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Key skills to succeed in social policy

Key skills to succeed in social policy

Working in the field of social policy is fast-paced and extremely rewarding. Whether you’re at the start of your journey and exploring your options, or are ready to take the leap and apply for social policy jobs, this guide shared everything you need to know about the skills to succeed. 

Definition of social policy 

Social policy consists of guidelines, principles, legislation and activities that affect the living conditions conducive to human welfare, such as a person’s quality of life. It is a means by which governments, families, businesses and organisations can have a positive impact on welfare and social protection.

Read more about social policy and how it differs from public policy

Top skills needed to succeed in social policy – and why they’re important  

Those who study social policy go on to objectively evaluate how effectively resources and opportunities are being distributed to people from different socio-economic backgrounds, with a view to continuing improvement. 
This highly rewarding and ever-evolving sphere attracts thousands of graduates each year. So, if you’re interested in a social policy job and are interested to understand the key skills you’ll need to succeed, read on.

Analytical and research skills 

Effective evaluation of existing policies is key to success in the social policy field. Not only that, but using data to identify areas for improvement and developing evidence-based solutions to address social issues is a skill which will get individuals far in this field.

Communication and advocacy 

Professionals in social policy need to be extremely clear and effective communicators, often needing to discussing complex policies with key stakeholders to ensure full understanding. They also must champion any policy reforms that advance fairness and social equity, highlighting the key points efficiently. 

Interdisciplinary and collaboration skills 

Social policy professionals are required to work with professionals in law, public health etc., which is why interdisciplinary and collaborations skills are important.

For example, those working in social policy will be required at times to liaise with legal experts and public health professionals to develop comprehensive strategies addressing the intersection of, for example, homelessness, mental health and legal rights for vulnerable people.

Policy implementation and evaluation skills 

To ensure that proposed policies are effectively put into practice, monitor their impact and adjust strategies accordingly, those working in social policy will require policy implementation and evaluation skills. These skills will also help them to address emerging challenges.

Strategic thinking and problem-solving 

Social policy often deals with complex issues in society which require innovation and strategic thinking to solve. Professionals working in social policy must be able to effectively navigate challenges and come equipped with solutions to address issues sensitively and efficiently.

Empathy and cultural competency 

Professionals working in social policy must be able to have a deep understanding of the diverse and often specialist needs of communities affected by social policies. They must approach situations and decision making with cultural competency and empathy, ensuring policy changes are inclusive and fair.

If you are considering commencing your journey in the social policy sector, an MA in Social Policy will give you the opportunity to learn more about, and develop these essential skills for yourself:

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Social policy jobs  

If you’ve studied social policy, some social policy jobs you could consider as your next step include the likes of Social Policy Analyst, Policy Researcher, Community Development Officer, Government Affairs Specialist and Social Impact Evaluator; all of which are centred around social policy, but with different specialisms. 

How an MA Social Policy can help You succeed  

If you’re interested in learning more and developing your skills for success, an MA in Social Policy could be for you. This course will provide you with a deep insight into and understanding of the cultural, demographic, political, economic and technological changes that globally shape social policy.  
Whilst studying, you’ll develop a wealth of core transferrable skills that will be valuable to any employer – including critical and independent thinking, creativity, problem solving, teamwork, presentation, research and analysis. 
This MA is part-time and 100% online, allowing you to work around your existing commitments and strike the perfect work/life balance. Find out more about why you should study a master's in Social Policy. 

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