Unlocking Pathways: Public Policy Careers for Defence and Strategic Studies Students in India

Arjun Kumar


India, with its dynamic geopolitical landscape and evolving security challenges, demands adept individuals who can navigate the complexities of policy formulation and strategic decision-making. For students of Defence and Strategic Studies, delving into careers in public policy provides an avenue to contribute significantly to the nation’s security and governance. This article explores the promising trajectories within public policy for students with a background in Defence and Strategic Studies, highlighting the role of specialized learning through platforms like IMPRI’s online courses.

The Interconnected Realms of Defence, Strategy, and Public Policy

Defence and Strategic Studies inherently intertwine with the broader sphere of public policy. Beyond the tactical and strategic aspects of national security, effective policies play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of a nation’s defence apparatus. Students with a foundation in Defence and Strategic Studies possess a unique perspective that can be harnessed to inform and influence policies critical to the nation’s security.

Key Areas of Impact

  1. National Security Policy Development: Defence and Strategic Studies students can actively engage in shaping policies related to national security. Their deep understanding of strategic affairs equips them to contribute to the formulation of comprehensive policies that address contemporary security challenges.
  2. Strategic Diplomacy and Foreign Policy: A profound understanding of global security dynamics positions these students to contribute to strategic diplomacy and foreign policy. Crafting policies that safeguard national interests on the international stage becomes a natural extension of their expertise.
  3. Defence Budgeting and Resource Allocation: Public policy plays a central role in determining resource allocation, especially in the context of defence budgets. Students with a background in Defence and Strategic Studies can contribute to policies that ensure optimal resource utilization for military capabilities.
  4. Technology and Innovation Policies for Defence: With the rapid evolution of technology, policies governing defence-related innovations are crucial. Students in this field can contribute to the formulation of policies that balance technological advancements with national security imperatives.

IMPRI Online Courses: Tailored Learning for Defence and Strategic Studies Professionals

IMPRI (Impact and Policy Research Institute) offers a range of online courses designed to empower aspiring policy professionals, including those with a background in Defence and Strategic Studies. These courses provide a unique opportunity for students to gain specialized knowledge in public policy. Relevant courses include:

  1. Defence and Security Policy Analysis: This course delves into the intricacies of defence and security policy formulation. It provides insights into the analytical tools and frameworks essential for understanding and influencing policies in these domains.
  2. Global Strategic Trends and Policy Implications: Focusing on global strategic trends, this course explores their implications for policy formulation. It equips students to analyze the geopolitical landscape and contribute to policies aligned with India’s strategic interests.
  3. National Security and Public Policy: This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between national security and public policy. Students learn to critically evaluate existing policies and propose informed recommendations for enhancement.
  4. Technology, Innovation, and Defence Policy: Addressing the nexus between technology, innovation, and defence, this course explores policy dimensions crucial for staying ahead in an era of technological advancements.

Navigating a Career Path

For Defence and Strategic Studies students aspiring to pursue careers in public policy, strategic steps are imperative:

  1. Policy Internships and Fellowships: Seek internships or fellowships with government agencies, think tanks, or research institutions specializing in defence and security policy. Practical experience enhances your understanding and makes you more competitive in the job market.
  2. Networking and Collaborations: Build connections with professionals in both defence and policy spheres. Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to establish a network that can provide insights and opportunities.
  3. Policy Research and Publications: Engage in independent research on relevant policy issues. Publish articles or papers showcasing your analytical skills and perspectives. This enhances your credibility as a policy professional.
  4. Continuous Learning: Stay updated on developments in defence, security, and public policy. Platforms like IMPRI offer continuous learning opportunities through online courses, ensuring you remain abreast of emerging trends.


A career in public policy awaits Defence and Strategic Studies students who are eager to contribute their expertise to national security and governance. The synergy between strategic understanding and policy formulation is a promising avenue for those seeking to make a meaningful impact on India’s trajectory. The IMPRI online courses mentioned provide a tailored and accessible pathway for Defence and Strategic Studies professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills, paving the way for a rewarding career at the intersection of defence, strategy, and policy in India.

Dr Arjun Kumar is the Director of the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

This article was posted by Tanu Paliwal , a research intern at IMPRI.

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