If you enjoy politics and have an affinity for numbers and research, you might be interested in jobs available with a Master's in Political Science. The great news is that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in political science are growing more rapidly than the average occupation in our country today. However, the field remains relatively small in comparison to the overall job market, and many people are currently studying to enter the field of political science at present. To have the best possible shot at a career in this field, it will help to learn about the available jobs and what you need in order to qualify for them.
Specializations in Political Science
A master's degree in political science usually has one of three specializations:
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Public Policy
- Master of Public Affairs
Each of these degrees is an interdisciplinary pursue. Students generally choose a specific area of concentration as well. All programs will also provide core studies in
- Research methodology
- Policy formation
- Program evaluation
Careers in Political Science
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that about half of all political scientists work for the federal government. Others are employed by think tanks, lobbyists, institutions of higher learning and nonprofit organizations. Whether working for the government or for a private entity, political scientists most often work as either management analysts or public affairs specialists.
Management analysts work in government positions or for private organizations to improve efficiency and profitability within an infrastructure. These workers collect data on operations and logistics in order to help government or a corporation function more effectively. Private-sector jobs for these individuals can be found in banking and healthcare.
Public affairs analysts often advocate for the federal government and may work as specialists in foreign affairs. Some of them, like the late Shirley Temple Black, become ambassadors to foreign countries. Some have backgrounds in journalism or marketing. They often compose press releases and maintain social media communications for government officials, nonprofit organizations or lobbying groups. A public affairs analyst is responsible for the public image of the governmental or private agency that she or he represents.
Preparing for a Career in Political Science
Because so many individuals are now pursuing careers in this field, the demand for political scientists in the job market is likely to be lower than the number of individuals competing for those positions. Even before you complete your degree, you can begin preparing yourself to land a great political science job. If you write well, hone those skills. Get a job with your campus publications or land an internship that involves writing. Great writers are rare, but political scientists need to be able to adeptly communicate with many people. The field of political science also needs skilled statisticians, organized project managers and well-informed public-relations workers. Pick a skill at which you excel and make it a priority to become even better at it. When you have the skills others lack, you'll find it much easier to get the good jobs.
Related Resource: MBA Degree Concentrations
If you like politics, communicate well and love crunching numbers, a job in political science could be for you. Now that you know about the jobs available with a master's in political science, what will you choose?