What Types of Jobs Can I Get with a Political Science Degree?

When most students consider the degree that will be most likely to help them land a job after graduation, a political science degree isn’t exactly the most popular option. Instead, many students opt for the STEM fields or a program in a business-related field. The good news for dedicated political junkies and political scientists, however, is that there is still a robust job market for those professionals who have the skills to analyze political developments, craft policy documents and legislation, and even run for office. The jobs available in this field are largely public servant opportunities, and they’re considered to be among the most rewarding and impacting careers available with a degree in any specialization.

Political Analysts: The Academic Side of Political Scientists

One of the most popular jobs for graduates with a degree in political science is that of a political analyst at a major university, research firm, or think tank. Political analysts are primarily concerned with what is happening in politics at the present time, how it compares and contrasts to patterns of past political fights, and what it means for the future of politics and legislation. Their work will involve a significant amount of research and publication, and they’ll often be instrumental in driving the conversation on television news networks and in print or online publications. They’ll primarily analyze political races and major legislation fights, looking for past patterns that predict how each contest or vote will go.

Elected Politician: The Academic Background to Succeed

A degree in political science is certainly not necessary or required in order to become an elected official, but that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. In fact, understanding political science, including historical patterns, trends, and opportunities, could allow someone running for office to leapfrog their opponent and win an open seat. When paired with professional experience and an academic concentration in elected politics, graduates of this degree program could find themselves in a position to help set the tone for national conversations about issues like guns, social issues, education reform, and much more.

Political Advisors and Campaign Officials

Another option for political science graduates is working behind the scenes of a campaign instead of being the candidate. With extensive knowledge of politics and the inner workings of a traditional campaign, political science graduates will be able to expertly guide a campaign through the primary and general election processes. Better yet, political advisors will be able to scout for their own candidates, run their own political advisory business, and potentially earn a lucrative living while being their own boss, as well as the boss of a large and highly successful campaign team. That’s a lucrative and tempting opportunity that may rank as the mot popular among graduates with this degree.

High-Tech Employees: Strange and Exciting Opportunities Abound

Believe it or not, some of the hottest degrees in high-tech workplaces aren’t computer science or information systems. Increasingly, these firms are hiring candidates who have liberal arts degrees or a background in a non-technology area. The reason is simple: As startup firms grow, they need well-rounded thinkers and people who can assist them in going public, lobbying legislators for policy changes, and enhancing the competitive environment. That certainly sounds like a job for the political science graduate, and it’s one reason that this degree is in high demand by many tech firms.

A Great Opportunity Across the Board

Political science degrees are uniquely versatile, allowing recipients to work for tech firms, their own political advising firm, or even their own legislature. With that in mind, a political science degree just might be worth pursuing for students looking to make an impact and enjoy a life of public service, political calculation, and political representation.

Please also see: What Undergraduate Degrees Best Prepare for a Career in Politics?