When you think of the term political science, you might think of presidential campaigns, political parties, or policy analysis on the nightly news. But political science also seeks to analyze and predict critical issues that affect our daily lives, including globalization, terrorism, climate change, civil rights and diplomacy.
Political science broadly refers to the study of government, public policy, and political behavior, both in the United States and abroad, theAmerican Society for Political Science. it is aBachelor of Political ScienceIt can help you develop a wide range of skills that you can apply to various roles in many different fields.
What is political science?
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy shows that the field ofPolitical science is a 2,500-year-old social science.with the works of Plato and Aristotle, who defined it as "the doctrine of the State" and were interested in the well-being of its citizens.
dr. Andy Tuholski, an associate professor of political science at the University of Southern New Hampshire, said it's also an area that has evolved over time. While the traditional definition of political science can be defined as the study of the state and its institutions, modern political scientists take a much broader view. Tuholski said he's also looking into the implications of race, gender, communication, public opinion and more.
“A political scientist strives to be an inquisitive, objective, fact-based investigator, grounded in evidence and argument,” he said. "Political scientists can use their research results to improve understanding and raise public awareness of social issues in hopes of influencing government action."
In addition to the curious, othersSkills Political Scientists Find Valuableaccording to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics include:
- analytical skills
- communication skills
- the ability to think critically
“Ideally, a political scientist should have a high level of intellectual curiosity,” Tuholski said. "Good critical thinking, writing and communication are highly valued and various research methods are added to the knowledge base over time."
What does a political scientist study?
Using a variety of tools and methods, political scientists study the political processes, systems and dynamics of countries and regions around the world and how they affect their constituents.American Society for Political Science. Some might analyze why governments are adopting certain policies or what issues are driving citizens to vote. Some may develop polls to predict political opinions or analyze voting trends, while others focus on statistics to analyze election results.the university boardNuts
Most political scientists in the United StatesConduct researchin one of four areas, according to the BLS, which include domestic politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory. Special tasks can be:
- Examine national political systems or a country's foreign relations.
- Analyze and evaluate policies or laws.
- Predict future political and social trends
- Collection and analysis of opinion polls
- Observe current events, policy decisions and assess their impact.
"Political science also overlaps with other fields such as philosophy, sociology, history and psychology, among others," said Tuholski.
IT ISInternational Association of Students of Political Sciencedescribes today's political scientists as "engaged in discovering the underlying relationships of political events and conditions and, from these discoveries, trying to construct general principles about how the world of politics works". For example, they can assess the financial impact of certain policies, such as health care reforms, collect opinion poll data to analyze how different subgroups feel about a new law, policy or candidate, or even predict social trends using resources. of historical data. afterSBV.
Is Political Science a good course?
Studying Political Science develops strong research, writing and analytical skills and opens the door to a variety of careers that are not strictly limited to a role in government or politics.The Princeton Reviewsuggests that your degree program emphasize the following knowledge and skills to succeed in political science:
- A strong understanding of your audience
- Ability to manage crises and solve problems.
- writing and research skills.
- Speaking and presentation skills.
- social media domain
As a college student, you can expect to take courses in political science subfields, including American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory, in addition to liberal arts courses. These courses focus on political concepts, political behavior, political issues, and government structures in the United States and around the world.American Society for Political Science.
No matter what area of political science you study, the critical skills you develop in research, analysis, and communication can help you thrive in and out of the political arena.
"Skills developed by studying political science are transferable to a variety of career paths," said Tuholski. "For example, the ability to read, understand, synthesize existing literature, identify gaps and apply that knowledge to current circumstances can make a person particularly valuable in the marketplace."
What can you do with a political science degree?
A degree in Political Science can open the door to a variety of roles, allowing you to apply your writing and analysis skills across a wide range of industries. if you want to know"Is it worth studying political science?"Consider the following potential careers in political science:
- political scientist -If you are interested in researching political issues, collecting data or predicting trends, a career as a political scientist might be a good choice.Government, education or for a non-profit organization, according to the BLS. Political scientists usually specialize in one of the following areas: national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory. You can use historical documents and quantitative methods to do this.Develop theories about voting behavior and political thinking, according to the BLS. Masters or Doctorate. in political science, public administration or related areas may be required for some positions, depending on the caseLohnskal. The mean annual salary of graduate political scientists was$ 122.220 em 2019, BLS information.
- policy analyst -Apply your research skills as a policy analyst to evaluate policies and current events using opinion polls, economic data and election results. from these sources,Policy analysts try to anticipate the impact of new systems, according to the BLS. Policy analysts often work directly in government or for non-governmental organizations that advocate for policy adjustment. Some for-profit companies use policy analysts to influence policy. Payscale reports that it is the average salary for policy analysts$59,312 per year.
- Legislative Assistant -Legislators need help during the legislative process, including consultation scheduling, research and communication. As a Legislative Assistant, you areHelp create and review drafts that meet legal standards, track legislation, and conduct researchon legislative and policy issues, according to Payscale. A Legislative Assistant earns aAverage salary of $40,488 per year, tariff reports.
- Public Relations Specialist -Public relations specialists manage the public image of corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Many of them represent interest groups, associations or political campaigns. Political science courses are of great importanceDevelopment of writing and speaking skills, which the American Political Science Association says is beneficial to success in a public relations role.include professional dutiesresponding to media requests for information, writing speeches, organizing events, creating social media campaigns and analyzing public opinion, the BLS said. The median annual salary of public relations specialists was$ 61.150 em 2019, BLS information.
- Market Research Analyst -Successful political campaigns and successful policy decisions depend on good primary and secondary market research. As a market research analyst, you apply mathematical and analytical skills to study the profitability of a product or service. In politics, you can use market research to help a candidate or campaign strategy. Market research analysts help organizations better understand what products people want, which segment of the population will buy them, and at what price. In addition to collecting data through surveys and opinion polls,Market research analysts interpret and forecast data for your company or clients,according to BLS. The average annual salary for market research analysts was$ 63.790 em 2019, BLS information.
While these are some of the more common positions, there are many good options for those with a political science background and education. Before joining academia, Tuholski worked as a director for a non-profit environmental organization.
“A political science degree can serve as the foundation upon which an individual can aspire to work in or out of government in careers involving planning and development, research, campaigning, law, education, public policy, lobbying and advocacy, and administration. " he said.
Krysten Godfrey Maddocks '11 is a writer and marketing/communications professional. Connect with her atLinkedIn.