Political science is a great field to get into if you're passionate about politics, government, and people.
It's the perfect field for people that love watching the news, are glued to presidential speeches, and love all things that have to do with policy.
What Is a Political Science Major to Do?
When you go to school for a degree in political science, you spend a lot of time honing your research skills and writing papers in the scope of politics. You will know how to argue convincingly (something that's essential when it comes to running for political office). You'll also be able to make a presentation like a pro and communicate clearly.
Verbal and written communication, along with the rest of those skills, are what make people with political science majors great for many different career types. Your analytical skills and critical thinking skills make you the right person for leadership positions of all kinds, including those in and out of politics.
Political science isn't for everyone. You need to be interested in leadership roles and be confident when getting up in front of people and sharing your opinion and expertise. Of course, you don't have to go into politics – there are plenty of non-political jobs where you can use these skills as well.
How We Chose Our Ratings for the Best Political Science Jobs
When it came to choosing the best options for political science jobs, we looked at jobs that would best put your skills and training to use.
This isn't a list focusing on the best-paying jobs for political science majors, but rather a list that will let you know your available choices and why they make a great choice.
Top 9 Best Job Options for Political Science Majors
Each of the political science jobs will put your knowledge to good use. Not only that, but they are all excellent career options that offer you a chance to do good things.
1. Legislative Assistant
There's a lot of work to do as a legislative assistant. That work pays an average of $47,000 a year. It's an excellent work choice for someone that wants to put all of the stuff they learned in school to use on the job.
If you want to work in government and be close to the action, becoming a legislative assistant will get you into the thick of things. You will have the opportunity to work with elected officials of all kinds, including senators and representatives. They all hire legislative assistance, and it's a well-paying position.
As a legislative assistant, you put to use your communication skills, in both writing and verbal communications. You will work with constituents, informing them about district developments. You will know all about the current political issues, resolve issues in jurisdictions, and spend plenty of time doing that research you're so good at doing.
2. Policy Analyst
Your leadership skills will also be put to work as you find other people to support the initiatives you're working with. Your pay for this career begins at a whopping $64k+.
Analyzing things is a big part of political science, so you'll find a lot of analyst jobs when it comes to looking for political science jobs. If public policy is your jam, work as a policy analyst will allow you the critical thinking and research roles you enjoy.
In this position,you'll also be spending time formulating statements on policies, while also offering up persuasive arguments for policy initiatives. Sometimes you'll be working for the policies, and sometimes you'll be working against them.
3. Marketing Research Analyst
The median salary for this analyst position is around the same amount as that of the policy analyst. If politics isn't entirely your thing,but you enjoy research, a career as a marketing research analyst is ideal for you.
Instead of working fora politician, you will work with products and services. Your job will be to find out how consumers are responding to services and products. You spend time surveying things and polling for consumer opinions.
This career option allows you to put your research experience to work, as well as allowing you to communicate with people on many levels (written and verbal, with businesses and consumers). You will help companies find out what products are doing the best and which ones might bring them more money.
4. Intelligence Analyst
This is a career path that isn't easy to get on, and you need to be really good at what you do (and at the top of the heap when it comes to your classes). Average base pay is just short of $80K a year.
Want to get into a mysterious career that will make you keep secrets while putting your political science skills to the test? Working as an intelligence analyst has you in league with the clandestine agencies. You'll have the chance to work with the NSA or the CIA.
You'll study leadership patterns and look at groups that could be possible terrorists. You analyze these things and write reports with your findings. You will speak at briefings about the things you've found, and you will work firsthand at stopping terrorist and other attacks.
5. Political Consultant
Of course, pay varies in a major way for this career position. If you're working for a small candidate running in a local election, you may only make $20k for a year. If you're consulting a state governor or the president, you could earn anywhere from $50k to $100k a year.
Candidates need political consultants to make their campaigns a success. With all of the experience you've gained as a political science major, you are the ideal candidate for this position. This is a job that lets you show your support to politics in a way that pays.
In this position you will help to influence voters, you will help your candidate come up with and use their brand, and you may have to work to repair the damaged image of the candidate you're working for. While this is a challenging job, it does let you use your communications skills to their full extent, and you get to dabble a great deal in marketing.
6. Political Campaign Staff
This low paying job helps you get your foot in the door. You can expect to make around $30,000 a year.
If you're not ready to take on the responsibilities of a political consultant, but you have a deep interest in campaigning and politics, your drive to get a political science job may take you to a position as a political campaign worker.
As staff on a political campaign, you will come up with strategies for campaigning, while helping the candidate you work for build their brand and look good to the public. You will also spend time looking at how the voters are reacting to your candidate.
You will also spend time online, running social media accounts and inviting people to your candidate's events. You will work to raise money, help with speech creation,and many other things that will utilize the skills you gain while earning your political science degree.
7. Public Relations Specialist
Expect to make $60,000 or more a year (which will depend a lot on who your clients are).
Public relations is the job you want if communications was your favorite part of school. Most of your job as a specialist in this field will have you getting stories in the media about your clients. Your clients could be anyone famous, from movie stars and musicians to politicians.
As a public relations specialist, you will spend much of your time making sure that people like your client and see the best side of them. You will learn all about how the media informs people, and how it makes people believe even the unbelievable (and sometimes things that are not at all true).
Aside from spending time writing press releases, you will also be planning publicity events, getting your star on the red carpet, and so much more. This is a great position for political science majors that might want a chance to step away from politics but still wants to put their skills to good use.
You won't always look good in the position, especially if you end up working for a troubled client.
8. College Student Leadership and Activities Officer
Pay for this position starts around $42k.
If you want a chance to help the youth of tomorrow, working as a student leadership and activities officer in college will put your political science degree to good use. You'll assist in student elections and with leadership programs in this position.You'll work to make sure that the students do things right, and that they get treated right.
You'll help out clubs and programs that are run by the college students. You will oversee their financial resources while helping them make sure that things run smoothly. You will also make sure that minority interests get the attention that they deserve.
You're only working with student government, so this might not be the big career move you were hoping for, but it makes an excellent stepping stone. Not only that, but you'll make a difference in the lives of students that are in the same place you once were.
9. Social Media Manager
If you like spending time online and want a stepping stone into a higher paying gig like working as a political consultant, starting out as a social media manager may be a good option for you.
This is a job that you can begin while you're still in college too. It makes a great choice for your internship as well. You may also impress the person you're working for and have a chance to move up the ranks in that party, office, or with that particular candidate.
In this position, you will spend time not only posting on social media accounts for your client, but you'll also be monitoring the competition and studying the current issues at hand. You want to make sure that your client appears “in the know.”
You'll need to know how to use social media analytics, so you'll be aware of which posts are getting the most attention and which ones seem to be a waste of your time. You will be influencing opinions. At the most, you will be putting your communications skills to work in a major way.
– What to Look for in Political Science Jobs
What you look for in a job in political science will depend on you and your goals.
If you want to do something to help other people,
focus on one of the career options above that lets you do the most for others
(like being a leadership and activities officer). If you want in for the money,
look at the jobs with the best potential wages.
Final Thoughts on Political Science Jobs
Whatever you do with your college degree, finding political science jobs doesn't have to be difficult. There are many options, in nearly any pay bracket you're looking for.
Put your skills in research, communications, and politics to use and enjoy a career that will payoff your college debt while changing the world.