If you chose to study a subject in college that has an easily identified career path like business or teaching, you were probably asked “What are you going to do with that?” at Thanksgiving for four years. In this aspect, a political science degree is no different than communication or psychology. If you have any doubts or uncertainty about your career path with your political science degree and understanding of politics, we have nine careers that you can pursue should you decide to explore your options.
If you want to work in the political world, you’re obviously going to be very qualified. You’ve spent significant time studying the industry and have an understanding of the legislature. Work for a legislator at the state or national level as a legislative assistant. In this position, it will be your job to conduct research regarding pending legislation and asset with drafting potential legislation.
Though most are, it’s not required to be a lawyer to be an arbitrator. Someone who works in arbitration is an expert in resolving disputes and has formal training in the field. Arbitration is different from mediation in that a mediator works as the middle ground between two sides to reach an agreement. In contrast, an arbitrator listens to arguments from both sides of a conflict and makes an appropriate decision. The final decision is legally binding and cannot be disputed in court.
While a legislative assistant works directly with a legislator, a policy analyst works outside of the government in the private sector. Policy analysts work at policy research firms to make the public aware of issues like healthcare accessibility, environment conservation, and others. You will work with others in your field to make strides in influencing government action for positive change.
Political Campaign Manager
If you feel that you have the ability to organize at a high level while leading people, you can manage political campaigns. Of course, it’s best to start small at the local level to prove your mettle then move up from there. If you’re good at what you do, people will take notice and you’ll work your way up to congressional campaigns.
After having studied politics for at least four years, you’ve likely become well-versed in how the court systems work as well as studied pivotal court cases in our nation’s history. Furthermore, you’ve proven your ability to study in a rigorous and demanding discipline. Your base of political knowledge can be built on with the appropriate education on your path to becoming a lawyer.
Social Media Manager
Spending all day on social media and getting paid for it is the dream of many under-30 professionals. Part of managing social media is knowing how to appeal to and influence your audience. This is also a major part of politics. Because of this, you can be a social media manager for just about any industry. You don’t have to feel like you’re stuck in the political realm because you know how to grow a following and shape public opinion.
Marketing Research Analyst
Part of politics is understanding how voters respond to actions by candidates. A marketing research analyst is no different. Rather than working with voting numbers and political candidates, you would be using sales and consumers to analyze responses to specific products and services. You can make sense of numbers while also finding ways to manipulate them to find the information that you’re looking for.
Public Relations Specialist
Once again, someone who’s studied political science is going to have a strong understanding of how to influence public opinion. Most of the time people think about public relations, it’s with crisis management. There’s been an incident that needs some level of positive spin in order to maintain the reputation of a person or company. This is only a small portion of public relations. The field is much more like marketing as a specialist will spend much of their time assembling campaigns, writing press releases, and organizing press conferences to help promote an event or major product launch. Ultimately, your role is to influence public opinion in a positive light for a company or individual.
Finally, we reach the political scientist. It only seems natural that someone who studied political science chooses to be a scientist. Someone who works as a political scientist essentially does everything that has been mentioned above. From researching, collecting, and analyzing data to evaluating political policies their potential effect on society. Most political scientists work somewhere in the government, particularly the federal government, but others work for corporations to apply an analytical approach to commercial growth.