Have an interest in politics? Do you enjoy advocating for people in your community? Enjoy watching how local governments influence politics at the national level? Then perhaps Political Science is the right field for you!
Political Science can sometimes conjure up images of lawyers with lab coats over their suits. No? Maybe that’s just me.
Political Science fits within the Social Sciences category and not STEM fields. This means that Political Science is closer to sociology and anthropology than a field like bio-chemistry.
What is Political Science?
People within the Political Science field study domestic and international governments, public policies, political behavior, and voting patterns within the United States.
Political Science majors make sense of all the social and political turmoil occurring within the United States. Some students even decide to focus more on the international spectrum of Political Science and they examine how foreign events influence domestic policy.
As students go through the progress of gaining their Political Science degree they learn valuable skills to prepare them for life after college.
These skills often include public speaking, persuasion, critical thinking, researching, advanced writing skills, and even fluency in foreign languages.
What Can I Do With A Political Science Degree?
According to the United States’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Political Science field is expected to grow by 21% between 2012 and 2022. Political Science is a broad field that allows people within its major endless opportunities. In some situations a Master’s degree is required but Political Science has the opportunity to open several doors toward new and exciting opportunities.
The jobs listed below are broken into categories to see how many areas Political Science can cover.
Political scientists have many options of careers in academia, including teachers, instructors, professors, and researchers.
Endless options are open to political science majors in the government, such as becoming CIA agents, foreign service officers, diplomats, senators, representatives, or FBI agents.
Many students work as law enforcers, or go on to law school to become lawyers, research analysts, and judges.
The communication field is also home to many political science students in roles such as news anchors, journalists, news reporters, and correspondents.
Raising awareness about refugees, migrants, women’s issues, human trafficking, foreign aid, and global health are all areas where political scientists are found.
Political science majors can also explore the business side of politics as lobbyists or legal analysts, or by working in public relations.
As you examine the different jobs available, you’ll surely notice the many possibilities within Political Science. Within Political Science, there is a niche for everyone. These can range from working in a corporation, raising awareness for marginalized groups, and teaching youths about the importance of voting and the US government.
I’m Hooked. What Type of Program Should I Consider?
There are several things you should consider when selecting a Political Science program.
1. Compatibility–If you’re a very conservative or liberal individual it may not be a good idea to select a program with polar opposite viewpoints. While it can allow you to gain a new perspective, do consider a program where you know your views won’t conflict with your happiness and academics.
2. Program Alumni--Check to see what the program’s alumni are currently doing. Are many former students attending graduate school, working in their field, or found work outside their field? This information can often be found online or by asking politely.
3. Internships--Political Science is a field where having internship experience can be greatly useful when searching for a job after college. Always check if you’re potential program has internships available.
4. Study Abroad--Not a requirement, but it can be a good way to get experience if you’re thinking of using your Political Science experience at the international level.
5. Involvement Programs–Does your program have a way for you to be active from within? This could mean research opportunities and the ability to join active clubs on campus relating to your major. Such clubs could include debate, Model United Nations, Young Democrats, and Young Republicans.
The broadness of Political Science can be intimidating to students and frowned upon by those who don’t understand the field. Political Science is a field with several opportunities if one knows how to find them. Even if you don’t plan to become the next President of the United States, it’s a field that gives you the opportunity to make a change in your community and to help others.