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5 Great Career Opportunities for Political Science Graduates

Many view Political Science as a discipline for the elite, such as senators, governors and general politicians. While that may be true, a Political Science degree has more to offer than just to advance a political career or get a job in international relations.

Political Science degrees yield a wide array of careers to choose from because the skills and acuities gained during the degree make for a well-rounded strategic thinker with the ability to communicate well and execute projects in complex situations. Political Science coursework not only teaches good communication skills but also sharpens research and analytical skills that are valuable assets.

And as such, a degree in Political Science can lead down many interesting and fulfilling career paths, some of them quite lucrative. You may be wondering whether this degree is ideal for you given the investment you will make in terms of money and time. In this article, we are going to look at some of the career opportunities you may consider as a student of Political Science.

Jobs & Careers in Political Science

Research Analyst

Given the rich exposure to political affairs both domestic and international, Political Science graduates make good researchers. Coursework draws from history and economics and provides quantitative and qualitative tools that researchers use to analyze various events.   Media companies like the BBC, CNN, and The Economists among many others, employ research analysts who help them digest, analyze and report on current political affairs across the globe. Think tanks and government agencies value researchers to weigh in on critical events and provide data analytics to support policy opinions.

  • Research Analyst Jobs 2016: 595,400
  • Research Analyst Median Pay: $63,120 per year
  • Research Analyst Median Pay: $30.35 per hour

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analyst


Many advocates who work in non-governmental organizations and non-profits hold degrees in Politics and International Relations. A good political science program imparts skills in handling political pressure, analyzing political mechanisms, and leadership skills that are paramount to the success of a passionate organizer and leader. Working in issue advocacy is a fulfilling career that helps local and international communities.

“To make a difference in people’s lives through advocacy and through supporting research – that’s the kind of privilege that few people will get, and it’s certainly bigger than being on TV every Thursday for half an hour.” – Michael J. Fox

Public Relations

The job of a public relations specialist is to craft the message of an organization to promote their interests while maintaining a positive public image. This is an important position for any media facing organization, as they have the expertise to mitigate media-blunders and snafus. International and political organizations rely on PR experts who are well-versed in the cultural, social and economic context of their message. A PR expert will be expected to answer public questions, write press releases, edit content, craft marketing, and outreach messaging, contact media organizations, and sometimes be the organization’s identity.

  • Public Relations Specialist Jobs 2016: 259,600
  • Public Relations Specialist Median Salary: $60,000 per year
  • Public Relations Specialist Median Pay: $28.85 per hour

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialist

Legal Assistant

Legal assisting is an increasingly popular career choice for those who are interested in the legal system but do not necessarily wish to practice law. Those with a high acumen for researching, collecting data, organizing, and processing it will be a huge asset to any legal organization. The legal assistant is an important cornerstone to an efficient legal team or political organization. And a Political Science graduate has these skills in spades and the ability to bring research and analysis to a logical conclusion. In this career, expect to investigate and record information in a way that they can be conveniently used by attorneys, consultants, and non-profits, and corporations.

  • Legal Assistant Jobs: 285,600
  • Legal Assistant Job Growth: 15%, double the average across all jobs.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Legal Assistants.

Risk analysis

Risk analysis firms, like Eurasia Group and Marsh, have been in high demand for companies looking to understand complicated geopolitical landscapes before expanding or investing in abroad. Many large law firms and management consulting firms have a risk analysis department. Working in risk analysis necessitates a comprehensive view of the world its various political systems. In this career, the ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly to clients is crucial. A career in risk analysis is often fast-paced and involves extensive travel, perfect for Political Science degree holders who want to better experience the world first-hand.

“Cyber is front of mind and on the front of the newspapers, and that’s only going to increase. As companies migrate large portions of their legacy IT estate to the cloud; develop increasingly complex ecosystems; and innovate with AI, blockchain, and robotics, there’s a need for even greater vigilance.” – Ed Marsden

Deloitte Risk Advisory. Global Risk Consulting Markets, Consultancy.org

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