What can you do with a political science degree?
The cycle of current events provides plenty of jobs for political science majors.
People may figure that you majored in political science in order to become a politician—and that’s certainly one job path that’s open to you. But there are many, many other kinds of jobs that are available to political science majors.
To help you get started, Monster used data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale.com to put together a list of the best political science careers.
What you’d do: Communications coordinators devise, maintain, and circulate a company’s or organization’s story. They work with company leaders to conceive of and write marketing-type materials to be used both internally and externally. Communications coordinators also manage media relations and draft news releases, as well as oversee a company’s website and social media presence.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree, plus excellent writing and people skills, are required.
What you’d make: $40,648 per year
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What you’d do: Hollywood tends to portray lawyers as hard-working go-getters—and that’s exactly right. Defending the rights of others is what lawyers live for. They research both people and situations to find any and all advantages for making their case in court, whether it’s a criminal or civil matter. This can include historical research for context into the intent of lawmakers in discussing any law relevant to the case, so your political science background certainly isn’t out of bounds here.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree and three-year law degree, plus passage of the bar exam in any state in which you intend to practice.
What you’d make: $115,820 per year
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What you’d do: Active in both the executive and legislative branches of government, lobbyists often work for special interest groups in order to influence policymakers with the hopes of currying their favor. Communication with legislators about the desires of those they represent is one of the basics of democracy.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is a common baseline expectation. Many lobbyists are lawyers or former political officeholders themselves. Lobbyists at the federal level must register with the Secretary of the U.S. Senate and the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
What you’d make: $64,500 per year
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What you’d do: Reporters act as the public’s eyes and ears on matters of local, national and global events. A lot of research, interviewing and analysis goes into a day’s work before a single word is ever written down. Many reporters have specialized beats that they cover, such as politics or environmental issues.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is usually expected for full-time reporting jobs. Communication and analytical skills are key.
What you’d make: $37,720 per year
Find news reporter jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Urban planners create and implement land-use plans that determine what kinds of buildings will go where, setting the course for what a city or town will look like years down the road. They’re involved in discussions with other leaders on areas where growth should be encouraged and other spots where it may be inappropriate.
What you’d need: A master’s degree usually is the baseline expectation.
What you’d make: $68,220 per year
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What you’d do: As the job title suggests, survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze the results. The surveys can be used to collect factual data like employment and salary information or to ask questions in order to understand people’s opinions, preferences, beliefs or desires.
What you’d need: While your bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some entry-level positions, holding an advanced degree will greatly improve your job prospects. You’ll also need experience performing research, using statistics and analyzing data.
What you’d make: $53,920 per year
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What you’d do: Community organizers act as local leaders to accomplish specific goals. Their duties include lobbying for legislative change, organizing rallies to build awareness of critical issues and strategizing new ways to improve the lives of community members.
What you’d need: Requirements vary, depending on where the job is located, though an advanced degree is generally helpful.
What you’d make: $37,245 per year
Find community organizer jobs on Monster.
Market research analyst
What you’d do: Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. In this role, you would help companies understand what products people want, their target audience and reasonable selling prices.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree will get your foot in the door, but to advance your career, you may need a master’s degree.
What you’d make: $62,150 per year
Find market research analyst jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Development officers organize events and campaigns to raise money and donations for an organization. Your job may include designing promotional materials and increasing awareness of an organization’s work, goals and needs.
What you’d need: Your bachelor’s degree should be sufficient to get a job in fundraising.
What you’d make: $52,000 per year
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What you’d do: A career in social services could include counseling underserved families, conducting drug abuse prevention programs or counseling incarcerated minors. Social workers often work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations and health care companies.
What you’d need: In addition to your bachelor’s degree, you’ll want to get some work experience under your belt, perhaps through a volunteer program or internship. Although not required for entry into social work, a master’s degree is generally expected for clinical social workers.
What you’d make: $45,900 per year
Find social worker jobs on Monster.
Learn more about government careers.