Life After College: Jobs in Political Science

Degree Offers Opportunities to Graduates

Amid the current economic uncertainties plaguing the job market, it is hopeful that students enjoy clear advantages over much of their competition. For students majoring in political science, the broad scope and varied nature of the discipline readies them for a multitude of diverse career paths which are not strictly limited to the realm of politics or government.

The obvious job choices for many political science majors certainly include office-holding positions such as becoming elected officials, city managers, committeemen, or federal employees, but the broad focus of the discipline also readies students for careers in many other areas.

William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services spoke about some of the more popular career choices of political science graduates. “The fields political science graduates have gone into include law, government, higher education, financial services, and non-profit organizations. Examples of jobs they have gotten include paralegal, media specialist, admission counselor, research interviewer and policy assistant to name a few.

According to literature available from the Department of Political Science and Sociology, other career options available to political science majors include business, marketing, the military, public relations, education, law enforcement, lobbying, systems analysis, journalism, and international diplomacy.

Today’s employers seek to hire motivated, skillful, and dedicated personnel irrespective of specific areas of expertise and this fact is at the very forefront of efforts made by University to instill these traits in its students.

Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology spoke with regard to efforts made by the department in order to give its students an advantage in the job market, “Employers want good communicators, good writers, and people who are adaptable. As a department, we try to instill a strong work ethic and commitment into our students, mentioned Patten.

Patten also pointed out that even some of the more basic expectations within the department such as that students arrive to class on time, participate in discussions, and maintain high standards of honesty and integrity are designed so that the skills students learn during their college years translate into good working habits. Furthermore, extracurricular departmental initiatives such as the debate team, political science club, and the Washington semester give students the opportunity to hone their abilities in preparation for future careers.

Carriers are certainly very much on the minds of political science majors as Gabrielle Gunter, a junior studying political science and sociology attests. Gabrielle said that her decision to enter the field stemmed from a long standing interest in politics and a desire to understand what is happening in the world.

When asked about her considerations for future careers, Gabrielle said that law school is a likely postgraduate option for her, and that her ultimate goal within the discipline is to “bridge the gap between the government and the people.” She added that the skills she is acquiring during her current studies will certainly be applicable in whichever occupation she ultimately pursues.

Political science majors have a vast array of career choices available to them in virtually any field imaginable. As the discipline requires that students be well-versed in many different subject areas as well as the general goings-on around the world, perhaps the greatest asset these students have is their adaptability.

Whether one enters fields such as law, public office, education, the corporate world, research, activism, or desires to become a lobbyist, ambassador, or President of the United States, political science majors certainly have a leg up, and the skills, work ethic, and commitment they develop during their studies are certainly relevant to any job and are critical traits of those who desire to change the world