Jobs for Political Science Majors

What Can You Do With a Poli Sci Degree?

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Political science majors study political processes, systems, and behavior. Coursework includes topics such as political theory, comparative politics, policy studies, and international relations. By majoring in this liberal arts discipline, often referred to as poli sci, you will become an expert in the inner workings of government.

Your studies will also allow you to develop essential soft skills like writing, verbal communication, decision making, critical thinking, problem solving, and research skills. You will learn how to work well under pressure, develop and market ideas, function as a strong leader and team player, and interact with diverse populations. These skills and abilities are valuable for a variety of careers. Let's take a look at some of the jobs that are good for political science majors.

Political Scientist

After majoring in poli sci as an undergraduate, you may choose to continue to study political systems, public policies, and the structure of governments to become a political scientist. To pursue this option, you must get a master's degree or doctorate.

Your career will involve researching political subjects, collecting and analyzing data through public opinion surveys, testing theories, monitoring current events, and forecasting trends. Though this may be the most obvious career choice, it certainly isn't your only one.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $115,110

Number of People Employed (2016): 7,300

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 3 percent

Projected Increase in Jobs (2016-2026): 200

Attorney

Attorneys advise people who are involved in civil or criminal legal cases. They present evidence in support of their clients; interpret laws, rules, and regulations for their clients; negotiate settlements; and prepare legal documents.

Majoring in political science will endow you with all the skills you need for this career—strong communication, analytical, problem solving, writing, and research skills—but you will also need to earn a law degree after you complete your bachelor's degree. Political science is a popular undergraduate major for law school applicants.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $119,250

Number of People Employed (2016): 792,500

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 8 percent

Projected Increase in Jobs (2016-2026): 65,000

Paralegal

Paralegals help attorneys prepare for trials, hearings, and real estate closings. They do research, interview witnesses, and draft legal documents.

To work in this occupation, you need some of the same skills attorneys do, for example, strong communication, research, and writing skills, but you won't have to attend law school. After earning your political science degree, get a certificate in paralegal studies. It will take under a year.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $50,410

Number of People Employed (2016): 285,600

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 15 percent

Projected Increase in Jobs (2016-2026): 41,800

News Reporter

News reporters investigate stories and then deliver them to the public via television, radio, print, or the web. They do research, make observations, and interview witnesses.

A degree in political science will be particularly helpful to political reporters or those who cover international affairs or government. A reporter must have strong research and communication skills, both of which you would have picked up while earning your degree.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $62,910

Number of People Employed (2016): 44,700

Projected Job Decline (2016-2026): 10 percent

Projected Decrease in Jobs (2016-2026): 4,500

Legislator

Legislators enact laws and make decisions regarding the distribution of public funds. Voters elect them to run the federal government as well as state and local governments.

While you won't need a degree in political science or any degree for that matter to become a legislator, the education will provide you with an in-depth understanding of how governments function. Your excellent problem solving, decision making, communication, and leadership skills will help you do your job.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $25,630

Number of People Employed (2016): 56,000

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 8 percent

Projected Increase in Jobs (2016-2026): 4,400

Lobbyist

Lobbyists work for all different types of institutions and special interest groups. Their job involves persuading legislators to enact laws that benefit the entities they represent. Some lobbyists are volunteers, but many are paid for their work. The federal and state governments have restrictions regarding who can work as a lobbyist.

You will need excellent speaking skills, as well as strong research skills to do this job. Knowledge about the legislative process is also essential. So far so good. You have all those qualities. Experience with the industry or cause you will represent is also required. Many who work in this field choose to focus on topics that are meaningful to them and about which they have substantial knowledge. Salary and employment statistics are unavailable for this occupation.

Tax Examiner

Tax examiners make sure individuals have filed their taxes correctly. They contact taxpayers to discuss any problems in their filed returns.

You will be able to call upon your excellent analytical skills and communication skills to succeed in this career field. Dealing with the public also requires strong interpersonal skills.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $53,130

Number of People Employed (2016): 62,100

Projected Job Decline (2016-2026): 1 percent

Projected Decrease in Jobs (2016-2026): 400

Urban or Regional Planner

Urban and regional planners help communities figure out how to best use their land and resources. They work for local governments.

Your knowledge of how governments function can help you do your job. You will also utilize your excellent communication skills because urban and regional planners spend a significant amount of time meeting with the public, government officials, and special interest groups. Plan to spend a little more time in school. A master's degree in urban and regional planning is required.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $71,490

Number of People Employed (2016): 36,000

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 13 percent

Projected Increase in Jobs (2016-2026): 4,600

High School Teacher of Government and Politics

Secondary school teachers instruct their students in one of a variety of subjects including mathematics, English, art, history, world languages, and government and politics. Individuals who aspire to work in this occupation typically get dual bachelor's degrees—one in secondary education and the other in the subject in which they want to specialize.

In addition to your subject area knowledge, you will also bring your excellent communication skills to your job. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are also needed.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $59,170

Number of People Employed (2016): 1,018,700

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 8 percent

Projected Increase in Jobs (2016-2026): 76,800