Political Science Jobs

Are you going to college for political science? You may be curious about what careers are available to you after you graduate! Here’s what you need to know about the major, plus political science jobs you might want to pursue.

What Do Political Science Majors Study?

Those who are planning on majoring in political science usually expect to be involved in government some way after graduation. In the classes and programs, students can expect to learn about:

  • Political philosophy
  • Political theory
  • Comparative government
  • Political parties
  • Interest groups
  • Research methods
  • Public opinion
  • International relations
  • The American Government
  • Political methodology

Some of the best schools for political science are Columbia University in the City of New York, United States Naval Academy, and University of Notre Dame. You can also major in International Relations and Affairs, Public Policy Analysis, and more.

Common Jobs for Political Science Majors

There are many jobs you can pursue as a political science major! It’s important to note though that your level of education can absolutely impact the careers available to you and the salary you can receive. Individuals in this field also need to consider: do you want to work in the private sector or public sector? But here are just a few jobs you will want to think about:

Political Scientist

Political scientists work to study political systems, including public opinion, decision making, and ideology. They can also hold surveys, analyze election results and documents, and more.

  • On average, political scientists make about $122,510.
  • Employment rates are expected to grow 4% between 2018 and 2028.
  • Most political scientists hold a master’s degree.

Postsecondary Political Science Teacher

Postsecondary political science teachers work to educate other students in the field. They can also participate in various research projects at the university or college.

  • The median salary is $81,980
  • Employment is projected to grow about 7%.
  • Most political science majors hold a doctorate or professional degree.

Journalist

Political science majors also have the option to become journalists! Those on this career path would likely stick to writing or developing pieces based in government and related fields. They can work with newspapers, on news programs, in radio, and more. Future journalists can also major in mass communication, marketing, and, of course, journalism.

  • Journalists make around $48,370 (median). The 90th percentile, however, makes $120,590!
  • The projected growth for this field shows little change.
  •  Most journalists have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Nonprofit Program Coordinator

Nonprofit program coordinators, also known as social and community service managers, are responsible for management of a nonprofit organization and/or programs. Responsibilities can range from human resources to public communication.

  • Nonprofit program coordinators make, on average, between $41,000 and $74,000 a year.
  • Employment for social and community service managers is expected to grow by 15% between 2020 and 2030.
  • Most in this field have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Legislative Assistant

Legislative assistants will craft bills, proposals, recommendations, and revisions for law. They work with government agencies, legislators, nonprofits, and other government officials.

  • Those in this career can expect to make around $50,000 a year.
  • This field is projected to grow around 10%.
  • Most legislative assistants have a bachelor’s degree.

Campaign Manager

Campaign managers, or public relations managers, work with government officials and prospective officials to build campaigns from the ground up. They’ll assist with goals, strategies, and more of the campaign while also focusing on public relations, marketing, social media, budgeting, fundraising, and more.

  • Base pay for campaign managers is around $60,000, with the median pay reaching nearly $120,000.
  • Job outlook is placed at 13% growth.
  • Campaign managers should have at least a bachelor’s degree, but experience and a higher degree are often requested.

Social Media Manager

Social media managers can work with any organization, company, government official, or government agency. Those in this position are required to craft social media posts, monitor data, and engage with their community as public relations.

  • New social media managers tend to make just under $60,000.
  • 10% job growth is expected before 2026.
  • A majority of social media managers have a bachelor’s degree.

And More…

There are a number of other jobs available to political science majors including:

  • Political office including local, state, and federal and legislature
  • Diplomat
  • Policy analyst
  • Budget analyst
  • Survey researcher
  • Staff assistant
  • Press aide
  • Agency administrator
  • Legislative director
  • Advocate
  • Policy research
  • Communications coordinator or manager
  • Consultant
  • Market research analyst
  • Urban planner
  • Lobbyist
  • Writer or editor
  • High school teacher
  • Human resources specialist

How Can You Decide on a Career for You?

Choosing a career isn’t easy! And with a field like political science, you really have a lot of options and branches you can choose from. We recommend taking a few steps to help you identify the best career options for you:

Talk to Your Guidance Counselor, Advisor, or Career Services

In high school and college, you are usually assigned a guidance counselor. Talking to them about your career goals can help you identify the best routes for your future, including the best classes and programs to focus on.

Career services can also give you excellent advice on careers, connect you with internships, and offer suggestions for your interviews and resume.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

Asking yourself a few questions can also help you get to the bottom of the best career for you. This will be especially helpful with a major like political science! Some to get you started:

  • What interests you about the subject: public service, international agencies, government as whole, law, lobbying, something else?
  • Do you want to work in government or in a corporate setting?
  • Do you want to run for office or work for someone already in office?
  • Do you want to pursue a degree after your bachelor’s to open the door to further opportunities?

Shadow Someone

Most people have a very skewed idea of their career field before they actually enter the position. This is usually the fault of movies, TV shows, and books. CSI is a great example – forensic work is not normally like that!

It’s also the case with political science. The things you see on TV are not always an accurate representation of the positions.

That’s why we recommend talking to career services (or even your high school guidance counselor) about shadowing. This allows you to go to work with someone for a few days who is in your desired field and get a true picture of what it’s like in that position.

Is political science right for you? This is just a glimpse at some of the avenues available to you. If you’re curious about learning more about any of these positions, make sure to use our Career Finder!

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