Voter turnout among 18- to 24-year-olds increased 16 percent from 2014 to 2018, according to Census Bureau data from the 2018 midterm elections. Non-presidential elections typically do not draw large crowds to the polls, but young adults’ political participation is increasing. Even though more people are interested in politics, few are well-read about it.
Political Issues arising in Today’s Era
Many political issues are important to college-aged students. College affordability, racial equity, gun control, and climate change are among them. Many students may want to work in these fields as a career. Whether, through research, advocacy, or direct action, but are unsure how to get started.
It is why prospective college students who want to make a difference in the world should think about majoring in political science. You will study concepts such as ethics, justice, and democracy in this field. Besides, you will learn about government systems and political behavior and apply theory to current political events.
Historically, the great Greek philosopher Aristotle is considered as the father of political science. He was the first one to give a working definition of political science. He believed that political science was a powerful and dynamic branch of science.
Political science is a degree that can be used in a variety of ways. It can serve as a stepping stone to a career in politics and policy, nonprofit work, business, the media, or education. Political science students gain research, communication, and data analysis skills that can be applied in both the private and public sectors.
A master’s or doctoral degree is usually required to become a political scientist or someone who analyses and proposes policy. Graduates with a BA or BS (each with slightly different course requirements) can find entry-level administrative, communication. Also work as analyst jobs in the public sector, business, or nonprofit.
Political science is another traditional major for undergraduates pursuing a law degree.
Subjects You Will Learn in a Political Science Program
Political science is concerned with the philosophy and practice of political systems, but the skills learned in political science courses apply to a wide range of industries.
While some college programs divide the subject in various ways, political science has traditionally been divided into four subfields.
Students learn about human nature, citizen behavior, and the moral purpose of government from ancient Greek philosophers as well as modern political theorists.
Students assess the development and effectiveness of various political systems, as well as how these systems can provide for citizens and uphold values such as order and freedom. This subfield investigates how systems diverge and align to discover general laws and theories.
Students examine the interactions of international actors such as states, corporations, and international organizations such as the United Nations. This subfield deals with a wide range of global issues, including war, trade, finance, development, and national security.
American Government and Politics
Students study the American political system, including the presidency, congress, courts, and state politics; they also study American policies and political ideas, as well as the role of mass media.
The growing importance of data analysis has resulted in the emergence of a fifth subfield in political science over the last decade.
Students use experiments, statistics, econometrics, and formal theory to practice and develop new methods for the scientific study of politics.
What Is a Political Science Degree?
Political science degrees, whether an associate degree or a Ph.D., are classified as social sciences. Social sciences are typically regarded as “soft” sciences, as opposed to “hard,” objective sciences such as chemistry or physics; however, political science is becoming more data-driven.
In political science, you can earn a bachelor’s degree as either Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA). The categorization and ability to select your degree type differ between schools. If both options are available, their requirements will differ slightly.
A bachelor’s degree in political science typically includes courses in mathematics and statistics.
Political Science Career Tracks
Political science majors work in government, business, and non-profit organizations. Some people use their political science education to work in politics and policy, but the hard and soft skills learned in a political science program can lead to a variety of jobs.
Field and Job table
|Field||Political Science Majors’ Jobs|
|Local/State Government||Policy analyst, legislative assistant, staff assistant, press aide|
|Federal Government||Agency administrator, political scientist, legislative director, policy analyst legislative assistant, press aide|
|Nonprofit||Advocate, program director, policy researcher, development officer, communications coordinator, think tank fellow|
|International Affairs||International NGO advisor, Diplomat|
|Private Business||Lobbyist, Consultant|
|Media||Tele-journalist, reporter, radio host, news anchor, social media manager, writer, editor|
|Marketing||Advertising executive, market researcher, creative director|
|Education||High school teacher (U.S. government, social studies, civics), librarian|
|Corporate||Human resources specialist, public relations manager, data analyst|
Many of the jobs available to political science graduates require data crunching, textual analysis, and persuasion skills. While political science is a course of study that focuses on power and governance systems, the practical skills and thought patterns learned in class can be applied to a variety of fields.
Is a Political Science Degree Worth It?
Political science is a broad degree that applies to a variety of careers. Whether you want to work in politics and policy or use your analytical and communication skills in the private sector, the degree has a high potential return on investment.
A bachelor’s degree in political science qualifies you for a wide range of entry-level, white-collar jobs involving administration, communication, and/or data.
Political science majors can earn $50,000-$70,000 as research analysts, program and account managers, and marketing professionals, according to PayScale. Political science degree holders’ salaries and career opportunities, like those of other majors, can be enhanced with advanced education.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, political scientist jobs are expected to grow by 5% between 2018 and 2028, which is the same as the average growth rate for all occupations. However, your career prospects will differ depending on whether you pursue political science as a career or as a stepping stone to other opportunities. So, think wisely before making a decision. Good Luck!