Is political science a good career option?
Having a degree in political science opens an array of career options for you. And no, not just in the political sphere.
From nonprofit work to business, education, and data analysis, you can choose to work in various private and public sectors.
With a political science major, you need not settle for a regular 9-5 job. You have an option to make a real difference in society by becoming bureaucrats, policymakers, diplomats, and politicians.
If all this sounds amazing to you, yes! Political science is a great career option.
Besides, the job outlook for political scientists and related careers is projected to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030.
Read on to learn more about political science jobs and related FAQs like the following:
- What is a political science degree?
- What jobs can you get with a political science degree?
- What are some of the highest-paying political science jobs?
- What does a political scientist do?
- What are some entry-level jobs for political science majors?
What is a Political Science Degree?
Political science is a type of social science that focuses on policies, administration, political procedures, and international relations.
Students with a degree in political science have a firm grasp of the recurrent social issues and an understanding of the standard processes for meeting these challenges.
Apart from the textbook studies, the coursework can also include gathering feedback and public opinion on policies, products, etc., to leverage the data for optimizing the same.
Generally, colleges offer options for students to specialize in a particular aspect of political science, such as:
- Criminal Justice
- Urban Studies
- Bilingual Journalism
- Foreign Relations
Also Read: How to make a federal resume in 2022?
What Kind of Jobs Can You Get with a Political Science Degree?
A political science major is a versatile degree that can land you jobs in a variety of industries.
A degree in political science meets the qualifications for a variety of entry-level white-collar jobs that deal with communication, administration, and data.
From a broad perspective, careers in political science can be roughly divided into the following types:
- State/Federal Government
- International Affairs
- Private Business
- Journalism/Media Reporter
- Corporate & Marketing
Best Jobs for Political Science Majors that Pay Well
The following are some of the highest-paying political science jobs that can you can consider getting:
Federal Civil Servants
With a political science degree, you can easily bag local and state federal government jobs, provided you pass the competitive exams and clear the background checks.
Primarily, there are 3 types of US federal government jobs with different hiring processes:
- Competitive Services - wherein candidates are selected through competitive exams based on merit
- Senior Executive Service (SES) - these senior-level positions are filled by highly experienced employees and through political appointments
- Excepted Services - Also known as unclassified services, these positions include CIA, FBI, etc., with a streamlined hiring process.
The average national salary for federal civil servants is $71,842 in the US.
Policy analysts are tasked with examining policies to assess their efficiency based on their objectives.
These professionals can be employed in political administrations, private companies, businesses, healthcare institutions, and education sectors.
Generally, employers look for candidates with at least 2-3 years of relevant experience along with a bachelor’s degree in political science for entry-level positions.
However, the requirements vary for senior-level policy analysts, with the minimum educational requirement being a master's degree.
The median salary of policy analysts is $77,058 per annum, which can vary depending on location, experience, employer, and skills.
Survey researcher is one of the political science jobs that entail designing and conducting research surveys to gather data related to market research, customer satisfaction, public opinion, etc.
Along with a master's degree in political science, aspiring candidates must have great communication and critical thinking skills.
On average, survey researchers earn about $59,000 per annum, while the top 10% earn over $110,000 in the US.
Management analysts are responsible for proposing ways to improve business processes and advising management on methods to increase profitability and reduce costs.
It is one of the highest-paying political science jobs, with a median salary of $87,660 and an expected job growth of 14%.
Since candidates with a background in political science are familiar with methods of gathering data and analyzing processes, they are qualified to bag management analyst jobs.
From studying the origin, development, and operation of political systems to evaluating the effects of policies on society and the economy, a political scientist is one of the most apparent political science jobs.
The majority of these professionals work for government agencies, while a handful works for technical and professional services.
In 2020, the median pay for political scientists was $125,350. The best-paid 25% earned $157,710 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $90,780.
Urban & Regional Planners
Urban & regional planners are tasked with strategizing and land planning for developing communities and accommodating population growth.
They collaborate with public officers to conduct field investigations, gather data, and administer government plans.
If you want to land this political science job, you must have a firm grasp of zoning laws and building codes.
Urban & regional planners make an average yearly income of $56726 in the US.
Community Service Manager
The job description of a community service manager includes working with community members and stakeholders to identify the need for necessary social services programs.
Additionally, they must assess the effectiveness of these community programs and ensure that the programs align with the overall objective of the stakeholders.
The job outlook for community service managers is projected to grow by 15% within a decade, and these professionals make a median salary of $69,600 per annum in the US.
Entry-level Political Science Jobs
While most high-paying political science jobs require candidates to have at least a couple of years of relevant experience, some entry-level political science jobs are suitable for recent graduates.
Given below are some of the most lucrative entry-level political science jobs:
|Social Media Intern||Legislative Assistant|
|Junior Research Analyst||Staff Assistant|
|Public Relations Assistant||Political Consultant|
|Management Consultant||Junior Policy Analyst|
Key Points from the Blog
- Political science is a type of social science that focuses on policies, administration, political procedures, and international relations.
- A degree in political science meets the qualifications for a variety of entry-level white-collar jobs that deal with communication, administration, and data.
- With a political science major, you have an option to make a real difference in society by becoming bureaucrats, policymakers, diplomats, and politicians.
- Some of the highest-paying political science jobs include federal civil servants, political analysts, political scientists, and regional planners, among others.
- Arbitrator, Political Consultant, Paralegal, and Legislative Assistant are some entry-level political science jobs.