Political Science : Careers

Career Information and Further Study

Many of our graduates go on to law school or get advanced degrees in Public Policy (MPP), Public Administration (MPA) or Political Science (MA/PhD). Many go into public service.

Skills gained in this program include:
  • Interpreting public policy to the public and explaining the mechanics of government and intergovernmental relations.
  • Directing individuals to government agencies.
  • Providing insight into the overall political environment to promote public causes.
  • Organizing or participating in community action, and collecting funds to support the action.
  • Analyzing bureaucratic budgets, policy-making processes, congressional behavior, pressure-group activities, international relations, or local power struggles.
  • Dealing effectively with individuals or groups to obtain information and using surveys and interview techniques for research.
  • Using mathematical methods: simulation, statistics, and electronic data processing to analyze data.
  • Writing clear and concise reports.
  • Predicting the impact specific political changes will have on the quality of life.
  • Supplying historical perspective with information on past experiences in order to fairly consider issues, such as minority relations, foreign policy, environmental protection, or urban development.
  • Recommending measures, such as resource allocation, long-range economic planning, or the organization of community to address social problems.
  • Advising businesses on bureaucratic systems.

Transferable Skills:
  • Organizing large projects by harnessing the talent of diverse groups of people and allocating responsibilities accordingly.
  • Teaching, instructing, and consulting various people and organizations on complex issues and theories.
  • Conducting research and market analyses to develop strategies and plans of action.

Career Choices

There are a variety of occupations that political science majors can enter. The following list is non-exhaustive and some of the occupations may require additional training or education.
  • Archivist (political history)
  • Campaign manager
  • Case worker
  • City manager
  • Community relations
  • Diplomat
  • Editor
  • Educator
  • Equal opportunity representative
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Foreign service officer
  • Government worker
  • Journalist
  • Importer/exporter
  • Industrial relations
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Legislative assistant
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Management analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Military officer
  • News writer
  • Paralegal
  • Parole/probation officer
  • Police officer
  • Political consultant
  • Politician
  • Polling/marketing researcher
  • Public relations director
  • Research assistant
  • Writer

What percentage of graduates goes on to find related employment?


Work settings include:

Federal, state, county, and local governments; private business; independent advertising; manufacturing companies; consulting firms; public agencies; not-for-profit organizations; political parties; law firms; insurance companies; regional planning organizations; colleges & universities; legislative offices; research organizations; labor relations firms; libraries; public or private school districts; community organizations; departments of public assistance; social service agencies; welfare agencies; housing agencies; state parole boards; county probation offices; magazines; newspapers; publishers; television stations or networks; large corporations; public utilities; public relations firms; public interest organizations; travel agencies; hotels; importing or exporting firms; philanthropic organizations; scouting organizations; and urban renewal organizations.

Salary Information

Salaries can vary greatly for different occupations, geographic areas, and organizations and companies. According to Payscale.com, political science majors who do not go onto graduate study make, on average, $39,900 starting salary and $80,100 by mid-career.

Career Hints

Employers are seeking candidates with experience and those who have developed their skills from that experience. Internships, part-time work, summer employment, and/or further education can enhance a graduate's employability in their chosen career area.

Political science majors can increase their skills by running for political office, getting involved in special interest groups, joining student government, and/or securing an internship with a political leader, law firm, or other governmental office.

What percentage of graduates goes on to graduate school?


Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:02:06 EST