After graduating from college, many of these graduates share the same feeling. They frolicked in merry tunes through high school, then plod on through college. The effect? Burn out from school. Read more about the best jobs for Political Science Majors.
Those who planned to go beyond college but defer for the moment for reasons that differ from others. It is actually the same as everybody else’s. It is their activities after graduation that differ. A prospect for a Masters’ degree has put it on hold to save up some money to pay for tuition. Others, with the money, jump onto a plane and go somewhere exotic and celebrate. There are also others that need a break.
For whatever reason, for those graduates that want to go further than college, it is wise not to waste your time. You can get a job and earn and save. Volunteering for a cause, like Greenpeace, is an option and sees the abuse done on nature. The Red Cross would be a nice “mezzanine” before entering the rigors of proper medicine.
What About a Political Science Major?
He is no exception, and he is like any other college graduate. We prototype him as somebody with the knowledge to tackle the subjects of the course of Law.
Like Medicine, Law is not particular about the course that you had finished. Political science is in line with the subjects of Law, indeed, but it does not guarantee success. Two-thirds that pass the Bar Exams in the USA were not political science graduates. Most were, in fact, engineering and maths graduates.
To all the political science major graduates out there, do not let this get you down. It is the intellect level within that cranium that holds the key. If you think you have that, the red carpet is yours to enter the doors of Law School.
These are the guys we will give focus, the graduates with a political science major, at the moment. Like all college graduates, stand the same chance to land a job they choose to apply for.
The industry to get into a job, without being very choosy, is as wide a ruler. With each millimeter notch having the name of a company a college graduate may apply. That is an immense opportunity for all college graduates. It is as big as the universe itself for a political science major.
But a political science major can not go to any available job openings and rush in once accepted. Imagine a gas and convenience store chain with branches all over the country. In your city, they have three and they have an opening for a supervisor who must be a college graduate. Should a political science major apply?
We are not in a prime seat to say who goes where. But there has to be some purpose, some meaning. There needs some semblance to the chosen profession for a political science major.
What Skills Does a Political Science (Pol-Sci) Major Have?
To arrive at a credible list of jobs, we need to know the absorbed skills after four struggling years in college. The purpose of this is to have an organized way of knowing which road to take. To know which industry and companies are best to send an application for a pol-sci major graduate.
►Planning and Organization; Research, Analysis and Decision Making.
The social science courses have the tag of being “soft” sciences. Amongst these, the political science course is the “hardest” of the “soft” sciences. Some of the other social sciences are anthropology, psychology, economics, and geology.
Quantitative and qualitative research and analysis are essential in the study. These are in execution most often to come up with data to support some theory. This is most especially true and applicable to the course of political science. It is exhausting with all the different political ideologies in the world today. More so than any other social science.
In comparative politics, for example, the student must sit down to organize methodologies. They need to achieve a detailed presentation and analysis of the unique structures.
The course of political science is a developing study. It is unlike other disciplines that grow because of technology. Hence, a student of this course is in exposure in deep fashion to planning and organization. From the first stage to the result, decisions, critical or not, needs careful handling.
►Written and Oral Communication.
This set of skills is in-grained to a pol-sci student from early on. There is a steady need for written reports for different subjects in the course. Research, reports, thesis for subjects such as international relations. Political ideologies and methodologies, American government, and comparative politics differ not.
The pol-sci student, before graduation, will “take to the stand”, you might say, to report on his work of research. There are also many symposiums, debates, and interactions with fellow students. These will be on very extensive subjects. Subjects like trade, war, political parties, and even the criminal justice system.
Although this is common in all courses, this is an emphasis on political science courses. This is so in all colleges and universities in the USA. This is to prepare the student for real-world situations in their field.
This may seem irrelevant at first. The political science student has exposure to the studies of ethics. Incorporated into the foundation of the course’s study at all stages. The student will find in documents and books the ethics adopted by personalities in the past. Not only limited within the boundaries of the United States but the entire world over.
The student will know the rules of ethics. Discussions then ensue for full understanding. A proper application of ethics will come to grasp long before the student will finish the course.
Best Jobs, Duties, and Salaries.
The first question a political science major must tackle is the first fork he comes to on the road to success. It is an oyster fork since it has three choices the graduate must select from.
* Government (Local, State, Federal).
* Non-Profit (State, Federal, International)
* Private Sector.
From the three, there is a wide expanse of opportunities that open up for the graduate. It will boggle the mind to which road is best. To help the graduate decide, see the list below, though, there are pages more available out there. Also, these have gone through our selection that is best aligned for a pol-sci major graduate.
1. Legislative Assistant.
This position is both in the private sector and in the government.
If one chooses government work, it has a level of excitement that goes with it. By the luck of the draw, if the person one works for does not get a set of years more, then the job ceases to exist. But working for a politician even for three years will be a feather in the cap.
The private sector side is usually associations. These are those that are sensitive to political issues and legislation. There are also companies that offer representation services for concerned groups. Law offices are not exempt from this. Others that need legislative assistants are agriculture groups and members of both Houses.
A shortlist of some duties for the position would be:
- write memos, notes, reports, and blogs about legislation issues;
- manage schedules, plans, logistics;
- report bill positions and lobbyist compliance reports.
Salary: National Average for Legislative Assistant = $49,000/year
2. Non-Profit Program or Legal Assistant.
There are two positions here: the Program Coordinator and the Legal Coordinator.
**Program Coordinator. Non-Profit organizations need a bachelor’s degree for this position. Depending on the organization, the position performs recruitment duties as well. This is to do the tasks under the program.
Take, for example, an organization that needs a labor force to finish a program within a time frame. The Program Coordinator will do recruitment, purchasing, and related duties for task completion. Constant communication will also happen by reports in paper or paperless form.
A few other duties would be:
- planning and support in the execution of the program;
- communications are both internal and external.
**Legal Assistant. There are non-profit organizations that need to fulfill legal requirements within the USA. If on an international scope, the same for the country they need to be.
Green Peace shows this in explicit manners. They have a legal unit that handles the filing of litigation. This is against individuals or corporations that counter the norm of the environment. There are instances that Green Peace will be the target of lawsuits. This may be complex in a particular legal system of another country.
As entry-level legal personnel, one of the tasks is to help the experienced lawyers of the group. This is in realizing the complaint or in countering for defense.
A Legal Assistant would also do:
- prepare documents for trial, discussion, hearings, and meeting;
- communicate with concerned parties.
**Salary: National Average for Program Coordinator = $48,000/year.
National Average for Legal Assistant in a Non-profit Organization = $51,000/yr
3. Diplomat or Foreign Service Officer (or FSO), Political Track.
This may give one a projection of a gorgeous lifestyle. It is far from that. For a few of the entry levels, but most end up the opposite of James Bond. One may have an assignment at a place where the internet is slow and breaks most of the time. There are lots of mosquitoes during the rainy season and there is no running water.
Commitment to the job and being open to worldwide availability is a rule. That is going too fast; let us start from the beginning. To become an FSO, one needs to register and take the exam. Application to this position is stiff and competitive in the highest sense.
If successful, as most college graduates do, a pol-sci major may opt to take the political track. This is in alignment with your college course. For the entry-level FSO on the political track, a few of the duties that are inherent to the position are:
- develop a professional relationship with leaders. This is towards political parties and government officials of the host country;
- supervise a local specialist. One who has a wide contact base and who provides information;
- go with a senior official on meeting and take data for reporting of the meeting;
- report about a local issue, or a region of the host country, or a societal segment.
Salary: $55,000/year average on all entry-level FSO.
4. FBI Paralegal.
The job will not entail stakeouts or busts on suspected offenders. The position is staider and safe. In fact, this will not need the applicant to fathom deep into one’s self compared to FBI agents.
One essential the agency needs from an applicant is an appropriate clearance. The position, though, is not clear on the educational qualification. A pol-sci major will have an edge over others in this position for obvious reasons. The job also might need some travel from time to time.
Some duties of the position are:
- draft subpoenas for all contingencies;
- get information on personalities that need handling with legal notices;
- helps in preparation of a case for litigation;
- analyze, test, and develop cases for forfeiture;
- do court duty as a witness to testify.
Salary: $65,000/year at the average for GS-9.
5. Research Analyst (with Survey Design and Analysis).
This position has a simple title but is double with formulating surveys. Most companies with this personnel prefer graduates of the social sciences and math. Usually, this position is full-time. This is to accommodate the long turnover of a single project. When another project would come, the research analyst is available. At whatever the time of the year.
Research analysts derive the result not only from the use of computers. They use also the software associated with data analytics. Sometimes, performing actual research into the field or by email. Such targets as getting the current market trend for gaming seats. The position is also in the operations market, finance, economy, and equity markets.
Common duties for this position are:
- analyze the difference between the current and the planned behavior;
- provide forecasts to business owners;
- identify and compare the past, current, and future market trends;
- compile and back up electronic files for archival storage.
Salary: National Average = $61,000 per year.
6. Public Relations (or PR) Specialist.
Superb writing competency and a natural flair for public speaking. A pol-sci major graduate can excel in the world of public relations. The company will also love you, whether it is a PR company or a big corporation with a PR section.
In the PR world, they call them media specialists or communication specialists. In the government, they give this position the title of press secretary. No matter the name, the primary duty is the same. He is responsible to make the company look good to the public.
Doing the job through the traditional methods was the way before. Radio and television broadcasts were popular. Included today are electronic means among the channels to funnel information. These would be by email and the many social media channels like Facebook or Twitter.
The PR Specialist does all these, to mention a few:
- test the prevalent opinions in social media;
- draft speeches for the company’s top executives;
- provide information upon request by the media;
- write press releases;
- help deliver effective communication with the public.
Salary: National Average = $63,000 per year.
A Notch Higher
Consider this situation. You graduate with a degree with a major in political science. You apply for any of the work on the above enumeration and get acceptance; or a position at MacDonald’s. You now have your own personal money to proceed to Juris Doctor (or JD) on a part-time basis.
Part-time because the workload of your job may be heavy to set in over 15 credit units at a time. Then you complete JD in, let us say, five years. You prepare with diligence, even taking time off from the company. Then take the bar examinations with your chosen specialization.
And you pass!
A Cinderella story, if you may allow the word. Typical, one might say, and we have to agree, but there are slight variations in every story. Now you are a lawyer in the United States of America. You have chosen your specialization and we will dissect each of these specializations.
►Bankruptcy Lawyer. This is the lawyer in times of dire financial situations. Get his service, if you still have the money. Get his advice which you need in court, for your specific predicament. On professional fees only, these lawyers are not blind to the world. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, they have reasonable fees which exclude incidentals.
►Employment Lawyer. You be the worker or the employer, this is the lawyer to consult for employment disputes. He will represent either of the two sides in arbitration. He will also give legal advice and actions on the strategy to pursue the outcome desired. On his charges, it will not be a problem on the worker side (most of the time). On the corporate side, it is not for public consumption.
►Corporate Lawyer. Setting up a corporation is a tedious process. Instead of an accountant, choose a corporate lawyer instead to do the legwork. There are many requirements to set up a corporation that a lawyer is the most appropriate to handle. He can also be the troubleshooter for your corporate legal transactions.
►Personal Injury Lawyer. Road accidents happen all the time and not everybody is as helpful as the next person. To ease your pain and expenses, a specialist lawyer of this type is what you need. His job is to go after those that are responsible. They are not the sharks that they are in reality.
►Intellectual Property Lawyer. You have created something out of your thoughts and you need some help. Help to go through the legal process of securing ownership of the idea from the rest of the world. This is the man you need. Securing you a patent. Somebody else is using your patent without a permit. A section of your book is being plagiarised. He will get the job done.
►Estate Planning Lawyer. A lawyer that drafts up wills and trusts for the heirs of one person. He or she will make it binding and legal for all parties to adhere to the preferences of the executor. Included might be, the set up of a trust for the inheritors to attend to matters of finances.
►Medical Malpractice Lawyer. A spoon, of all things, is inside the belly of your nephew after surgery. This is the lawyer that will sort things out in the most professional sense. It may take some time, like all legal cases, but a seasoned one will come through always.
►Tax Lawyer. This is the specialization that attracts many prospective lawyers. There are only a few who go bankrupt in a year. But everybody needs to file a return of their income taxes. That includes the president of the country. And there are over a hundred million Americans that need to file their Income Tax Return. Imagine that.
►Criminal Lawyer. Out of the blue, they accuse you or somebody in your household of a crime. You can not defend yourself without the knowledge of what to do. You need the help of this lawyer. He knows all the issues related to the situation. Bails, pleas, arrests, trial proceedings, and testimonials are a few. Talk with him in all sincerity of your situation if it must come to that.
►Immigration Lawyer. If you were never born in the United States of America. Present circumstances have pushed you to a wall. A lawyer of this specialty is what you need. This professional handles issues about green cards, visas, asylums, refugee status, and citizenship. They often have websites, and some by their lonesome.
►Worker’s Compensation Lawyer. An unpopular specialization but a vengeful one. This is the lawyer that seeks redress as compensation for an unfortunate outcome. The distress of a worker in the workplace. The case may complicate and become a high wall to climb over, but redress there should be. Take an hour’s glimpse of Julia Roberts’s “Erin Brockovich”.
►Civil Litigation Lawyer. Is someone suing you? Do you need to sue somebody? If a grave a situation, a lawyer of this specialty is the best for you. You are hazy about the issue at hand and the more so that you do not know what to do next. There is a tad of complexity in this matter which is far more than common intelligence can work out from. There would be the need for the service of this professional to clear your path.
►Contract Lawyer. Do you want a contract? There is an issue with a contract? Clarifications on a contract? He is the man. You want him to read it first before you sign it. Or, worse, the contract is in effect and something goes wrong. This may be expensive, depending on the contract and the personalities involved. Also, a banana in New York is expensive than it is in Hawaii.
►Family Lawyer. Is this the same as a family doctor? It is not but in a tiny way. Pre-nuptial agreement to protect the fortunes of one party. Adoption of a child from a family or orphanage within or outside of the USA. Divorce proceedings and child custody are among the areas this lawyer can help. He may double as an estate planner as well.
►Social Security Disability Lawyer. Although unpopular as other specializations, this one is helpful in a true sense. This professional can make things easy and problem-free for you. Most of the American workers get siphoned out of their benefits from Social Security. What if you fall into disability? The complexity of the system discourages many. Putting this profession in your stead will work wonders. Fees are not in an average system.
►General Practice Lawyer. This is the lawyer that is like a chameleon. He not only is adept in one of the specialties stated above but also in another specialization or two. As a family lawyer, he may know as well about estate planning and tax laws. Talk to him before engaging his services.
A graduate of political science major has the world to his or her taking. Like a foreign service officer, a commitment to the chosen path and a desire to succeed. These are the essential seeds to spark the initiative. This is a mere path of the many that the graduate may choose. Whatever path it may be, on how we see it, it is beautiful.