Political Science Careers

Home >> Arts Careers >> Political Science Careers
  •  
  • Sharebar

 

What You Can Do with a Political Science Degree

Unlike engineering, education, accounting, management, nursing, or other undergraduate professional degrees, there is no clear career path for you to take once you’ve earned a political science degree.

 

Traditionally, the single biggest post-graduation destination for political science majors is law school. Many also think that with a political science degree, you are destined to pursue a career as a politician. So, two careers paths…that’s it?

 

The truth is, believe it or not, that not every political science major ends up becoming a politician or a lawyer, and many of them find fulfilling employment. So what exactly can you do with this degree? Where will you find work?

 

The short answer to these questions is that there are many, many things you can do with this degree. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve outlined the main things you can do after graduation:

 

 

• Get a graduate degree (in a field such as political science, business administration, international relations, and others)

• Get a professional degree (such as law, education, journalism)

• Find work in a career directly related to your degree

• Find work in a career that makes use of the skills you’ve gained, but isn’t related to political science

 

 

While graduate and professional programs are great options, they are also beyond the scope of this page. Instead, our goal is to show you what careers (related to your degree or not) that you can pursue, and why. Spoiler Alert!! You can pursue a lot of careers...because of the skills you gain.

 

 

What Political Science Teaches You

Political Science is the study of politics; the nature, causes, and results of collective decisions and actions taken by groups of people embedded in the cultures and institutions that structure power and authority on local, regional and federal levels.

 

As a political science student, you’ll use the interpretive, historical, case study and comparative methods to examine such aspects of politics as:

 

• Relations between nation-states

• Historical political structures, such as ancient Greece

• Relations between the state and society

• The nature of power and authority

• The nature of collective decision making, from small groups to global governance

• Political motives and behaviours, ranging from self-interested to altruistic

• The impact of such things as interest groups, political parties, social structures and other societal organizations

 

SHOW ME SCHOOLS >

 

Skills You’ll Gain for Careers Related to Political Science

As a result of this coursework, a degree in political science can provide you with a set of employable skills that is specific to the subject matter. These skills apply to careers that are directly related to your degree. They include:

 

• An understanding of the forces that shape international relations, politics and society at large

• Analytical skills with regards to political issues

• Ability to develop and present organized, structured, persuasive and evidence-based arguments

• Ability to understand the impact of political decisions

• Ability to spot political and policy trends

• Greater ability to predict political outcomes    

 

 

Careers Directly Related to a Political Science Degree

The following occupations are directly related to the field-specific skills that a degree in political science can offer you (some may require additional training, experience and education):

 

Blogger

 

Campaign Officer

 

Citizenship and Immigration Officer

 

City Councillor

 

Consumer Advocate

 

Contractual Researcher

 

Diplomat

 

Election Officer

 

Executive Assistant for Members of Parliament

 

Foreign Affairs Officer

 

Government Researcher

 

Governmental Program Agent

 

Human Rights Commission Development Officer

 

Human Rights Officer Career

 

Intelligence Analyst

 

Intelligence Officer

 

Legislative Aide

 

Legislator

 

Local Government Official

 

Mayor

 

Member of Parliament

 

Military Officer

 

Ministerial Assistant

 

Natural Resource Policy Analyst

 

Political Campaign Manager

 

Political Consultant

 

Political Coordinator

 

Political Organizer

 

Political Pollster

 

Political Researcher

 

Political Scientist

 

Politician

 

Politician's Assistant

 

Public Health Planner

 

Public Policy Consultant

 

Public Policy Planner

 

Regulatory Affairs Manager

 

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

 

Research Assistant

 

Senior Policy Advisor

 

Social Scientist

 

United Nations Ambassador

 

World Food Program Officer

 

City Manager

 

Deputy Clerk of the House of Commons

 

Director of Public Policy 

 

 

 

 

Transferrable Skills You’ll Gain

Unlike economics or some other arts degrees, not as many employers include "Political science majors only" or "Political science majors preferred" on their job postings.

 

However, in terms of leveraging your political science degree into a job outside of the field, it’s not about the type of degree you have, but the skills you’ve gained while earning it.

 

Because of the transferrable skills a political science program can teach you, you’ll make a competent employee in almost any industry. And after all, to many employers, the skill set you bring to the table is much more important than the specific field your degree is in.

 

So, while a political science degree may not get you a job in one of these fields by virtue of its title, it does provide you with a skill set that makes you a valuable asset for any organization.

 

Be aware, however, that in a cover letter or an interview, you should be prepared to explain that, by outlining how your skills are a great fit for the organization. 

 

Transferrable skills you can gain include:

 

• Written an verbal communications skills

• Qualitative researching abilities

• Time management skills

• Ability to operate within strict timelines

• Ability to think critically

• Ability to recognize quality information

 

 

Other Careers You Can Pursue with Your Degree

Not interested in a career that’s directly related to your political science degree? That’s okay, because of the transferrable skills you’re able to gain as a result of your studies, you have plenty of career options, including:

 

Alumni Relations Officer

 

By-Law Enforcement Officer

 

Communications Advisor

 

Communications Assistant

 

Communications Consultant

 

Community Program Director

 

Community Services Director

 

Compliance Officer

 

Customer Relations Clerk

 

Department Manager

 

Director of Strategy

 

Director of Volunteer Services

 

Diversity Consultant

 

Domestic Violence Victim Advocate

 

Employee Relations Officer

 

Equal Opportunity Officer

 

Foreign Trade Manager

 

Global Warming Advocate

 

Human Resources Assistant

 

Human Resources Coordinator

 

Industrial Relations Officer

 

Intellectual Property Manager

 

International Account Executive

 

International Aid and Development Project Officer

 

International Aid Worker

 

Judge

 

Labour Organizer

 

Lawyer

 

Legal Advisor

 

Legal Analyst

 

Market Researcher

 

Marketing Consultant

 

Non-Profit Foundation Manager

 

Paralegal

 

Press Secretary

 

Principal

 

Recruiter

 

Restaurateur

 

Retail Manager

 

School Administrator

 

Superintendent

 

Surveillance Officer

 

Survey Researcher

 

Tour Guide

 

Trade Commissioner

 

Transportation Planner

 

Travel Agency Manager

 

Travel Agent

 

Volunteer Coordinator

 

Zoning Inspector

 

NGO Area Coordinator

 

Director of University Admissions

 

Women's Shelter Staff

 

Please Note: Some of the above careers require additional training, education and/or experience. To find out more about the specific education and training requirements of each career, click on their links above.

 

 

Where Can You Work as a Political Science Graduate?

Sectors of industry directly related to your degree

If you’re looking for work directly related to your degree, try looking for administrative or decision-making roles in the following areas:

 

• Borders and immigration

• Regional, federal or international law making and enforcement

• Social policy

• Municipal, regional or federal government

• Non-governmental organizations (NGO's)

• Special interest groups (such as political parties and lobbyist groups)

• Democratic representation

• International policy

• National security

 

Sectors of industry not directly related to your degree

As we mentioned previously, many political science graduates that choose to look for work outside of the field often find roles in the following areas:

 

• Teaching at the primary and secondary level

• Teaching at the post-secondary level

• Public and private research

• Private industry

• Print and online media

• Banking and finance

 

 

Political Science Job Postings 

Whether you’re a polisci grad looking for an entry-level job, or a student looking for help paying for tuition, our job board has new opportunities everyday that are directly, and indirectly related to your degree.

 

Search Political Science Jobs

 

 

Political Science Graduate Salary

The salary you could earn as a political science graduate first entering the workforce can vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):

 

• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)

• The industry in which you find work

• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Other work experience you may have accrued

• Other skills you may have

 

Political Science Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $43,468 CAD* is the average salary earned by Social Science graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2008.

 

*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in the Social Science, not specifically for political science graduates. Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.

 

 

Political Science Degree Scholarships

If you’re a political science major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to political science students, arts students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.

 

 

Professional Associations for Political Science-Related Career Fields 

To find out more about careers directly related to your political science degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.

 

Canada

Canadian Association of Political Consultants

Canadian Political Science Association

Prairie Political Science Association

 

United States

American Legislative Exchange Council

The American Political Science Association

American Association of Political Consultants

 

 

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer