Political science is a field of study that deals with systems of government, and all that relates to them on a local, national, and international scale. This field analyzes governmental laws, structures, and operations so that citizens participate more in political operations.
The Study is relevant for outgoing people who relish and thrive off social interactions with all kinds of people. Not only that, but it also offers opportunities as analysts for introverts who would rather be unknown.
So, the question to tackle today is whether political science is a good major. Read on as we answer this.
Yes, it is a good major to study. This is because the scope of knowledge you get from studying political science equips one with leadership skills that would be useful in all spheres of life. You learn to write, speak, and strategize well. Political science helps one grow as a person by helping one improve their relationship, logical, and critical thinking skills. And these skills learned can be used even beyond the confines of government or politics.
Also, whether we like it or not, any action taken by the government affects us, either for good or bad. Majoring in Political science helps us understand the governing body itself, its operation and relationship with us as citizens under it, and how the laws put in place affect the political, economic, and social situation of the country and overall, our lives. Coming to understand all these helps us order our lives in such a way that we get the best from the government.
Digging Deep Into Political Science
Now, for most of us, when we think of political science, our minds go to crowd rallies, public manifestos, or the various political parties. However, political science goes way beyond that. It is a study that seeks to help us understand important issues we deal with in our day-to-day lives including but not limited to climate change, citizens’ rights, and industrialization, and how they affect the current political climate, making it an intrinsic part of our human lives. Political science, in essence, helps us understand the world around us.
Politics has existed for as long as humans have. We see it in the way humans debate and discuss topics, agree, and make decisions on issues that affect them. Because the world is constantly changing, the populace needs political scientists to help them understand their place in the world as relating to the government and all that concerns it. Today, we find political scientists deeply involved in topics and forums relating to the people, government, and the world at large.
Disciplines To Consider
Political Science is a large field of study. Hence, it has been divided into various sub-disciplines. Let’s discuss some of them below.
- Political Theory
Politics was first discussed in Ancient Greece. The study of the thought and philosophy concerning politics right from olden day Greece till date is what political theory is about. Political theory majorly focuses on important issues in our everyday life. Under political theory, topics like the concepts of freedom, equity, individual rights, and governmental power are looked into. It discusses the essence of governing authority, the connection between each individual and the government, and the roles and duties of every citizen, not just to the governing body, but to one another.
In studying political theory, we draw upon the bank of knowledge left by great philosophers. We have people like Aristotle, Plato, and many more to study from. From the teachings of these people, we can discuss and explain modern-day issues like freedom of humans, human rights, and local and international laws, to name a few.
- Public Policy
Every society, no matter how good, has its problems. The public law subdiscipline is concerned with issues the public is facing and how the government and other non-governmental institutions respond to them. It explains how organizations and citizens relate with the state to create various policies that combat public issues. It also talks about the roles and responsibilities of the agents of the state and the attitude they are to show while they carry out these tasks. Scientists studying public policy help to create answers to the problems plaguing the public.
- Public Administration
This focuses on everything about supervising a government. The actions of government administrators, better known as bureaucrats, severely impact the lives of the citizens under them. Public administration is concerned with the study of everything that makes government work, from cash inflow and outflow, planning budgets, managing policies, and non-profit aspects to effectively utilizing human labor. This subdiscipline is concerned with the interconnection between all these aspects and how to make them better.
- Comparative politics
Comparative politics seeks to understand the political situation in and among countries. Studying this aspect of political science helps one become knowledgeable in the history, traditions, and tongue of the country being focused on. The study of this subdiscipline helps us observe and identify the political differences and similarities between various political groups in a country and other countries.
- International Relations
This sub discipline studies the relationship between countries, foreign organizations, and corporations. We used two methods in studying international relations. They are realism and liberalism. Realism focuses on the perilous nature of the international system, emphasizing the glaring possibility of war and how power is the only way to establish order.
Liberalism, on the other hand, has a more utopian view. Here, the emphasis is placed on international institutions like the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) having the power to solve international crises and problems.
- Political Behavior
The masses make up the core of any political activity. The Political Behavior subdiscipline aims to evaluate the responses of the populace to the various political activities in the state. Here, we study the various factors that affect civilian actions like voting. Things like ethnic or emotional loyalty to a party or individual, the effects of religion, race, and gender, and how it affects citizens’ political activities are studied. The conclusions drawn from all these are used by political parties in planning activities like manifestoes, campaigns, elections, and rallies.
These are some of the subdisciplines of political disciplines and they help us understand how politics work on a global scale.
Advantages Of A Political Science Major
We do politics every day. In us discussing and debating with other people and making decisions that affect others, we do politics at its most basic level. Aristotle referred to it as the “master science”. This is because it affects every part of our lives. So, it is safe to say we can’t run from politics, but we can learn to use it more effectively when we study political science.
By studying political science, we learn to understand the government and its nuances. We learn how the various laws it enacts affect our lives and by doing so learn to live in a way that effectively works with these laws. We learn about laws and how they affect the world around us in the long run. This is good for you if you plan to run for positions in the government.
Furthermore, studying political science can help you develop several skills that would be useful across various sectors. Some of the skills are as follows:
- Writing and Communication Skills
- Research Skills
- Critical and analytical thinking skills
- Leadership skills
- Problem-solving skills
Disadvantages To Consider
As much as there are many benefits to majoring in political science, there are still some cons that come up as a result.
One disadvantage is that it is a very dynamic course of study. Because the world is always changing, issues and topics that are serious today can become obsolete tomorrow. This makes it quite a large, stressful, and time-consuming subject to cover. This means you will have to spend a lot of time learning and also keep yourself updated at that.
Also, if you decide to go into full-time politics, be well assured that you are going to be very stressed. People in political science positions deal with sensitive matters of the state, and this can cause most people’s stress levels to increase.
Career Opportunities In Political Science
It has been said earlier that political science equips you with several skills like leadership, writing, and communication skills. These skills are very relevant in the world today. Let us discuss some fields where you can use these skills.
- Journalist Or News Reporter
Working in any of these capacities means you would have to do a lot of fact-finding and investigation about events as they happen. Once the investigation is concluded, you would have to present this to the public through various media channels, and doing this would require your writing or communication skills.
- Public Relations Official
From studying political science, you get skills that help you understand people and what makes them tick. Working as a public relations official means you maintain the image of an organization in the public’s eye. And since you have learned to understand people, this is easier for you. Under this position, you can work for private outfits and NGOs, working to help them manage issues, prepare for interviews, and in the long run, present them with a good image to the masses.
- A Writer
With writing skills developed from the study of political science, you are well suited for writing offers across multiple sectors. You would be in high demand by non-governmental and nonprofit organizations. You could work as a freelancer or ghostwriter for these organizations.
Your work might involve drafting speeches, writing newsletters, or writing on the current political climate.
In addition, we must note that we would have to have a large network to have an outstanding political career. So, don’t be isolated from your peers, other scholars, and teachers. Don’t shy away from volunteering and internships at relevant organizations. Doing this helps you build a strong resume that would be helpful later on in life. So, maintain these connections and use them to build yourself a successful future.
So, in this article, the question of whether political science is a good major has been answered and the answer is an emphatic yes. The skills gained from studying political science makes you a versatile person, one able to work across all sectors of work. So, whether you intend to continue in politics or put the skills you have gotten from it to use in another industry, you can be assured that it is a worthwhile investment and the returns would be massive.
Also, we have seen that studying political science helps us understand the government and how its actions affect us. This understanding helps us plan our lives in a way that would help us get the best of any laws put in place.
So, stop dilly-dallying and pick out that form to study political Science at the university of your choice. And don’t forget to network with other students, your teachers, and prominent scholars you meet along the way. Who knows, perhaps in the next few years, you would be in the upper echelons of politics in the country. So, go for it, and good luck.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Is The Objective Of Political Science?
Political science is focused on improving our understanding of the relationship between people and any political activity. In essence, it helps us explain any political happening and what we can do about it.
- Who is Known As The Father Of Political Science?
Aristotle is considered the father of political science. He was the first person to proffer a definition of political science. He also gave explanations on topics like government, the ideal state, slavery, citizenship and so much more. His discussions on these topics came to form the backbone of modern-day politics. “Every man is a social and political animal” is one of his most famous quotes.
- Where Is The Origin Of Political Science?
The science started in Ancient Greece in the first century BCE. The philosophers Plato and Aristotle were among the prominent pioneers of what we know as political science.
- Who Used The Word “State” First?
The Western Philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli, was the first person to use the word “State”.