Best-Kept-Secret Career: Program Analyst

Respond to a dirty-bomb scare in New York City.

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Snapshot: Respond to a dirty-bomb scare in New York City. Estimate the resources needed to create a green education initiative in rural Alaska. These are just some of the tasks that could be required of program analysts, who work in federal and local government to provide needed information. Program analysts, often titled management analysts, might also be called on to gather information and write a report on the nation's model tutoring programs or the impact of new legislation on community banks. Most program analysts earn $50,000 to $100,000 annually and receive an excellent government benefits package.

Getting there: Master's degrees, such as in public policy, are often preferred, but many program analysts have just a bachelor's degree or even less, with in-house or outside training added later.

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