Political science is one of those degrees that makes you wonder what kind of job you can land after graduation. After all, only an extremely small number of people actually ever go into politics – and a lot of those are lawyers.
So what kind of job can you get with political science degree? Actually there several, and the prospects aren’t bad at all.
Politics – of Course!
If we think of politics in terms of running for and winning an elected office, the job prospects for someone with a political science degree can be dismal indeed. And of course, there’s a lot more to getting elected to office than simply your educational background. People are often elected because they have legal backgrounds, work for municipal or provincial government, have a certain undeniable charisma, or ran for office at just the right time.But there’s a lot more in the political arena than simply becoming an elected official. Every elected official has a paid staff that includes managers and staff employees who will help them to run both their campaigns and their office once elected. With a political science degree, you may be able to land just such a position. And obviously the more numerous and higher paying positions will be available at higher levels of government.
One of the best ways to secure a position in the office of an elected official is by becoming actively involved in his or her election campaign. That could be done by becoming a campaign manager, or filling some other critical role that will help the politician get elected. And once in office, you may be a prime candidate for a permanent job in the politicians new government.
Best of all, once you land a position in government, it can be converted to other government or public positions, and even some in the private sector. Consulting is one such potential outgrowth of a job in government. Since the government has so much control over the economy, private employers often hire people with government work experience as consultants to help them work with and around the governing authorities. Probably no one is better at handling that position than someone who has actually worked in government. That could be you.
Law and Criminal Justice
Political science majors often land in careers in law and criminal justice. The educational background that a political science degree provides is well-suited to either field.
In the legal field, political science majors can often become paralegals. These are paraprofessionals who work in law firms handling a variety of functions for attorneys, including researching case law, preparing for cases and even assisting during trials.
A political science degree can also help you to become a legal secretary – a position that generally pays quite a bit more than what typical secretaries. Legal secretaries are involved in the typical administrative functions you would find in an office, but they may also get involved in preparing legal documents, contacting clients, and even doing a certain amount of legal research.
In criminal justice, a political science degree could help you to become a police officer, detective, or some other position in the system.
Teaching is always an option for someone with a political science degree. Since it involves the study of history, a certain understanding of laws, as well as various technical disciplines, it can be excellent training for someone who wants to teach history, civics, or even English.
Related: What Makes A Good Teacher/Professor
Journalism, Especially Covering Politics
Virtually every media outlet in the Western world provides special coverage when it comes to politics. With a degree in political science, you can get involved in some capacity as a journalist covering the local, regional, or national political scenes.
Your political science degree will give you a greater understanding of what is going on in current politics, not the least of which because you will have a deep understanding of the historic factors that are driving politics now. You’ll also be far more fluent in translating political speak into the street language that everyone else understands.
If you have a real passion for politics, you may even be able to cover it in a colorful way that will endear you to enough people that you can become one of the stars in political journalism. Not everyone understands politics, or has the patience to dig into the details. If you can bridge the gap between politicians, and the average person on the street, you just may have found a special niche for yourself.