Careers in Political Science
Political science is a versatile and rewarding field that provides professionals with a wide range of career opportunities. Whether you’re interested in working for the government, a non-profit organization, or a political campaign, a degree in political science can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed.
Political science professionals are in high demand in a variety of settings. Government agencies at all levels – federal, state, and local – rely on political science experts to help develop and implement public policy. Non-profit organizations also frequently hire political science graduates to help with research, advocacy, and fundraising. And of course, political campaigns and political parties are always looking for talented political science professionals to help with strategy, outreach, and communication.
A degree in political science can also provide a strong foundation for a range of other careers. Many political science graduates go on to careers in law, journalism, education, or business. And of course, many political science graduates also go on to graduate or professional school, where they can pursue advanced degrees in fields such as public policy, law, or international relations.
At Marshall, our political science department offers a range of courses and programs designed to prepare students for a variety of careers. Our curriculum provides a strong foundation in the key concepts, theories, and methods used to study politics and government, while also providing opportunities for students to gain real-world experience through internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities.
Career Outlook for Political Science Majors
It’s worth noting that these are just a few examples of the many career paths available to someone with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Salaries and job prospects can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the specific employer or industry. It’s always a good idea to research and consider a variety of career options before making a decision.
Political analyst or consultant: Political analysts or consultants help organizations or individuals understand and navigate the political landscape. They may conduct research, analyze data, and provide recommendations on policy issues, political campaigns, and other topics related to politics and government. Political analysts may work for think tanks, consulting firms, or political organizations, and they may also be self-employed. The median annual wage for political scientists is $122,220, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Lobbyist: Lobbyists represent the interests of organizations or individuals before government officials, such as legislators and regulators. They may advocate for changes to laws or policies, or they may seek to influence the decisions of lawmakers and other officials. Lobbyists may work for corporations, trade associations, labor unions, or other groups, and they may also be self-employed. The median annual wage for lobbyists is $82,450, according to the BLS.
Government affairs specialist: Government affairs specialists work for organizations or individuals to advocate for or against specific policies or issues. They may also work to build relationships with government officials and other decision-makers. Government affairs specialists may work for corporations, trade associations, advocacy groups, or other organizations, and they may also be self-employed. The median annual wage for government affairs specialists is $99,660, according to the BLS.
Public policy analyst: Public policy analysts research and analyze the potential effects of proposed laws, regulations, and policies. They may work for government agencies, think tanks, consulting firms, or other organizations, and they may also be self-employed. The median annual wage for public policy analysts is $122,220, according to the BLS.
Political campaign manager or strategist: Political campaign managers or strategists plan and coordinate political campaigns for candidates running for office. They may work on campaigns at the local, state, or national level, and they may be responsible for tasks such as fundraising, creating campaign materials, and developing campaign strategies. The median annual wage for political campaign managers is $100,580, according to the BLS.
Diplomat or foreign service officer: Diplomats or foreign service officers represent the interests of their countries abroad, and they may work in embassies, consulates, or other diplomatic missions. They may also work for international organizations, such as the United Nations. Diplomats may be responsible for tasks such as negotiating treaties and agreements, promoting cultural exchange, and providing consular services. The median annual wage for diplomats and foreign service officers is $74,590, according to the BLS.
Political journalist or correspondent: Political journalists or correspondents report on political events, issues, and personalities for news organizations or other media outlets. They may cover local, state, or national politics, and they may work for print, online, or broadcast media. Political journalists may also work as analysts or commentators. The median annual wage for reporters and correspondents is $41,260, according to the BLS.
Public relations specialist: Public relations specialists create and maintain a positive public image for their organizations or clients. They may write press releases, plan events, and manage social media accounts, among other tasks. Public relations specialists may work for corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or public relations firms, and they may also be self-employed. The median annual wage for public relations specialists is $61,150, according to the BLS.
Lawyer: Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and other organizations in legal matters. They may specialize in areas such as criminal law, family law, or corporate law, and they may work in private practice, for law firms, or for government agencies or other organizations. Lawyers may also be judges or legal scholars. The median annual wage for lawyers is $122,960, according to the BLS.
Nonprofit manager or advocacy group leader: Nonprofit managers or advocacy group leaders oversee the operations and programs of nonprofit organizations or advocacy groups. They may be responsible for tasks such as fundraising, developing and implementing programs, and managing staff. Nonprofit managers or advocacy group leaders may work for a wide range of organizations, including social service agencies, educational institutions, and environmental or other advocacy groups. The median annual wage for nonprofit managers is $70,490, according to the BLS.