It is a pretty common misconception that all you can do with a political science degree is go into government service. While, yes, you will be qualified for a myriad of government jobs, there is so much more available to you. Believe it or not, you have received a well-rounded education that will be put to good use in a variety of jobs in almost any career field.
Your education will have taught you much about the world at large and the impact of actions both taken and missed. Many financial companies will hire forecasters, who are expected to study markets, both foreign and domestic, and then predict future financial impacts on investments. If you have studied international relations or foreign politics, you will have invaluable insights into the political and socio-economic decision making process.
With the writing skills you’ve honed doing all those research papers, you have yet another option. You could make a well informed political journalist, covering everything from presidential and foreign elections to peace treaties or international conferences. You could be a political correspondent for a major newspaper, political blog, or television news network. Imagine being the face or voice of an important historical event.
Many people move on from a bachelor’s in political science to law school. Studying government so closely can give students a great knowledge base to draw on while studying law. Once they complete law school and pass the bar exam, their experiences will allow them to be excellent advocates for their clients. They can also go on to be the lawyer on retainer for various politicians or other high profile clients. Additionally, their skills will make them excellent policy advisors or analysts at anywhere from the local politics all the way up to the highest levels.
Still others will work with various agencies as intelligence analysts or in conflict resolution. Their extensive exposure to the workings of other nations and outside ideas will benefit them greatly while interpreting intelligence data or solving company or even national disputes.
The time spent studying foreign governments and their financial markets can also pave the way for an exciting career in financial planning. Understanding the global market’s history and the culture surrounding it will serve you well here, whether you are an advisor on a corporate, political, or personal level.
Then, of course, there is actual politics. You can start at the local level as a civic worker or a city planner, or go right to running for congress, or even be appointed as a diplomat. Or work on the staff of any of these professionals. You can be a lobbyist or a campaign worker, or do research for a congressperson.
These are only a few of the varied careers you can look forward to with a political science degree. Through internships and mentoring, as well as interesting coursework, I am confident that you will find something to inspire you toward a fulfilling career.