Political Science Careers and Jobs

Choose from the list of political science careers on the left or choose from the state list below to learn more about political science careers and education within the state.

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Often a student enters college with a particular career in mind, only to discover they may not want to go that direction, or there is a shift in job opportunities based on factors beyond their control. This leaves a student wondering what types of jobs their degree will prepare them for once they leave school. A student seeking a political science degree may find they have an advantage over other degree choices due its broad nature of study.

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A degree in political science is frequently thought to be a degree only for aspiring politicians and lawyers. While it is certainly a good choice for future politicians and attorneys, there are other careers it will prepare a student for. A political science degree prepares students for careers in many industries such as health care, finance, business, law, education, politics, public policy, management, and the nonprofit sector just to name a few. Political science graduates earning an undergraduate degree should find entry-level work across all of these industries as well as many opportunities for advancement.

One of the reasons a degree in political science is so versatile has to do with the courses a student takes. The political science degree coursework focuses on teaching a student how our world works as far as the political, and social framework, and also teaches public policy and economics. It is a broad education in the study of all the social sciences. A student can elect to focus their major by taking supporting courses if they know which industry interests them the most.

A degree in political science prepares the student to work in any organization where complex organizational structures and relationships require a good understanding of both. Students will often posses analytical skills. They will generally be well organized and detail oriented. They will also have good oral and written communication skills.

Statistically, a political science major will earn an above average wage. The national statistics, according to payscale.com, show some of the more popular jobs a political science major engages in are Intelligence Analyst, Operations Manager, and Contract Specialist. Each of these careers offers annual salaries above $60,000. The lowest paid position according to payscale.com is Administrative Assistant earning $33,000 a year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the outlook for careers for political science majors is projected to grow at a faster rate than average.

A political science major who chooses to go into law will have a good amount of competition due to the number of law graduates each year according to the BLS. Earnings for private practice attorneys average at $108,000, while government lawyers will earn between $48,000 to $68,000 on average. Other legal positions include law clerks with median incomes under $40,000 annually.

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