What to Do with a Political Science Degree: The Successful Pathway After College

You’ve invested your time, money, and hard work into getting a degree in political science. It’s a safe bet that you want to know whether your investment will pay off with jobs, promotions, and a long, successful career in the field. A political science degree is great when it comes to getting your foot in the door and what you can do after graduation.

A political science degree is a very useful one to have. It is known for being very versatile. This degree is perfect for anyone who wants to do an array of things in life. You can teach, be an author, run for office (if you want to be a politician), or even help out in the political science field. 

In fact, this degree will greatly prepare you for numerous jobs after you graduate. It just depends on what you want to do with it. If you’re wondering what to do with a political science degree, this article is for you.

1. Become a Lawyer

Are you thinking about a legal career? If so, keep in mind that a political science degree is a solid foundation for a law degree. This is a great choice for political science majors. Even if you decide not to practice law, this degree builds strong writing, reading, and research skills that can help you in almost any career.

Political science students tend to be well versed in the law and government. The skills and knowledge that they gain in a political science program are easily transferrable to working as a lawyer. They often supply valuable insights when dealing with legal matters such as constitutional rights, bill drafting, and legal research.

Lawyers are very well-paid. Lawyers make around $109,000 per year on average. Your work can have a significant impact on the world, and you will have unlimited opportunities to travel. However, it requires a lot of time, patience, and determination to become a successful lawyer.

SEE: Explore the best passive income ideas for lawyers 

2. Consider Working as a Diplomat or Foreign Service Officer

Working as a diplomat or foreign service officer allows you to travel the world while also serving your country. Not everyone can be president, but if you love politics, this might be a good place for you to start. Foreign service officers are professionals employed by the government who conduct diplomatic relations around the world

Diplomats and their staff represent their countries around the world and report back on political trends taking place in their host country. They do this to predict possible outcomes of those events for policymakers, who can then plan accordingly. Diplomats also work closely with international organizations such as NATO or the UN, which deal with matters such as human rights and refugee crises.

The job also requires diplomats to travel internationally on occasion. It means you can have the luxury of exploring some of the world’s most beautiful places while still earning a paycheck. A foreign service officer in the United States makes an average salary of about $110,000 per year. However, salaries vary from government to government and across different job roles.

3. Be a Political Scientist

A career in political science is a great way to get involved with your community and help to make it a better place. If you are interested in politics, policy, or the law-making process, then becoming a political scientist can take you one step closer to making those dreams come true.

Political scientists study the development, structure, and function of governments as well as how they affect society. You will use research methods to gather information on how people are governed and how their policies are created.

Political scientists in the United States earn an average of $123,000 per year. Salaries typically range from $61,500 to $172,000 per year.

4. Become an Economist 

If your interest in politics does not go beyond avidly following politics, then you might consider becoming an economist. The job of an economist is to understand the relationships between the economic and political policies of a country. 

Economists study the production and distribution of goods and services in a given economy, and they might work in a range of sectors, including education, healthcare, or manufacturing. They forecast economic trends and advise governments on which laws should be passed. 

You will need good analytical skills and be able to evaluate situations rationally. The education you get with a political science degree will help you greatly in this career path, as there is a lot of overlap between the two disciplines.

Economists’ salaries are dependent on a number of factors, including education, experience level, employer type, and geographic location. The annual salary ranges between $26,000 and $216,000 per annum.

5. Work as an Intelligence Analyst

If you’re a political science student and you’ve made it to this point, then you are one of the few who have decided to major in something practically useless. Don’t worry, though: there are some ways you can turn your degree into an advantage. One option is to become an intelligence analyst. 

Intelligence analysts look at information and try to make sense of it. They might analyze battles and conflicts overseas to determine which countries or groups are gaining strength. Also, they could assess American policies to know how much support they have from citizens at home. 

Intelligence analysts are employed by private firms, law enforcement agencies, and government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the United States, the average salary for an intelligence analyst ranges from $49,500 to $140,000 per year.

6. Become a Political Consultant

If you enjoy writing, researching, and analyzing statistics, then maybe a career in political consulting is for you. Political consultants advise candidates on campaign strategies and help them craft messages that resonate with voters. It allows you to stay in the political arena, but at a less intense level than working for the government or lobbying. 

You can work for federal, state, or local candidates by assisting with campaign strategy and planning. Political consulting is one of the most exciting fields for a political science degree. Even if it consists of little more than talking with clients, political consultants play an important role in shaping election campaigns. 

Most of all, by helping to elect a candidate who shares your principles and values, you can feel confident that you have made a difference in your community. Political consultants often make a lot of money, but it also depends on the kind of experience they have or for whom they work. 

Depending on the size of the campaign, these workers can earn anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 per month.

SEE: Explore side income ideas to make more money as an HR consultant

7. Be a Policy Analyst

With a degree in political science, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the job market and make a real difference in your community. This includes analyzing the data and facts on issues such as education, housing, and public safety. If you are passionate about public policy and want to tackle the big issues of your time, you may consider becoming a policy analyst. 

A policy analyst is a public policy expert who works for a company or government agency to identify and solve problems in an industry, company, or system. A policy analyst can work at national, state, or local levels of government. 

The skills you’ve developed can prepare you for a variety of careers, including jobs in law and government service, like caseworker. As a policy analyst, you can earn over $100,000 per year, though entry-level positions are more likely to pay around $45,000.

8. Consider Working as a Legislative Assistant

 Legislative assistants play an important role in the policymaking process, by helping to oversee and organize the work of government representatives. Working as a legislative assistant can be very rewarding. It can also give you access to information that you might never find on your own or through the media. 

Legislative assistants are a great fit for political science majors because they allow you to work with lawmakers, analyze issues, and apply your knowledge of the political system. Legislative assistants can also provide you with experience that looks good on a resume, such as writing speeches, helping constituents, and analyzing legislation.

A legislative assistant can earn anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000 per year. Legislative assistants work closely with politicians and help them draft bills, push legislation through the process, and get them signed into law by their superiors.

9. Consider a Career in Communications or Public Relations 

 If you have a political science degree, you may be considering what to do with your degree. Communication and public relations are two great fields that can use the skill set you developed during your degree program.

Communications, or PR, is a field of work that offers massive employment right now. It is also expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. This means that most communications majors who graduate will walk right into a job in their field. These fields allow you to gain experience in writing, speaking, and working with the public.

Depending on their career path, communication majors can earn anywhere from $37,000 to $176,000 per year. The broad scope of communication opens up a variety of career options, including media, marketing, sales, business, and government.

SEE: Explore the top career prospects for a communications degree 

10. Become a Public Opinion Researcher or Pollster

 Your political science degree could prepare you for a career in public opinion research, such as gathering and analyzing polling data. Research skills and acumen are in high demand as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, so this could be a worthwhile investment for you. 

In this field, you examine public perceptions of governments, products, and policies to assist businesses and organizations in making strategic decisions. Beyond general skills like critical thinking, research, and writing, you’ll also get a solid foundation in statistics and public speaking. 

Political science majors are often sought after as candidates for training programs at polling or research firms. 

This can lead to a career in which you work as a political consultant or advise politicians on how to use data and statistics to determine their policy positions. A public opinion researcher’s salary in the US ranges from $64,000 to $91,000 annually, with a median salary of $72,000.

What is the Career Outlook for People with a Political Science Degree?

The career outlook for people with political science degrees is bright, especially considering the increasing emphasis placed on international issues in government and business. If you have a love of government, politics, and policies, then a political science degree is perfect for you. 

You won’t just study the theory of law but instead focus on the history and statistics behind how things work. This can open many doors for you. Political science is closely related to economics, sociology, and history, making this a versatile field of study with many potential applications. 

It’s possible to work in government at the local or state level as a budget analyst or program administrator. Many political science majors go on to further their education with advanced degrees.

SEE: Explore the most satisfying career development goals

FAQs

Is a political science degree worth it?

A political science degree is a great option for a number of different careers. Whether you’re interested in a career in politics or simply want to work with people, this degree could be very valuable. You can find many job fields that need political science majors in the classroom, courtrooms, law offices, and even in government agencies.

What do you learn in political science?

As a political science major, you’ll have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the workings of government and how to make it better. Furthermore, political science will teach you how to understand the world around us, make informed decisions, and develop a better sense of how to do good. People with political science degrees are highly in demand in public service, law, business, and education.

Final Thoughts 

The political science major is ideal for those who enjoy studying policies, politics, and advocacy. As a liberal arts degree, a political science major teaches students how to think critically while preparing them to be globally aware. The skills gained from this major will benefit you in any career that requires these qualities.

The debate about what to do with a political science degree is still up for grabs. The truth is, there isn’t one right answer. And since no two people are the same, it’s unlikely that you’ll find one universal path that will work for everyone. 

What you need to figure out are your own goals, along with what kind of career path will help you best achieve them. While political science is not a job in and of itself, the principles and strategies used to pursue it are applicable to any other field that interests you.

In addition, if you’re thinking about getting a college degree and want to know what your prospects are after graduation, the website has a section on that. You can look through the degree pages. You can also explore the most marketable degrees you can get online

Thanks for reading.