The study of political science covers a range of topics, such as ideologies, Government policies, diplomacy, comparative perspectives, types of governments, law, business, taxation, social and cultural issues, and more. The diversity of courses at the undergraduate level provides opportunities in different fields. Your career path could take you into business, policy analysis, consulting, government service, social service, journalism, and others. Whether you use the degree in one of these fields or not, the coursework will result in strong analytical skills, critical thinking, writing, methodology, presentation skills, and problem-solving.
Here is a look at possible employment options for political science graduates.
Individuals in this line of work exist in corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and consulting. At any level of government, the analyst reviews and evaluates policies and legislation to ascertain its effectiveness if adopted. The process involves weighing the positive and negative components of the particular policy.
State healthcare organizations employ health policy analysts whose responsibilities include the analysis and development of policies, regulations, statutes, and healthcare legislation. The Medical Society of Virginia advertised for this position online at Indeed, an employment site. The job requires experience and a bachelor’s degree.
Elected officials, namely senators, assembly members, representatives, hire assistants to help with their daily tasks and duties. In this capacity, the assistant plans meetings, arranges travel, attends executive sessions, meets with other legislatures, prepares and proofreads correspondence, and liaise with constituents. Again, Indeed has a job posting for a Legislative Assistant at the Washington State Senate with a minimum salary of $42,732.
The job involves clerical work that demands someone adept in Microsoft Office, specifically Word and Excel. Assistants might have exposure to confidential information requiring integrity, honesty, and a stellar work ethic. Working under pressure and long hours are also integral to the job.
The field of journalism or media is one of those mentioned above, wherein the analytical skills learning taking political science are beneficial. Programs that stress communication proficiency, mainly written, can translate to jobs requiring a fluid writing style. Political platforms of politicians, for example, generate interest through information and precise expression in the media. Social media is one avenue that is prodigious in the communication of agendas and policies. President Trump, for example, has turned electronic media into an art form through his prolific tweets.
Non-profit and non-governmental organizations encounter parameters dictated by law and regulations that need analysis. One area of focus is the state laws regarding the written policy of disclosing the annual salary of directors, officers, and key leadership personnel.
Charities and non-profits are generally exempt from tax laws, although this climate can change. Therefore, analysts in these entities need to stay on top of the political scene that may affect their financial status. Some of the revenue into these organizations comes from donations, possibly routed through political channels. Federal and state governments might alter them negatively; hence, the need for the analyst to closely monitor and anticipate policy changes.
The criminal justice system engages analysis in risk assessment, and the effects of local, state, and federal policies have on courts, judges, defense attorneys, and law enforcement. All of which come under the influence of legislation imposed by governmental and non-governmental institutions. The skills learned by political science majors apply to the justice system, where policy analysis and decision-making are vital components to the legal process.
Jobs in this field at the county justice administration level, for example, employs policy research analysts within their County Criminal and Juvenile Justice Agencies. Policy Analyst would be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing qualitative and quantitative data to inform county policy decision-makers. In this endeavor, the individual uses knowledge, facts, and data to evaluate policies and develop policy solutions and recommendations effectively.
Typically, applicants require an advanced degree in public administration, law, public affairs, criminal justice, or political science.
Most political science students, when they tell family or friends about their major, they hear: So, you’re going into politics? On the contrary, in most instances. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, political science teaches analytical and rhetorical skills applicable to a host of professions, from journalism to sales. Another dividend of choosing this discipline is that graduates possess two of the most highly sought attributes in the job market. These are communication and analytical skills.
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Which is better in the field of political science: advanced college degree or practical experience?
Does a Political Science student study things other than politics?
Why does it seem so many people with a degree in Political Science go on to get a law degree?
Is Washington D.C. the only place where a significant number of jobs are available for a Political Science major to work?