Our top five careers for political science majors

by Ed Ventura | Dec 03, 2018

Edited by Susan Sullivan | December 3, 2018

Our Top Careers for Political Science Majors

Located in Indiana’s capital city, Marian University offers a unique experience for undergraduate students interested in political science.

Marian’s campus is just minutes from the downtown Indianapolis business district and the Indiana State Capitol, which houses all three branches of state government, as well as the Indianapolis City-County Building, which houses city and county offices under one 28-story roof.

Because of our Indianapolis location, Marian students have access to great public- or private-sector internship and employment opportunities.

What makes our program unique?

According to Dr. Pierre Atlas, professor of political science, political science majors explore local, state, regional, national, and global political systems.

Marian’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program gives you deep insight and understanding about today’s most pressing political issues. It prepares you for careers requiring good qualitative and quantitative analytical skills, sound critical-thinking skills, exceptional written and verbal communication skills, and strong teamwork and collaboration skills.

  • You will analyze political challenges like intergroup conflict and conflict resolution, study public policy and governmental decision-making, and investigate topics like poverty and economic growth, both in the U.S. and around the world, including developing nations.

  • You will also explore the impact of faith and various faith perspectives that impact current and contemporary politics and political systems. The university’s four key Franciscan values (dignity of the individual, peace and justice, responsible stewardship, and reconciliation) are woven into our curriculum and coursework.

  • You’ll be encouraged to get involved in local and state political campaigns by serving as a volunteer or intern. You will participate in research projects, attend talks and discussions featuring esteemed political experts, have opportunities to take study-abroad courses, and more.

  • During your junior and senior years, you can pursue internships like working for elected officials in the Indiana house or senate, working the state legislature or with a political party, or working in municipal city or county offices. You can also volunteer to help with local and statewide political campaigns during the election cycle.

  • On average, about 20 percent of political science students at Marian are double-majors. The most common double majors include sociology, business, finance, communication, psychology, history, philosophy/theology, and Spanish. If this interests you, talk with one of our faculty advisors.

“Completing a double-major gives students different perspectives and skill sets. It signals that graduates have a broad range of interests and intellectual curiosity—both of which are valuable traits that can make them more attractive in the employment market or more competitive when being considered for admission to graduate programs,” Atlas says.

He notes that about 40 percent of Marian political science graduates go to graduate schools in law, public affairs, and other fields to earn master’s and doctoral degrees.

Here are five of the many careers that may interest you in political science or related fields. We’ve noted which careers require advanced degrees and state licensure to practice.

  1. Budget Analyst
    As a budget analyst, you’ll work with a company or agency to aid them in organizing finances and spending. If you love crunching numbers and also want to work in a government or business setting, consider pairing political science and business analytics majors together to work in these positions. While local, state, and federal government requirements vary, typically a bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level jobs. Employment of this profession is projected to grow seven percent from 2016 to 2026, which is considered average. Budget analysts earned an average salary of $75,240 in 2017.
  2. Fundraiser
    If you’re interested in working in a nonprofit setting or on a political campaign, jobs in fundraising may be a good fit for you. This is another opportunity where combining political science and communication coursework would benefit your career greatly. As a fundraiser, you’ll use your master research and communication skills learned in your studies to raise donations and plan events for an organization or campaign. These positions typically require a bachelor’s degree and earn an average salary of $55,640, as of 2017. Jobs in fundraising are expected to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is considered much faster than the average for all occupations.
  3. Public Relations Specialist
    Business and government offices employ public relations specialists to shape and manage their overall image and reputation. In this role, you’ll use your writing, speaking, and researching skills to help your organization or client communicate with the public efficiently. Consider pairing political science and communication at Marian to improve your marketability of working in government communications. While these positions typically only require an undergraduate degree, it is helpful to work in relevant internships to stand out during your job search. These positions earned an average salary of $59,300 in 2017 and will see a job growth of nine percent from 2016 to 2026.
  4. Urban and Regional Planners
    Earning an undergraduate degree in political science is a common and useful path to becoming a competitive applicant for an accredited graduate program in urban or regional planning. A master’s degree in this field typically takes two years to complete and is necessary to work in most planning positions. As a planner, you’ll work with community members, government officials, and developers to create and revitalize communities and facilities. These positions require strong communication, leadership, and analytical skills. Urban and regional planners earned an average salary of $71,490 in 2017. Employment for these positions is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026—faster than the average for all occupations.
  5. Lawyer
    Becoming a lawyer is currently the most common career path following a bachelor’s degree in political science from Marian, according to Atlas. This is a highly desirable option for those who want to combine their interests in law and politics. Approximately 20 percent of our program graduates are attorneys or currently enrolled in law school. Once you earn your degree in political science from Marian, you’ll apply to law school. The skills you earned while in your undergraduate studies will make you a strong candidate for competitive law programs. The requirements to become a lawyer vary by state, but most lawyers have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and are members of their state’s bar association. In 2017, lawyers earned an annual average salary of $119,250, and these positions will see a job growth of eight percent from 2016 to 2026.

To learn more about Marian University’s political science program, contact our Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Call (317) 955-6300, (800) 772-7264, or email admissions@marian.edu.

Learn more about our political science major.

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