5 Political Science Major Career Paths
- Campaign Manager
- Public Administrator
As with many liberal arts degrees, the career options for political science majors may not be readily apparent. However, this challenging degree teaches critical thinking, analytical skills and statistical science to passionate undergraduates. With the right approach, a bachelor’s degree in political science can lead to many interesting, rewarding career opportunities.
1. Campaign Manager
There’s no better way to put your passion for political science into day-to-day practice than by managing a campaign. You’ll recruit volunteers, manage the candidate’s schedule, educate the public on important issues and work long nights with a smile on your face. If you aren’t drawn to the cycle of election-based campaigning, with six months of frantic, 100-hour weeks followed by six months of unemployment, you can find stable work at issue-based non-profits. You can use your political science degree to educate citizens about important issues, such as banning Styrofoam, protecting the integrity of the voting process or speaking up for human rights.
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for an attorney is $120,910 as of May 2018. This makes working as an attorney one of the highest paying jobs for political science majors. Law school isn’t easy for anyone, but poli-sci majors have an advantage over other students. Because so much of your undergraduate classwork focuses on the rhetorical argument, critical engagement with philosophy texts and analytical thinking, the transition between your undergraduate classes and your first year of law school will be almost seamless.
3. Public Administrator
The engine of government needs engineers to keep it running smoothly. Public administrators are the hard-working, behind-the-scenes expert who ensures that grants are awarded, laws are followed and citizens are served. Administrators work at all levels of government and in every field, from transport to public health to property assessment. With a degree in political science, you can find an entry-level position. If you like the work, a Master’s in Public Administration will help you continue your undergraduate studies and advance your career.
As a political science major, you enjoy studying current events, unraveling the hidden subtext of proposed legislation and analyzing the long-term financial and social consequences of political movements. As a journalist, you can put those skills to work every single day. Monitoring politics is tricky. News agencies need employees with the analytical skills of political scientists to explain complex topics like gerrymandering, long-term bonds and voter demographics.
One of the most in-demand jobs in the non-profit sector is fundraising. For non-profit organizations to fulfill their missions, they need money. Fundraisers work with government agencies and private donors to obtain grants, donations and other forms of income. Successful fundraisers need strong social skills to charm donors, attention to detail to meet the requirements of complicated grants and excellent writing skills to craft compelling requests for funds. You don’t need a master’s degree in political science or any other field to start work as a fundraiser; entry-level positions are open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree and a passion for the non-profit’s mission. To get started in this field, consider working for your college’s alumni fundraising drives or coordinating a charitable event on campus.
Related Resource: 20 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees
College is a time for exploration. You can lead a campaign to change university policy, volunteer as a fundraiser for your favorite charity or write for the campus newspaper as a way to dip your feet into the many available career options for political science majors.