If you are intrigued by current events, want to shape public policy and feel called to service, political science is worth considering major. But even if you don’t want to work in politics, political science can be a solid foundation for many careers.
Graduates in political science study how laws are made and the comparative structures of governments around the world. They learn how public policy is formulated and the impact of policy on the social and economic status of the population.
Career Choices for Political Science Majors
In addition to jobs in politics, there are many other career options to consider. Graduates in political science develop strong writing and research skills. They learn how to present a convincing argument and support it with facts. Political science students develop presentation and verbal communication skills while sharing their work with professors and peers.
Graduates in political science hone their analytical skills while exploring policy initiatives and considering the ramifications of government action. Critical thinking is vital in assessing political party platforms and the impact of policy changes.
During their studies, political science graduates learn how power is acquired, how campaigns are conducted and how public opinion can be influenced. They study different models of leadership and gain a historical perspective on the relative effectiveness of different approaches.
If you choose political science as your major, you will have a wide variety of options available to you after graduation.
6 employment options for political science graduates
As political science graduates study the public policy process, the role of policy analyst is a natural application of their student work.
Like political science graduates, policy analysts must develop a strong thesis and a convincing argument for or against the adoption of a particular policy initiative. In addition, analysts use their understanding of the political and legislative process to gain the support of people who can help move initiatives forward.
Senators, members of the assembly, representatives and other elected officials at all levels of government hire assistants to assist them in carrying out their duties.
They assess voter interest in current political issues and present the views of their elected officials in a positive framework. Legislative assistants respond to requests from constituents and help resolve citizens’ problems within their jurisdiction.
Legislative assistants research policy issues, monitor legislation and review the positions of other legislators on pending legislation. They prepare briefings for their legislators and other office staff.
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations representatives influence public opinion about their clients largely by placing articles in the media. Political science majors develop the writing skills needed to write compelling press releases and the persuasive skills to assert the benefits of covering a particular story. They also learn how opinions are formed and the role of the media in researching news during their studies.
Public relations specialists often organize and deliver press conferences and other events to attract media attention and raise the profile of their client. Political science majors gain insight into this process by studying the mechanics of organizing campaign events and public appearances by government officials.
Social Network Manager
Public opinion is increasingly shaped by social networks. Political candidates, civil servants, parties and interest groups need social media managers to monitor voters’ opinions about their administration and current issues.
Social media managers need to understand various social networking platforms and orchestrate campaigns to shape the perceptions of their users. Political science majors know how opinions are formed and influenced by various media and can play a key role in formulating and implementing these plans.
Marketing Research Analyst
Market researchers analyze how consumers will react to products or services, just as political science students assess the reactions of potential voters to candidates. Political science majors study the role of survey research and opinion polling in the campaign. The work of market researchers often involves studying consumer reactions to potential or current products and services.
Market research analysts can draw on the political science major’s knowledge of research standards when designing scientifically viable studies. They must present their findings to clients and colleagues and back up their recommendations with data.
Political consultants use the knowledge of the political process gained by the political science majors to design strategies for candidates to influence voters and gain support in their election campaigns. Political consultants help brand candidates and repair damaged images.
They attempt to influence media coverage of candidates by providing favorable stories and positive statements about the candidate’s past performance. These workers can interview potential voters to discern their reaction to a candidate and the basis for their opinion.