Why Political Science

What can you do with a Political Science degree? 

The best answer to this question, based on the skills our majors develop, and on the careers our graduates have followed, is this: "Just about anything". 

The American Political Science Association provides the following description of the political science major: "Political science majors acquire skills in writing, communications, and analysis that are critical to a liberal arts education. A liberal arts education prepares students to think independently, with tolerance for others and concern for current affairs. Today, students can reasonably expect to change jobs and even to have more than one career. An undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences is excellent preparation for flexibility in employment."

As with almost every other liberal arts major, a training in political science is not designed to prepare you for a specific job so much as to give you skills that you can use in almost any job. We focus on encouraging our students to think critically, to be aware of the world around them, and to think about and develop their own views and opinions on political, economic and social issues. This means that there is no one occupation in which most of our graduates can be found, but that they achieve success on a wide variety of fronts. 

Still, given the subject matter addressed by political science, students with this degree are especially well qualified to pursue the following sorts of careers or advanced degrees:

  • Law
  • Business and Finance
  • Journalism and Communications
  • Research
  • Federal Government and Politics
  • State or Local Government and Politics
  • Interest Groups and Community Organizations
  • International Organizations
  • Campaign Management and Political Polling
  • Teaching
  • Personnel Management
  • Graduate School

If career choice is not an issue for you, there are still plenty of benefits to be had from studying political science. These might include a life-long interest in politics and the ethical issues involved in politics; improved opportunities for volunteering or part-time participation in political causes; community organizing around a long list of issues that are important to educated people; involvement in organizations promoting good government; part-time work with interest groups in many different areas; and running for and serving in public office on a part-time basis. In all these areas, political science graduates can be important forces for good on others who know less about government and politics. 

The following are some more specific examples of opportunities available to political science majors:

Examples of Careers

  • Campaign Worker
  • Events Planner
  • City Manager
  • International Market Researcher
  • Announcer
  • Business Administrator
  • Diplomat
  • Executive Search Consultant
  • Editor
  • Executive assistant
  • Journalist
  • Financial Planner
  • Intelligence Agent
  • Political Correspondent
  • Researcher
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Opinion Analysts
  • Technical Writer
  • Educator/Teacher
  • Politician
  • Political Consultant
  • Media Specialist
  • Public Relations Director
  • Human Rights Officer
  • Urban Policy Planer
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Legal Investigator
  • Parole/Probation Officer
  • Strategic Planning Consultant
  • Lawyer/Paralegal
  • Lobbyist/Organizer
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Historical Archivist/Researcher
  • Sales Manager

Potential Employers

  • Law Firms
  • Marketing Research Firms
  • Consulting Firms
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Field Research Firms
  • Political Office Holders
  • Lobbying Firms
  • Publishing Firms
  • Political Organizations
  • Businesses
  • Secondary Schools
  • Research Firms
  • College & Universities
  • Provincial/Local Governments
  • Federal Agencies
  • City/Regional Government
  • Newspaper/Magazines/TV/Radio
  • Community Groups

Post-Graduate Studies

  • Political Science
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Public Administration
  • Policy Administration
  • Business Management
  • Social Work
  • Urban Planning

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Election Campaigns
  • Fund Raising
  • Student Government
  • Club Executive
  • Community Organization Board of Directors
  • Community/University Publications

For more information see the discussion of careers on the website of the American Political Science Association.