You don’t have to move to Washington after graduation to find political science jobs. Many jobs — and many fields — need someone with a political science major’s skills in writing and analysis.
An eventual run for public office is an obvious step for political science majors, but it’s far from your only option. After you fine-tune your resume, here are a few careers to consider.
1. Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Law firms need organized, efficient paralegals to help get the job done. This is a good way to experience the inner workings of a law office without studying to become an attorney.
But if you do want to become an attorney, check out law schools. No matter what kind of law you want to practice, there’s probably a program for it. Do your research and find out which law school best fits your interests and needs. If it’s right for you, graduate school can be a great investment.
Many political science jobs are found in print or television newsrooms. Publications need commentators, bloggers and editors with an enthusiasm for politics. If you enjoy a certain newspaper or magazine, why not check out its job and freelance opportunities?
Some private and charter schools don’t require a teaching degree. Political science majors passionate about their subject can find jobs teaching history, economics or government. Your knowledge can also be helpful in school administration jobs.
5. Public Policy Analyst
Use your academic skills to research trends in urban policy, international affairs and other aspects of public administration. If you enjoy problem-solving or you’re curious about how policies are created, you may want to read more about policy analysis and see if it’s the job for you.
6. Civil Service
Federal, state, and local governments offer careers in diverse fields. Political science jobs in civil service include law enforcement, foreign service, military intelligence and many others. You might even be able to work as an archivist or historian.
7. Financial Consultant
If you’re a political science grad with an affinity for numbers, you might enjoy a career providing financial advice to individuals and organizations. You’ve got the skills to analyze voting trends, and many companies need a skilled analyst to help them with their budget.
8. Nonprofit Worker
A nonprofit organization offers unique opportunities to work in areas such as development, fundraising, campaign organizing, and advocacy. It’s also a way to put your own interests and passions to work. Maybe there’s a certain cause you’re enthusiastic about; see if you can find nonprofits related to this cause and learn what job and volunteer opportunities they offer.
9. Marketing and Public Relations
If you enjoy working with people, you can combine analytical and social skills in marketing and public relations jobs. Marketing requires strategy, communication and research — the same skills you hone when you study for a political science degree.
You certainly aren’t limited to these choices. For example, consider alumni networking to find internships, jobs and careers that interest you. Political science jobs are as varied as the graduates who search for them, and there’s a good fit for everyone.