If you're drawn to political news and modern issues or are involved in local social causes, you may be a good candidate for a bachelor's degree in political science and a career in politics or related field. In fact, you may already have your sights set on a career in government service or with a non-government organization (NGO) that serves a political or social purpose you're passionate about.
In either case, an undergraduate degree in political science gives you the foundational knowledge and practical skills for employment in government and public and private nonprofit organizations.
What You'll Learn from a BS in Political Science
An undergraduate degree like the Online Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Houston-Victoria focuses on creating solutions for real-world problems based on theoretical understanding of the political world.
Students study and compare government systems, lawmaking, public policy development and how policy impacts people's social and economic well-being. This degree will help students develop analytical thinking skills, understanding of political institutions and processes and basic research skills such as research design and sampling.
Students also take courses in writing, public speaking, media, government, history, math and sciences, statistics, humanities, psychology and technology.
Where Your Political Science Degree Can Take You
Because political science pulls from so many fields, the degree connects many academic disciplines. Political science students, therefore, gain knowledge, principles and practical skills, which they can apply to roles in a variety of positions.
Here are a few entry-level jobs for the political-minded:
- Legislative/Council/Board Assistant: Elected officials at every level of government need assistants who are familiar with political affairs, policy issues, constituent relations and communication. A political science graduate would have the skills to assess constituent concerns and help formulate solutions to citizens' issues.
- Political Campaign Staffer: These professionals utilize their political science education to research and formulate policy, as well as analyze voter and media responses to a candidate's policy program. They may also write communication materials, such as news releases, reports and speeches.
- Policy Analyst: A policy analyst researches and evaluates proposed policies to determine the impact they might have and writes reports for or against their passage.
Here are some jobs outside politics that a political science degree graduates will be well prepared for:
- Legal Investigator and Probation Officer: research, analysis and problem-solving skills are transferable to these jobs
- Foreign Service Officer, Immigration Officer and Intelligence Officer: knowledge of political science and international relations prepare you well for this type of work
- City Planner and Housing Administrator: analytical and people skills go to good use in these positions
If you're up for more education in a specialized field, consider your B.S. in political science to be a first step toward a career such as these:
- Secondary education: Acquire teaching certification and you'll be set to teach civics or government in your state's middle and high schools.
- Higher education: Earn a master's or Ph.D. in political science and become a college or university instructor or maybe even a professor.
- Business: Earn an MBA in a specific area like risk management and become a corporate compliance officer.
With skills and knowledge across many subjects, an undergraduate political science degree will give you a tremendous amount of career flexibility that goes beyond the political sector.
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