Students who earn a political science degree have soft and hard skills that are valued by employers. These skills include everything from research to analysis to critical writing. Most graduates go on to find employment in corporations, research centers, government agencies and educational institutions.
Community Relations Representative
Certain industries are involved in commercial activities that impact communities and the environment, such as energy, production and oil and gas. Corporations employ community relations reps to provide administrative and cross-functional support to state, federal and local community relations teams. They are involved with a broad range of education, outreach and political activities. They engage the public, businesses and government leaders about certain commercial activities that impact local communities. They usually attend and participate in education fairs, outreach program and local, county and state hearings and meetings. They work with PR and marketing experts to develop appropriate company themed materials for a variety of scenarios. Some contribute to and distribute printed advertising materials that promote target elections or policy proposals.
Advocacy coordinators are key point people within policy teams in large organizations. They work closely with managers and employees across departments to formulate and execute strategies that advance the organizations’ overall mission and goals. They lead and manages assigned projects and initiatives that advocate at local and state levels for target policies. Some use official social media accounts to contribute content, maintain continual updates and respond to comments or information requests. Some advocacy coordinators provide project management support through maintaining communication with lawyers, business representatives and elected officials. They develop strategies that promote favorable public and legislative attitudes towards target policies. Some advocacy coordinators monitor and track legislative efforts across the state or country. Senior advocacy coordinators represent companies through cultivating relationships with strategic partners and attending conferences and coalition meetings.
Voting Research Analyst
Political parties, elected officials and think tanks rely on voting research analysts to use cutting-edge quantitative tools and methods to analyze massive amounts of complex voter behavioral data. Sometimes, the research focuses on long-term opinions towards candidates or sensitive policies, but other short-term projects may seek actionable data that will ensure that campaign operations, such as TV ads and mail brochures, are highly effective. Some voting research analysts work in the field with non-profit and grassroots organizations to gather and solicit data through surveys and reports. Others work in offices organizing and interpreting data with the help of data scientists. During competitive elections, voting research analysts analyze research metrics every day to forecast voting results.
Policy analysts are usually assigned to research specific regions or categories related to public policies and government regulations. Some policy analysts focus on specific international relations, such as the U.S. and China, while others focus on broader aspects, such as American foreign trade policies. Policy analysts provide research support through gathering primary and secondary source information that is translated into reports and presentations for meetings. Policy analysts tend to work in major, international cities and must have certain skills and abilities. Policy analysts may specialize in domestic issues such as budget, energy, economy, inequality and immigration. Alternatively, they may specialize in international issues, such as trade, terrorism, human rights, foreign aid and national security.
Graduates with a political science degree are well suited for a variety of careers found in business, political offices and government administration.