Why You Should Consider a Political Science Degree
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If you’re looking for a degree that will open doors in many industries and fields, you can’t with a political science degree. Although competition can be fierce for political scientist jobs, those with political science degrees are qualified for positions in many different industries — and they have many opportunities for advancement too.
And it’s never been easier to earn your degree in political science. Both traditional and online, community colleges and four-year colleges offer flexible options to help you earn your degree quickly.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of earning a degree in political science.
Political Science Degrees Are in Demand
A degree is an investment of both time and money – so when you decide to earn one, you need a degree that’s versatile and in demand. Fortunately, studying political science will prepare you for any career in any field.
The skills taught in political science degree programs come in handy across many career fields, so these degrees afford those who earn them considerable amounts of flexibility. Earning a degree in political science helps you to gain a better understanding of how governments work; how social, economic and cultural factors intersect with and are impacted by political systems; how policy is developed and implemented; and how political philosophies have changed through history. These are important factors that can be applied to business, finance, legal, and educational jobs.
The field of political science is also growing, which means there will be even more job opportunities for those with political science degrees in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics¹ reports that demand for political scientists is growing by 3 percent each year, and salaries are increasing as demand grows.
There’s a Wide Range of Jobs Available
If you think a political science degree is only good for people who eventually want to teach the subject or work for the government, think again. In reality, people with political science degrees can find jobs across a dizzying array of industries and fields. Some examples include:
Government and Law: From city planning to lobbying to working in the legislature, there is no limit to the kinds of jobs that are available for political science majors in the fields of government and law. Earning a political science degree is a great first step for law school; many lawyers start out with a degree in this field.
Business: A political science degree opens many doors in the world of business. People with political science degrees may work in banking, public relations, human relations, and advertising.
Education and Journalism: Because writing skills and communication skills are so integral in political science, this type of degree is a natural one for people who want to work in education and journalism. You could find work as a teacher in both secondary and higher education, or get a job in broadcasting or journalism.
Political Science Majors Can Make Great Money
In addition to opening many doors and many potential career paths, a degree in political science can be quite lucrative. The average pay for a political scientist is $115,110 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)² – and that’s just one example of the kind of salary you can earn.
Examples of the types of salaries that you may earn with a degree in political science include:
- Urban Policy Planner – According to the BLS³, urban planners earned a median salary of $71,490 in 2017, which is equal to about $34.37 per hour.
- Journalist – According to the BLS⁴, journalists earned a median salary of $40,910 in 2017, which is equal to about $19.67 per hour.
- Lawyer – In 2017, the BLS⁵ reported the median salary for a lawyer in the U.S. was $119,250 per year, which is equal to about $57.33 per hour.
- Public Relations Manager – According to the BLS⁶, public relations managers in the U.S. earned a median salary of $111,280, which is equal to about $53.50 per hour, in 2017.
- Paralegal – In 2017, paralegals in the U.S. earned a median salary of $50,410, which the BLS⁷ reports is equal to about $24.24 per hour.
You Can Choose How You Earn Your Degree
Regardless of where you are in life currently and where you’d like to go, there’s a viable way for you to earn a political science degree. Most people start out by earning a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor or Arts in political science; the former is more science-based and research-oriented while the latter includes more general education and electives.
However, bachelor’s degrees take up to four years to earn. Associate degrees in political science take just half that time. And community colleges as well as online colleges offer these two-year programs. With an AD in political science, you could find entry-level work as a paralegal; with a BS or a BA, you could find work in public service, campaign management, political journalism and many other areas.
Once you know which type of degree you’d like to pursue, you could find a program at a local community college or four-year university. If you work full time or have other responsibilities, you might consider pursuing your political science degree online.
Start Your Political Science Career Today
Given how many career paths can be explored with political science degrees, it’s easy to see why so many people decide to pursue them. If you’re interested in pursuing a career that requires a political science degree, do your own research to identify the type of degree program that’s right for you. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be on your way toward a lucrative career in political science.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.