Why Public Policy?

Courtesy: Pepperdine University

When people ask what I am majoring in at UNC I often have to pause to recall what I am now majoring in. That’s not because I don’t find what I am studying interesting but because it has changed so much as I refine my interests. First, it was Political Science, then Anthropology, then back to Political Science, Economics, then Public Policy. The reality however is that I never really left any of these majors. Public Policy is truly a combination of all of them.

When I first went off to college my parents said that the value of college was to see the world from another perspective and to be exposed to new ideas. While they are not wrong there is more to a college education than just that. I quickly realized that arguably the third most important reason is to see the world and how it is interconnected. I saw how my Biology class was connected to my Philosophy class. The world does not exist in segmented fields like college majors and so why do we treat it as such? We should understand that one thing will impact another. This is not in support of Chaos Theory but it is true.

In finance, a geopolitical event like Russia’s war in Ukraine will have severe consequences on financial markets and so having someone who can understand both the political side and economic side is a valuable asset. Sure you can double major in Political Science and Economics but you will never truly be able to see how the two are interconnected.

The skills you will learn also have broad implications. Today college graduates are switching jobs in their careers more frequently than at any other time in United States history. So the skills learned are more important than what major is chosen. Having the ability to analyze policy, law, or economic data is vital. So understanding that it doesn’t matter what the numbers mean it matters that you can analyze and interpret the data.

So go pick a college major that interests you and try to see how it connects to the broader world.

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Son, Brother, Eagle Scout, Tar Heel, Runner, Social Scientist

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