A degree in political science is a fairly common thing for people to want to get.
However, there is a misconception out there that there aren’t any jobs in the realm of politics.
Thankfully, there are some jobs you can get that don’t require being elected to office. In fact, with a degree, you can get a wide variety of political science jobs. Here are some of the most common ones that people want.
The government itself hires political analysts to observe the going-ons of other countries. The Central Intelligence Agency in particular is well known for doing this. They hire political analysts to look into the political climates of foreign nations, that way they are fully prepared for any kind of international crisis before it happens.
Of course, you’re likely thinking more along the lines of being on TV if you want to be a political analyst. And that is more than possible. If you have a TV personality and opinions that people will gladly listen to you share, you could end up being a TV political analyst. Even if it is just for a local news team, this is a great way to use that political science degree.
If you like working with high school students, a great political science job to have would be to work as a high school government or social studies teacher. This would give you a chance to share your love of politics with students, and hopefully prepare those students for when they get their chance to make a difference in the world of politics.
If you want to become a government teacher, here is a great article that I wrote about becoming a teacher in general that should help you out.
Another option for those who like to write or report the news is to be a political journalist. There are always job and freelance opportunities out there for political reporters. You can easily make a full career out of this. Check with your local news stations, newspapers, and even radio stations to find work in the beginning. With the right combination of hard work, talent, and luck, you could end up working for a major national publication in no time.
If you want to work for an organization on a noble mission, then you should consider working for a not-for-profit. The larger of these types of organizations have to employ lots of political science graduates simply because they need to keep on top of an enormous amount of legislation. Our government regulates non profits more than any other type of association, and therefore they have to be extra careful to stay on top of the political side of things.
A great place to get started working in political science is for campaigns. During campaign season there are a myriad of political campaigns that you could potentially work for.
Call around to various campaign offices and ask what they are in need of help with, and see if you can get hired. There are a variety of jobs that you can work at in a political campaign. See a full list of them here.
Lobbying is a controversial, yet very profitable job for many. Lobbyist involves attempting to persuade a politician to vote a certain way on a particular issue. If you want to be a lobbyist, you can work for a large variety of organizations.
Corporate lobbyists are notoriously well paid. Companies often have a vested interest in how a certain piece of legislation turns out, especially if that legislation regulates them or costs them millions of dollars (which is fairly common). Because of this, they pay lobbyists substantial amounts of money to convince politicians of their views.
You can also lobby for a special interest group. Many special interest groups have a vast majority of the money they spend go towards lobbying efforts. Think of groups like the National Rifle Association of People for the Equal Treatment of Animals. Both groups pay lobbyists good money to speak up for those that donate money to their causes.
If you are interested in becoming a lobbyist, read my full article on the subject here.
If you are a new graduate, you may want to consider getting a job in your local government. There are all sorts of non-elected positions that you could potentially work in, ranging from secretaries to analysts to committee positions.
Similarly to your local government, if you have a little bit of experience under your belt you can potentially go work for you state government. These jobs won’t be as easy to get as a local job most likely, but they normally pay more, and offer you a chance to have a broader impact.
If you want to work on a national level, there are all sorts of positions that you can get if you have a political science degree. You can work for congress itself simply assisting in getting things done. You can also work for your congressman or senator of choice if you want in a wide variety of positions, ranging from internships to strategists.
Of course, once you have some experience and connections, you can potentially move up further and work in the White House itself.
Become a Politician
And the ultimate political job out there is of course to become a politician. While a political science degree doesn’t automatically qualify you to become a politician (read our full article here to discover what can), it does give you a big resume piece. Remember that people are oftentimes weary of career politicians, so do something besides politics for a while if this is the path you are thinking about taking.