevant work experience can give you a competitive edge over other job applicants.

 

In this blog, we will explore the work environment, career progression, average salary, and occupational expectations of a Policy Advisor and the steps to pursue this profession.

 

 

1. What is a Policy Analyst?

 

Policy Analysts work in government or other large organizations. They contribute to planning organizational policies that oversee commercial and government programs' design, execution, and modification.

 

Additionally, a policy analyst provides information to external and internal stakeholders about procedures and policies. They also prepare reports, papers, submissions, policy materials, and briefs on behalf of their organization.

 

 

2. Types Of Policy Analysts

 

Policy Analysts are classified into three main categories based on where they work and the tasks they perform:

 

 

Public Sector Policy Analysts

 

This policy analyst type assists in developing and evaluating policies to ensure the achievement of objectives in an organization.

 

They work in the public sector at various levels of government and in areas such as health, transport, employment, agriculture, native affairs, social services, trade, technology, law enforcement, entertainment, foreign affairs, sports, defence, taxation, finance, immigration, economic development, urban planning, and regional development.

 

 

Not-For-Profit Sector Policy Analysts

 

These Policy Analysts work in research institutes, advocacy groups, environmental organizations, charity institutions, sports organizations, and social and welfare service providers.

 

Some of the most common duties are reviewing existing policies and legislature, consulting with major shareholders, researching trends, preparing recommendations and briefing papers, formulating and maintaining manuals, and providing policy advice to managers, politicians, and staff.

 

 

Private Sector Policy Pfficers

 

This policy analyst type works in privately-run large businesses across diverse industries such as banking and financial services, manufacturing, law, business consulting organizations, insurance, energy, health and education, and transport.

 

Besides carrying out general functions, they also represent the private sector in peak industry bodies.

 

 

3. What Does A Policy Analyst Do?

 

Policy analysts perform the following duties: 

 

  • Research economic, industrial, and social trends and client’s expectations of services and programs

  • Co-ordinate with investors to understand their needs, concerns, and outlook

  • Analyse policies and their effects on government and organizations' operations. 

  • Offer strategic policy and planning advice 

  • Develop policy options and advise on the most suitable ones.

  • Prepare surveys, data analysis, and reports for stakeholder 

  • Evaluate the financial consequences of proposed policies

  • Create and maintain policy manuals

  • Formulate and execute policies

  • Provide policy advice to external investors and other staff

  • Write reports, proposals, guidelines, and other documents

  • Collect, understand and analyse information

  • Prepare recommendations and briefing papers for policy amendments

  • Communicate with program administrators to identify policy needs

  • Work with senior management to outline goals and develop strategic policies 

  • Prepare mail, speeches, and Cabinet papers for ministers

  • Prepare and present reports on qualitative and quantitative data

  • Evaluate and oversee policies to determine their advantages, loopholes, and impacts.

 

 

4. Policy Analyst Skills

 

You need the following skills to succeed as a policy analyst in Australia:

 

  • Interest in current affairs, government, and law

  • Strong background in public policy or political science

  • A good understanding of organizational objectives and policies

  • Comfortable working with large amounts of data. 

  • Strong analytical and research skills 

  • Ability to perform research

  • Strong report writing skills 

  • Good attention to detail 

  • Clear communication in written, and spoken English

  • Critical thinking skills 

  • Able to communicate effectively 

  • Able to work in a team

  • Able to handle work pressure and meet deadlines

  • Critical thinking

  • Effective Customer service and Negotiation skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Able to work in a competitive and demanding environment

  • Great organization

  • Strong numeracy

  • Good Planning skills

 

 

5. Qualifications To Become A Policy Analyst In Australia

 

Do you want to know how to become a policy advisor in Australia? A related bachelor’s degree with some experience to qualify for this role is required.

 

  • Complete your Senior Secondary Education certificate

  • You need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as international relations or political science to attain a Policy Analyst role.

  • Secure a policy analyst internship while studying for a policy analyst degree. It will provide valuable work experience and improve your employability for an entry-level position.

  • Though optional, earning a post-graduate qualification will help in career advancement.

 

 

6. Steps To Become A Policy Analyst In Australia

 

Here is the study pathway to becoming a policy analyst in Australia:

 

 

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor’s Program

 

You need a formal qualification in political science, international relations, public policy, or any other related field. Some of the best undergraduate degree options include:

 

  • Bachelor of Political Science

  • Bachelor of International Relations

  • Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Political Science)

 

 

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

 

You can secure a policy analyst role after your graduation. You don’t necessarily need relevant experience, but having work experience may assist you in getting ahead in this competitive sector.

 

You can find comprehensive graduate programs at government organizations that offer excellent training to fresh graduates.

 

 

Step 3: Apply For Jobs

 

After graduating with a relevant degree, aspiring policy analysts should apply as sooas possible for job opportunities to get a professional head start.

 

Update your resume with the job-specific skills, strengths, qualifications, and professional certifications (if any), and apply to suitable job vacancies with a cover letter.

 

 

Step 4: Consider Completing a Postgraduate Qualification 

 

Most candidates complete postgraduate study in a specialist field. The practical and theoretical knowledge and skills you acquire certainly help in career progression. 

 

A few relevant postgraduate courses include:

 

  • Graduate Diploma in International Relations

  • Master of International Relations

  • Graduate Certificate in International Relations

  • Master of Laws

 

 

Industry bodies:

 

 

 

7. Policy Analyst Courses

 

 

Bachelor of Political Science - Australian National University

 

It is the ideal qualification to understand social dynamics and the overseas relations between nations. The course curriculum covers the following topics:

 

  • Politics

  • Australian politics

  • Political economy

  • Comparative politics

  • Political theory

  • Political philosophy

 

After you complete the course, you gain professional knowledge and skills in government, strategic political and international consultancy, specialist roles in business, private enterprise, welfare groups, the public service, and agencies.

 

 

Bachelor of International Relations and Political Science - Flinders University

 

This qualification helps you learn about politics, international relations, public policy, and the Australian political system. Also, by studying for this degree, you gain highly-sought skills relevant to several jobs across sectors.

 

 

Political Science and International Relations Major - University of Western Australia

 

This undergraduate “major” helps you develop a fundamental understanding of political systems and government in Australia and worldwide. The professional skills you learn enable you to engage with the politics of the dynamic global world.

 

 

Bachelor of Political, Economic, and Social Sciences (Honours) - The University of Sydney

 

Do you want to make a career in research, communication, and analysis in the political arena?

 

This course equips you with the personal and professional skills to work as a researcher in political/social/economic sciences.

 

 

8. How Much Does A Policy Analyst Earn In Australia?

 

The average policy analyst salary in Australia is AU$89,821 per year or an equivalent to AU$33.50 per hour. The work experience, qualifications, specializations and location determine the salary. 

 

Though the starting remuneration can be low, it increases as you gain skills and experience. Here is the estimated annual pay at varying experience levels:

 

  • Early career (1-4 years of experience): AU$80,500 

  • Mid-career (5-9 years of experience): AU$98,115 

  • Experienced Policy Analysts (10-19 years of experience): AU$92,500 

 

Based on job openings, Policy Analysts earn comparatively higher in certain cities.

 

 

  • St Leonards NSW: $115,715 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $107,557 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $107,399 per year

  • Barton ACT: $106,381 per year

  • Perth Central Business District WA: $92,107 per year

  • Melbourne City Centre VIC: $89,644 per year

  • Canberra ACT: $85,330 per year

 

 

9. Where Do Policy Analysts Work?

 

Policy Analysts work in a wide range of settings, including government-private institutions and organizations. These include:

 

  • Federal and state government departments

  • Commonwealth government organizations

  • Political parties

  • Trade unions

  • Universities

  • NGOs 

  • Private–sector consultancies

  • Large businesses across a range of industries such as financial services and banking, law, business consulting, insurance, manufacturing, energy, transport, education, and health.

 

Most policy analyst professionals work with government organizations at junior levels to gain experience and build a professional network before being considered for this position. 

 

 

10. Work Conditions For Policy Analysts

 

Policy analysts spend most of their time indoors in offices. However, travelling may be required to attend meetings in other organizations.

 

A few policy analysts even undertake fieldwork in addition to the usual office work. Though they work standard hours, they may need to work long and irregular hours when working towards deadlines.

 

 

11. Policy Analyst Jobs In Australia 

 

Qualified policy analysts have various potential occupations to choose from:

 

  • Policy analyst

  • Diplomat officer 

  • Public service officer

  • Journalist 

  • Digital media content creator /manager

  • International aid or development worker

  • Research officer, assistant, or analyst

  • Security or Intelligence analyst

  • Political analyst

  • Electorate officer

  • Risk manager 

  • Public relations specialist

  • Education – administration and teacher 

  • Advocacy officer

  • Human resources

 

 

12. Job Outlook For Policy Analysts In Australia

 

Policy analysts have favourable job prospects all across Australia. Jobs are available in the capital cities, particularly in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Melbourne, Brisbane Inner City, and Sydney are other areas seeing a large share of workers.

 

Around 79% of people in policy analyst jobs work full-time for an average of 41 hours per week at work.

 

Industries that employ Policy Analysts are:

 

  • Public administration and safety industry

  • Professional, scientific and technical services

  • Education and training

  • Health care and social assistance

 

The average age of Policy Analysts is 38 years, with most aged 25 to 34. Out of the total employed workforce, 65% comprise females. It is 17 percentage points above the average of all jobs (48%).

 

 

13. Conclusion

 

As each business field requires governing policies to direct its operation, Policy Analysts can find many work opportunities in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.

 

With various specialization options available, continual learning makes the work quite rewarding in a great field.

 

Though many policy analysts have general arts or science degrees, a qualification degree in public policy and management or political science can give you a perfect start in this career.

 

Useful Links to Explore:


Don't forget to share this post!




Please Subscribe to our Newsletter