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Careers in Political Science?


Study Political Science

What jobs are available to you with a degree in Political Science? You should probably ask what jobs aren't available; you'll have a smaller list! The Political Science degree prepares international students for a wide range of careers post-graduation. Take a look to see if a job in Political Science interests you!

Political Science, the study of government institutions and political behavior, is an excellent choice for Major study for international students. With its emphasis on analytical thinking, the Political Science degree prepares majors to embark on a broad spectrum of career paths, ranging from journalism to law. Below, you'll find an in-depth overview of just some of the many jobs in Political Science available to international students.

Political Scientist

If you're looking for a career in Political Science and you loved the material you studied as a Political Science major, you may want to pursue a job as political scientist. A political scientist studies political and governmental behavior as a career, in order to aid campaigns in elections, analyze voting patterns for lobbyists, and create models to predict future political trends.

If a career as a Political Scientist interests you, however, be prepared to spend more time in school! A Masters Degree in Political Science will make the international student more competitive in the job field. Additionally, most political scientists gain their PhD. if they hope to teach at the collegiate level.

Attorney

Many lawyers majored in Political Science in their undergraduate years, because the major provided them with an ample understanding of the way law and government systems function in the United States. But post-graduation, the path to becoming a lawyer is far from over. International students need to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) to get into a three-year graduate law school program, and complete the notorious Bar Exam in order to practice law in the United States.

However, according to the Princeton Review, "over 30 percent of those who receive law degrees" will not continue to practice law ten years out of law school, and it’s not difficult to see why. Along with the negative societal stereotype of the "villainous, greedy attorney," there’s just the sheer amount of work a lawyer must complete; while on a case, it is not uncommon for lawyers to log eighteen-hour days. Yet, if law is truly your passion, these are just minor grievances, and an undergraduate Political Science degree is a great jumpstart for a career in law!

Paralegal

If being a lawyer seems too daunting, but you're still passionate about a career in the legal realm, a paralegal position might be for you. A paralegal, or legal assistant, performs similar tasks as their professional counterparts: digging up facts, doing research, drafting legal documents. However, since paralegals are not attorneys, they are barred from practicing law, trying cases, and doling out legal advice.

Since the workload is a bit less demanding than that of a lawyer, the path to becoming a paralegal is understandably simpler. Most paralegal programs are two-year certificate programs, and coupled with an undergraduate degree in Political Science, you’ll be more than prepared to embark on a career as a paralegal!

Journalist

Years ago, saying you were a journalist meant you worked for a newspaper or magazine. Nowadays, with the creation of the Internet and the popularity of high profile blogs such as The Huffington Post, the news media has exploded onto the web. Yet, while the medium has changed greatly in recent years, the power of journalism still remains uncontested; whether providing entertainment, tugging at the heartstrings, or breaking a political scandal, the job of a journalist is extremely significant.

However, the life of a journalist is not always so alluring. Breaking news doesn't just happen from nine to five, so a journalist is always on call in pursuit of a story. Time sensitive deadlines make for a stressful writing situation for the fledgling journalist, and the high-pressure career is incredibly competitive. International students benefit from being multi-lingual, as knowledge of another language gives you a leg-up on fellow journalists in international markets. To pad your resume, spend time writing for your college newspaper while an undergraduate. Additionally, many journalists attend graduate school, to hone their craft and build relationships that may lead to potential jobs.

Lobbyist

The role of a lobbyist is to sway politicians and legislators to vote in the interest of their benefactors, who can consist of small groups, private individuals, or public organizations. There are also different types of lobbyist; direct lobbyists go straight to the source, trying to sway politicians directly, while the indirect lobbyists have the less glamorous task of initiating grassroots movements, inciting the community to take action and letting their representatives know what they want.

Regardless of the type of lobbyist or who their benefactor may be, the power of persuasion is a lobbyist's strongest asset. Additionally, they must be adept at reading political behavior, which is where a strong background in Political Science comes in. Lobbyists must also be willing to work long hours, nearly around the clock during election season. For the international student, it may be easiest to get a fold hold in the industry by lobbying for foreign interests.


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