The Political Science degree program draws individuals with a passion for government and politics, but it is also offers interdisciplinary curriculum that is attractive to students seeking a broad, liberal arts education that will serve as a precursor to post-graduate studies. Students may choose to focus their studies and their career interests on international, federal, or state government or political systems.
The most popular career path for political science graduates is to become a lawyer. Political science is a common pre-law degree and the majority of law school students actually hold degrees in political science. The problem-solving, analytical, and oral and written communication skills emphasized in political science curriculum are critical components of post-graduate legal studies.
These skills are also valuable and relatable skills for working in:
- Intelligence communities.
- Non-governmental and nonprofit organizations.
- Media or journalism.
- Political campaigns.
- Lobbying or policy analysis in the private sector.
Federal careers can be found in most states and with the largest concentration located in and around the Washington D.C. region. You can find out which jobs are available by searching the government’s Human Resources page. For the federal government, you can see what jobs are available through the Office of Personnel Management.
While a degree offers no guarantee of employment in these areas, political science does provide an outstanding foundational education for developing core analytical, leadership, and communication competencies that are universal and relevant. It is recommended and a common practice that political science students or graduates seek out and complete internships in order to progress in their political-science career of choice.
By Stephen Schwalbe, PhD
Program Director, Political Science at American Public University