Careers in Political Science
Law and Paralegal Careers
Many political science majors plan to study and practice law as a career. Although it is advisable for pre-law students to have as wide a background as possible, the department offers a number of specialized courses in the field of constitutional law and civil liberties. Generally, it is advisable for the pre-law student to seek advice on appropriate courses from a faculty member.
Public Administration Careers
Local, state, and federal governments employ one of every six American workers. A major in political science with a public administration or public policy emphasis can prepare students for civil service careers at national, state, and local levels. While many of these careers require specialized skills (e.g., budgeting and accounting), many require general skills and understanding, with on-the-job training providing the required specialized knowledge. Political science is also an appropriate major for students seeking training for positions in the overseas agencies of the U.S. government or in international organizations.
A political science major, combined with an ability to analyze and understand current political events and the skills to put that analysis into lucid writing, can prepare the student for an attractive career in journalism. Practical experience offered by the University newspaper is highly recommended.
A large number of political science graduates have found employment in the world of business. Preparation for this career involves a broad liberal arts background, combined with knowledge of governmental organization, public administration, finance, decision-making, organizational behavior, and the process by which political decisions about economic policy are made. Many businesses that recruit liberal arts graduates expect to provide them with special training programs.
Other enterprising individuals develop unique and interesting careers for themselves in politics by developing skills in campaign management, speech writing, polling, public relations, lobbying, voting analysis, or fundraising. These opportunities result from the initiative of the individual combined with the practical experience gained largely through volunteer service with political campaigns.