The most obvious career direction to take after completing a political science degree is to enter the world of politics – whether it is getting involved with local government or supporting the work of a political party.
With the increasing number of young people participating in political elections in the US, political science is more relevant than ever.
However, politics is not the only career pathway that political science graduates can pursue. In this guide, we will outline a variety of roles that you can fill after completing your bachelor’s in this subject.
What do you study on a political science course?
As the name implies, political science is the study of how political systems work and the ways in which political theories are implemented.
During your course, you will be exposed to how the government functions, in addition to the diverse ways in which power relations influence policy both in local and global contexts.
Throughout your degree, you will also acquire a variety of transferrable skills that will make you more employable.
For example, political science graduates will gain plenty of experience in analyzing political ideologies and theories. During the writing of essays, you will have to be able to demonstrate critical thinking and present your arguments in a manner that is logical and thorough.
This is a useful trait for employers, as it means that they can put you in charge of projects which require the evaluation of various approaches and present them to an audience.
Additionally, the presentations you will deliver throughout your undergraduate degree will provide you with invaluable experience that will be useful in any work environment.
During your presentations, you will learn how to communicate your ideas verbally to a group of people, which is a useful skill to succeed in a variety of positions.
From working for a consultancy firm to delivering speeches for an organization, your ability to articulate and be confident in front of an audience will no doubt make you an attractive candidate for numerous job openings.
What opportunities can I pursue with a political science degree?
Working for the Government
One of the most traditional career pathways for political science graduates is to consider government job openings. However, the jobs available cover a range of scales.
For example, you would need to decide whether you are interested in working for a local, state, or national government.
Additionally, government positions also encompass a wide variety of fields, including legislature and policy.
Legislative work may involve researching problems within a jurisdiction and drafting new laws to address these issues. As a political scientist, you already have a good idea of how laws are proposed and implemented, putting you in a good position to being offered a role in this area.
Throughout your degree, you had to demonstrate critical thinking regarding various issues and political theories.
These skills are essential if you want to thrive as a political analysist. In this role, you are responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of different government policies and offering solutions to make them more successful.
For those of you who are more ambitious, you may want to consider working for the US Department of State. They are responsible for the country’s foreign policy and forging ties with countries around the world.
This could be an exciting position for those who are prepared to travel and represent the US abroad. Roles in the Department of State are highly competitive and it is highly recommended that you minor in International Relations.
➔ READ MORE: Why work in local government?
Working in the private sector – business analysist and consultant
On your political science course, you were tasked with carrying out research independently and subsequently present your findings.
Business analysists and consultants do exactly this; they offer advice to companies on how they could better their business’ profits and performance based on their investigations
According to the latest statistics, consultants may earn around $70,000 a year, while financial consultants may make up to $120,000 annually. This career pathway is highly recommended for those who prioritize financial security and enjoy doing research.
Working for a non-governmental organization (NGO)
If you are passionate about working for a good cause, securing a position in an NGO might be the right direction for you.
Being a political science graduate, you have acquired the skills necessary to be a good verbal communicator and be able to convince others to support your argument.
You would play an important role in the life of an NGO as the skills discussed above could help secure vital funding for your organization and thus help continue their work.
Public Relations (PR)
As we have been hinting throughout this article, a political science degree gives you transferrable skills that can be applied to a work environment in a variety of sectors.
As it is a humanities subject, most of your assessments were in the form of essays, which would have crafted you into a good writer. Working in PR would involve writing press releases, drafting pieces that put your business or organization in a positive light.
Would you be interested in continuing to write about political science outside of academia? Then you might see becoming a political journalist as a viable career pathway.
In addition to using the skills and theories you learned on your degree to analyze political events, you would also have the opportunity to follow political stories as they develop around the clock.
Journalism is a particularly difficult field to enter, which may mean that you need to gain experience in areas outside of political writing, such as working for a local paper or producing your personal blog.