What Can You Do with a Political Science Degree?

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Political Science is an expansive degree program that exposes students to in-depth knowledge concerning the government, politics, and world culture. While many Political Science graduates go on to work within the political sector, there are also ample opportunities within law, business, and education for those with these sought-after skills.

To give you a better idea of the numerous career paths associated with Political Science, we have put together the following table. Here you can learn about 40 different careers that may interest you after graduation, as well as their average annual salaries:

Job Title Job Summary

Median Annual Salary

Vice President (VP), Government Affairs In charge of representing their company to state and federal lawmakers as well as developing an organization’s response to legislation.


Associate General Counsel Attorney that works within a company to oversee litigation and provide legal support to the General Counsel.


Trial Court Judge Presides over cases between prosecutors and defendants within a state or federal courtroom setting.


Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Non-Profit Organization Oversees the functions, employees, and volunteers of the organization to drive strategic planning and achievement of goals.


Senior Management Consultant Uses analysis and research to train clients on business development and to implement business improvement for an organization.


Government Affairs Director Responsible for managing relationships with policy-makers and aiding in communicating their company’s position on proposed policies.


Senior Policy Advisor Management position that works with a team of policy advisors and upper-level officials on issues surrounding politics and legislation.


Professor, Postsecondary Lectures students in a classroom setting and is responsible for performing and publishing research related to their specialty.


Director of Public Relations (PR) Oversees the organization’s external and internal communications and works to promote a positive public image.


Program Project Manager Presides over a company’s projects and creates, shares, and updates plans within the team.


Attorney/Lawyer Applies the law to specific situations and works with clients to advise them on appropriate legal action.


Director, Public Policy Board-executive who establishes communication with lawmakers and presents policy positions to government officials.


Marketing Communications Director Responsible for directing marketing and communication activities for their organization while leading the department towards their goals.


Corporate Communications Manager Manages a company’s communications efforts by reviewing strategies and developing external partnerships.


Manager, Government Affairs Responsible for managing all aspects of government affairs for their specific organization.


Assistant Director, Public Policy Analyzes public policy measures and works with upper management to ensure policy adherence and updates.


Associate Attorney Entry-level attorney position that works under the guidance of experienced counsel on legal cases.


Lobbyist Confers with elected officials and persuades them to act on legislation that is in the best interest of the lobbyist’s client.


Government Relations Manager Acts as a liaison between their company and legislative or regulatory agencies at the federal, local, and state level.


Policy Advisor Works for a variety of government and business officials to develop campaigns and conduct political research.


Magistrate Judge Presides over cases that involve municipal law, pre-trial hearings, small claims, and misdemeanor trials.


Assistant Professor, Postsecondary Develops curriculum, teaches, and advises students within the postsecondary educational setting.


Executive Director, Non-Profit Executive, leadership position that is responsible for all the daily operations of the organization.


Public Relations (PR) Manager Coordinates marketing and production initiatives while creating publications and outreach media for the press.


General/Operations Manager Responsible for maintaining a business by working in tandem with company personnel and upper management.


Policy Analyst Uses research and analytical skills to change, adjust, or implement new public policies, regulations, or laws.


Political Scientist Tracks developments on the political front and provides expertise and advice on policy and actions.


Research Analyst Examines data and produces meaningful information within a specialization in order to assist their employer in making decisions.


Legislative Analyst Works for large organizations to help them understand how they will be impacted by new and existing laws.


Litigation Paralegal Responsible for document handling and acting as a party liaison throughout the litigation process.


Program Manager, Non-Profit Responsible for handling the projects of an organization to ensure they are in line with the company’s stated goals and mission.


Public Policy Associate Creates a support network for lobbying efforts and develops legislative and advocacy campaigns.


High School Teacher Works with older adolescents within a high school setting to help them learn skills pertaining to the specific class subject.


News Producer Supervises all aspects of a news broadcast and oversees postproduction elements.


Marketing Communications Associate Performs marketing activities and completes administrative tasks for the marketing department of an organization.


Communications Coordinator Responsible for an organization’s marketing communications both inside and outside the business.


Legislative Assistant Responsible for facilitating and providing support to legislators during the law creation process.


Legislative Aide Assists legislators with administrative tasks and organization throughout the legislative process.


Journalist Carries out research in order to effectively develop and write news articles across a variety of topics.


Reporter Investigates, researches, and writes stories pertaining to events and happenings around the world.


*Data sourced through Payscale.com

What can you do with a Political Science Degree?

As you can see from the table above, the job market is vast for those who have graduated from a Political Science degree program. Whether you are interested in working directly with government organizations or translating your skillset into business, education, or research occupations, there are a number of ways you can turn this degree into a challenging, lucrative career.

The careers listed above show a wide range of average annual salaries – all of which are above the national average across all occupations. While you may make more or less than the numbers above, the majority of these fields have ample opportunity for growth into top-paying, executive careers.

What is a Political Science Degree?

Available as undergraduate and graduate degree programs, a Political Science major will provide you with a solid foundation for understanding the inner workings of our government and the issues that face our society. By studying the various levels of government, behavioral and social sciences, and political ethics, you will learn valuable tools to critically analyze and develop public policy and business strategies.

Throughout the course of your Political Science degree program, you will take specialized classes that focus on the following subjects:

  • Political research
  • Professional communication
  • International relations
  • Comparative politics

After completion of your Political Science undergraduate program, you can jump right into the workforce or further your education with graduate degrees. Many students find that Political Science is an excellent starting point for entering into law school or working towards earning their teaching license.

If you’re interested in working towards your degree at your own pace, several accredited universities now offer online political science degree programs. These flexible programs provide you with the same quality education as on-campus courses and allow you to juggle the demands of schooling with family or career obligations.

Political Science Career Outlook

The career outlook for Political Science majors varies based upon the field that they choose to enter. Due to the number of different careers available after graduating from this degree program, it is important to research the specific job path that you are interested in pursuing. Online resources, such as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), are a great starting point for refining your long-term career goals.

According to data from the BLS, those who are interested in becoming a Political Scientist will grow 6% in employment from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the the average for all occupations.

If you are passionate about politics, government, and research, a degree in Political Science is an excellent tool for building a rewarding career. With the sought-after skillset gained by graduating from this degree program, you will open the door to careers across a variety of professional industries. Not only are many of these job paths highly lucrative, they also have the potential for giving you the opportunity to make a marked difference within your community and society as a whole.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.