Political science degrees aren’t just for aspiring politicians. These versatile degrees can help graduates gain jobs in a number of exciting and fast-paced fields, some of which have seemingly little to do with politics. Students who are interested in studying governments, political processes, public policies, international relations, and political behavior are ideal candidates for political science degrees. Fortunately, there are numerous programs – both online and off – to help students realize their goal of attaining a degree in political science. The majority of political science degrees take between two and six years to complete.
Why Get a Political Science Degree?
Political science degrees are beneficial even for students who have no intention of going into a career in politics after graduation. This is because political science majors gain many incredibly valuable and versatile skills, including excellent communication abilities, analytical talents, and administrative expertise. These skills can result in lucrative careers with a political science degree. According to a Georgetown University study released in May 2011, political science majors with a bachelors degree earn a median income of $55,000, while political science majors with a masters or doctorate degree earn a median income of $85,000.
Types of Political Science Degrees
Political science degrees are available in several different degree levels, the most common being two-year associate degrees, four-year bachelors degrees, and masters degrees, which require an additional one to two years of study. While an associate degree is ideal for students who do not anticipate the need for a four-year degree, many political science degree jobs prefer prospective employees to have a bachelors degree or higher. In fact, students who are interested in eventually teaching at the college or university level may be required to have a doctorate degree, also known as a PhD, which requires an additional three to five years of study. Having a career goal in mind will help students select the degree level that they need to get the political science degree jobs they desire.
Political Science Degree Requirements and Curriculum Overview
Most traditional and online political science degree programs require students to satisfy certain core requirements to obtain a bachelors degree. Core requirement subjects typically include math, reading, English literature, and grammar and composition. Once students meet the core requirements, they can begin focusing on classes specific to their political science major. These classes usually include political theory, public policy, American government and politics, and comparative politics, as well as classes that discuss how race, ethnicity, identity, and gender factor into politics. Some traditional and online political science degree programs even allow students to work on classes specific to their major while completing various core requirements.
Traditional vs. Online Political Science Degree
While some students may desperately crave the college experience associated with gaining a traditional political science degree at a physical college or university, there’s no good reason to automatically rule out the possibility of getting a political science degree online. Online political science degree programs offer a number of benefits, including increased schedule flexibility for students who are working their way through school. Also, jobs with a political science degree are no less available for students who received their degree online. Getting a political science degree online allows students to set their own schedule and work at their own pace. Online political science degree programs may even be less expensive than their traditional counterparts.
Careers with a Political Science Degree
Graduates can use a degree in political science to gain a job in a wide range of fields. Examples of possible careers with a political science degree include government, law, public administration, international relations, political analysis, education, business, and journalism. There are many other available jobs with a political science degree, including career counselor, city manager, intelligence officer, journalist, lobbyist, mediator, and political campaign advisor. The American Political Science Association, the leading political science professional organization in the U.S., has published several pamphlets and brochures discussing the many possible jobs with a political science degree. There are numerous political science degree jobs available and waiting for qualified candidates.
Political Science Degree Professional Organizations
Whether students are considering obtaining a traditional degree in political science or getting a political science degree online, the many political science degree professional organizations can serve as valuable resources. Although there are many political science professional organizations all over the world, some of the most prestigious are found in the U.S. Students can contact these organizations for guidance when selecting a traditional or political science degree online program. Professional organizations may also be able to provide guidance and assistance to graduates looking for jobs with a political science degree.