Political science aims to develop an ideal government by studying theories about and observing government and applying them to it. It is essential to the success of the world’s governments. The discipline of political science combines humanistic insights with scientific principles to analyze every country and region globally. A scholar in this field seeks to understand the role of power, interests, and political institutions in society.
Education in Political Science has four essential elements: research, writing, and evaluating skills, and the ability to define problems and contribute to their solution. These are highly valued in several professional settings. The tools learned during a degree program in this field are transferable, opening many career paths.
Undergraduate and graduate courses in this Political Science are available, but certain managerial positions and higher-paying positions require a master’s or professional degree. A student majoring in this discipline will develop writing, communication, and analytical skills crucial to a liberal arts education. By emphasizing communication and analysis skills; and encouraging independent thought, tolerance, and informed interest in current affairs, a Political Science degree prepares the student for various careers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for Political Scientists is $124,100, and the projected growth rate from 2020 to 2030 is 5.3%. Below is a table outlining the wages and employment rates for the top-paying industries related to Political Science:
|Industry||Employment (1)||Percent of industry employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage (2)|
|Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation)||3,120||0.15||$ 63.72||$ 132,540|
|Scientific Research and Development Services||1,050||0.14||$ 60.04||$ 124,890|
|Social Advocacy Organizations||510||0.23||$ 48.31||$ 100,480|
|Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools||340||0.01||$ 43.41||$ 90,290|
|Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation)||210||0.00||$ 47.14||$ 98,060|
So What Can I Do With a Degree in Political Science?
Having a political science degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities. Our article explores a few of the best, highest-paying careers you can achieve with a degree in political science.
Nonprofit Program Coordinator
Nonprofit Program Coordinators are generally responsible for fundraising initiatives, outreach coordination, and public communication, but they may also be responsible for hiring, training, and human resources tasks. In addition, organizations like charities and social service agencies need nonprofit program coordinators to run their administration and operations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for a Nonprofit Program Coordinator with a Political Science degree was $69,600 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 174,200.
A Lobbyist is a professional who works for individuals and organizations to influence policy decisions. For example, advocates may propose new legislation or amend existing laws and regulations. In addition, members of the community are recruited by lobbyists to promote the interests of their group by holding demonstrations or contacting politicians. The main objective of professionals in this field is to rally the community around a particular issue and empower them to take action.
According to Payscale.com, the average annual base salary for a Lobbyist with a Political Science degree is $75,726 per year. The current number of filled positions with this title is 592, according to Zippia.com.
The work of Legislative Assistants involves writing, editing, and researching evidence for bills, proposals, and other legislation. In addition to providing revisions and recommendations, they are also often asked to answer questions from the media and other legislators. Legislative assistants usually work for the government, advocacy organizations, and nonprofits.
According to payscale.com, the average annual base salary for a Legislative Assistant with a Political Science degree is $40,235 per year. The current number of filled positions with this title is 43,511, according to Zippia.com.
Social Media Manager
Social media managers are responsible for developing a company’s social media strategy and guiding its social media channels. Using a variety of social media platforms, they write content, plan campaigns, and talk to a company’s audience. In addition to using analytics, these professionals optimize post content, brand voice, and publishing times. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are among the many organizations that hire for this position.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for a Social Media Manager with a Political Science degree was $69,600 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 174,200.
A campaign manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a promotion. Their responsibilities include handling all campaign operations and collaborating on goals and strategies with the candidate. In addition, these professionals manage an organization of political staffers who work in public relations, fundraising efforts, social media communication, voter support, and budget monitoring.
According to payscale.com, the average annual base salary for a Campaign Manager with a Political Science degree is $61,842 per year. The current number of filled positions with this title is 3,893, according to Zippia.com.
An intelligence analyst gathers, analyses, and interprets information intending to conclude a variety of purposes. First, the political science major’s knowledge of political groups assesses developments in volatile regions worldwide. Intelligence analysts use data to analyze leadership patterns and public support to evaluate the level of threat. Finally, they write reports based on their findings and brief agency leadership and legislative and executive leaders. Intelligence Analysts work for government agencies such as the CIA and NSC.
According to payscale.com, the average annual base salary for an Intelligence Analyst with a Political Science degree is $72,226 per year. The current number of filled positions with this title is 29,484, according to Zippia.com.
An Urban Planner is a professional who develops plans and programs for land use. They design the layout of developed and undeveloped towns, cities, and countries. Urban Planners often collaborate with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, general contractors, engineers, and the general public to determine the best way to utilize undeveloped land and improve current infrastructure.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for an Urban Planner with a Political Science degree was $75,950 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 39,100.
Market Research Analyst
A Market Research Analyst helps a company become or remain competitive by analyzing data to uncover and deliver insights related to potential markets, competitors, and even customer behavior. Those insights play a significant role in product, service, and advertising success. As a result, these professionals play an integral role in a company’s marketing strategy and are in high demand across many industries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for a Market Research Analyst with a Political Science degree was $65,810 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 740,900.
Policy Analysts examine and influence laws, regulations, and government policies. They study the impacts of public policy on societal operations and government operations. They write reports that describe research and findings to influence legislation or political trends. A Policy Analyst aims to influence public policy development at any level, including federal, state, and local.
According to payscale.com, the average annual base salary for a Policy Analyst with a Political Science degree is $60,483 per year. The current number of filled positions with this title is 4,663, according to Zippia.com.
A journalist’s job is to collect and gather information in the form of text, audio, or pictures, process them into a newsworthy form, and communicate it to the public. By gathering information and speaking to sources, they create engaging, insightful, and impactful stories about places, people, and events. Newspapers, magazines, and websites are among the many journalists who write articles, reports, and op-eds.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for a Journalist with a Political Science degree was $49,300 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 46,700.
Historians are highly knowledgeable about the history and specialize in particular subject areas within the scope of their profession. To research past events, they consult records and first-hand accounts. They compare their analysis with previous historical reports to correct discrepancies, fill in gaps, and provide alternate perspectives. Organizations typically employ them to apply their thorough knowledge of past events to current situations and weigh the outcomes.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for a Historian with a Political Science degree was $63,100 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 3,100.
Economists study how a society’s resources relate to its production or output. To help organizations make informed decisions, they collect and analyze data to identify trends and develop economic forecasts. Preparing reports, including charts and tables, on research results, is also an essential part of an economist’s duties. Public policy, corporate compliance, and educational settings are familiar places for these professionals to work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for an Economist with a Political Science degree was $108,350 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 18,600.
Public Relations Specialist
Press Secretaries, also known as Public Relations Specialists, are responsible for helping brands build positive relationships with the media and the public. They often serve as the organization’s spokesperson. Generally, they are responsible for communicating the activities of their clients to the public.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for a Public Relations Specialist with a Political Science degree was $62,810 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 272,300.
Fundraising managers raise money for businesses or charities. Organizations or nonprofit entities entrust them with overseeing all fundraising functions. These individuals drive the fundraising process. The responsibility of fundraising managers is to supervise and coordinate all money-generating operations within an organization. As well as working with an internal team, they also work with clients, donors, and other community members.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
the median pay in 2020 for a Fundraising Manager with a Political Science degree was $135,580 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 81,110.
Arbitrators are neutral individuals or groups given the power by disputing parties to resolve disputes. Much like a judge during court litigation, arbitrators serve as decision-makers and referees in arbitration proceedings. Arbitrators listen to testimony and examine the evidence presented by the disputing parties during a hearing and issue a decision that includes an award of money.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for an Arbitrator with a Political Science degree was $66,130 per year. The number of jobs with this title was 6,900.
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