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Skills to Succeed in Education Policy

November 23, 2010

With the rise of Teach for America and recent debates about teacher quality in own our backyard, it’s no wonder that many AU students are interested in learning more about jobs and internships in education policy. On November 17, the Career Center hosted six education policy professionals to discuss the hot issues they work on and how they launched their careers in the field.

The panel featured:

The session featured a lively debate on issues including teacher quality, No Child Left Behind, Teach For America and similar fellowship programs, and national curriculum and assessments. More relevant to this blog was the discussion on key skills needed to succeed in an education policy job or internship. In the end, three core skills came out on top:

  • First and foremost, writing! Each panelist was adamant that the ability to write well is a key skill in any position in this field. Competitive candidates should be able to adapt their writing style to the appropriate audience and medium.
  • Good interpersonal communication skills are also important, particularly as education policy professionals regularly communicate with peers who have diverse points of view. Being able to hold a conversation, convey ideas and civilly disagree with others is a key to success.
  • Finally, the ability to give presentations to groups is a necessary skill. Professionals in the field should be comfortable speaking in front of large audiences and  facilitating conversations among different stakeholders.

While these are undoubtedly important skills for the education policy field specifically, you’ll find that they are also desired across almost all industries. Luckily for you, these are skills that you can easily develop during your time here at AU.

To learn more about marketing these skills to potential employers, visit the Career Center.

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