To date, we’ve asked 25 current and past public policy students about their happiness with their degree. Turns out, they rate it above average.

Your major should make you feel excited to put the knowledge and skills you learn to work.

To help you reach the decision that is right for you, we asked students who have pursued a public policy degree to respond to questions concerning five dimensions of the educational track they chose:

  • Course material: Were they interested in the material they learned?
  • Intellectual fulfillment: Did they find the coursework intellectually stimulating?
  • Job prospects: Did they leave the program with job opportunities?
  • Personality: Was the degree a good fit for their personality?
  • Overall fit: Were they happy with the program overall?

We examined their responses and combined the rankings to give us an average satisfaction score across all students. This doesn't necessarily reflect how satisfied you would be with a public policy degree, but it’s a starting point to help you evaluate your options.

How satisfied are public policy students compared to other degrees?

Overall, public policy students rate their satisfaction with their degree a 3.5 out of 5. This is high compared to other degrees which average a rating of 3.28 across all degrees. For context, public policy students rate their happiness similarly to students in Design and Applied Arts, Humanities and Clinical, Counseling, and Applied Psychology.

Here are other degrees that have a similar satisfaction rating to public policy

DegreeAvg Grad SalarySatisfaction
Applied Mathematics$84,729
History$68,078
Humanities$55,399
Design and Applied Arts$53,654
Public Policy$93,143
Clinical, Counseling, and Applied Psychology$49,669
Healthcare Management$58,719
Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies$62,872
Mathematics$79,718

Let's break that down further.

Are public policy students satisfied with what they’re learning?

We asked students about their satisfaction with their course material and overall intellectual fulfillment. Here’s what they said:

We asked graduates how interesting they found the course material to be. Their response was:
4.3 out of 5 stars
28 ratings
5 stars
61%
4 stars
25%
3 stars
7%
2 stars
0%
1 stars
7%
We asked graduates how intellectually fulfilling they found the degree. Their response was:
4.0 out of 5 stars
28 ratings
5 stars
36%
4 stars
46%
3 stars
11%
2 stars
0%
1 stars
7%

These ratings are meant to give you an indication about what other people enrolled in public policy experienced. While their input is useful, keep in mind that different people have had vastly different experiences, all of which were impacted by their personal motivations, professors, and specific curriculum. Always keep your own goals at the center of your decision-making process when it comes to something as significant as your education.

Did public policy graduates leave school with good job prospects?

Of course, working towards a degree is also about pursuing your desired career. Here’s what public policy grads had to say about their job prospects:

We asked graduates how satisfied they were with their job prospects. Their response was:
3.6 out of 5 stars
26 ratings
5 stars
27%
4 stars
35%
3 stars
23%
2 stars
0%
1 stars
15%

We can see there’s a cluster of positive responses, which might indicate a strong or growing job market.

Were public policy students happy with their degree overall?

This rating takes into account all factors: how demanding the program is, whether graduates felt it was worthwhile, and how fulfilling they found their educational experience.

We asked graduates how satisfied they were with their degree as a whole. Their response was:
3.5 out of 5 stars
25 ratings
5 stars
24%
4 stars
32%
3 stars
24%
2 stars
12%
1 stars
8%

As you consider this information and input from others, remember above all that your choice should be based on your interests, goals, passions, and abilities. Consider the future and give yourself time. If you’re feeling unsure, click here to take our career assessment and see what path could be right for you.

Salary

Find out what graduates typically earn.

Read more