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What Can I Do With A Major In Political Science?

Students majoring in political science will confront and reflect on some of the enduring questions and struggles surrounding political life. Students will also gain an understanding of the institutions and the nature of American politics. The major emphasizes the increasing international dimensions of politics, which are unavoidable as we enter the 21st century.

Possible Career Options

(Some may require further education/specialization)

Campaign Worker
Chamber of Commerce Manager
Community Relations Director
Congressional Aide
Consumer Advocate
Foreign Correspondent
Foreign Service Officer
Government Intelligence Analyst
Government Worker
Hospital Administrator
International Banker
International Organization Official
International Trade Specialist
Labor Relations Specialist
Market Research Analyst
Military Officer
Newspaper/Magazine Journalist
Peace Corps/VISTA Worker
Political Consultant
Political Scientist
Presidential Advance man
Probation/Parole Officer
Public Administrator/Manager
Public Health Official
Public Opinion Interviewer
Public Recreation Director
Public Relations Specialist
Radio/TV Announcer
School Administrator
Survey Worker
Teacher, Social Studies
Technical Writer
Urban/Regional Planner

Types of Employers

Private & Non-Profit Organizations

Advertising Agencies
Book/Magazine Publishing Companies
Civic Organizations
Collection Agencies
Community Arts Centers
Community Organizations
Consulting Firms
Cultural Organizations
Education Institutions
Historic Sites/Historical Societies
Insurance Companies
Labor Unions
Law Firms
Political Organizations
Professional Associations
Public Interest Groups
Public Relations Firms
Radio/TV Companies
Research Firms

Government Agencies

Department of Commerce
Department of Justice
Department of State
Drug Enforcement Administration
Federal/State Congressional Offices
General Accounting Office
National Archives and Records Administration
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Park Service
Peace Corps/AmeriCorp
Political Parties
Smithsonian Institution
US Customs Service
US Information Agency

Transferrable Skills

General Skills
Conducts and explains scientific research clearly
Communicates ideas to others
Focuses on the structure and function of the government and the necessity for human social order

Problem Solving Skills
Thinks analytically
Evaluates problems and makes appropriate decisions
Analyzes concepts, definitions, arguments and complex problems
Organizes ideas, deals with questions of value, and extracts essential information
Distinguishes differences between views and discovers common ground

Persuasive Skills
Constructs clear formulations, good arguments and examples
Builds and defends views and appreciates completing positions
Persuades people and adapts to change

Communication Skills
Speaks articulately
Presents ideas through well-constructed, systematic arguments
Expresses a distinctive view and explains difficult material
Eliminates ambiguities and vagueness in communication
Constructs useful analogies
Writes interpretively, argumentatively and descriptively
Develops structure and technique while anchoring generalizations

Research Skills
Reads comprehensively
Organizes and interprets social, economic and political data
Summarizes complicated materials

Other Useful Things
Time management and organizational skills
Goal setting and attainment skills


Experiential Education

Assisting with registration at a National Party Convention

Working on a campaign to elect a state politician

Serving as a Page in Congress

Becoming a research assistant for a professor

Working for a lobbying organization

Researching political issues/campaigns for a national library/museum

Professional Associations

American Academy of Political and Social Science,

Political Science Quarterly,

International Political Science Association,

The American Political Science Association,

National Endowment for Democracy,

Enhancing Your Employability

Join relevant student organizations to develop leadership skills

Participate in internships and field experience placements

Participate in a study abroad trip

Become active in alumni and/or mentor networks

Plan on a graduate degree for advancement

Take part in mock interview opportunities

Source: Ashland University, Rutgers University

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