Political Science is anything but boring. Is Barack Obama bored being President of the United States? What about Joe Biden? He seems to be utilizing his Bachelor’s Degree in political science quite well. Aristotle referred to political science as “the queen of the sciences.” Of course, not all political science majors end up being the Chief of Staff or legendary philosophers, but political science provides students with working knowledge of government and how it functions. In addition to landing a career as an elected local official, or working on a campaign, a political science degree can also open doors to jobs such as campaign manager, consultant, political analyst, activist, diplomat or even a political journalist if you want to take the editorial route. Recent college graduates can expect to change jobs a few times, and studying political sciences is excellent preparation for the flexibility required in today’s employment market.
In addition to preparing one for employment, a political science degree also prepares one for life as an informed citizen who will be ready to participate in activities within a political party or interest group. Simply stated, many young people do not know how government works. This can cause complacency and a lack to push for change. Even a basic understanding of political science can lead to debating knowledge, research, method and most importantly, action. Try explaining to a child or teenager who has not taken a political science class how a presidential candidate can lose an election even if more people voted for him. The American Electoral College is a foreign concept to someone who has no knowledge of political science and the reasoning behind this system.
Politics is basically a struggle of making decisions that affect the population. The competition between competing interest groups can involve a simple budget cut to a small parks and recreation department or can be as difficult as whether to send troops to fight in a foreign war. Discovering all that goes on behind these decisions can be captivating. Understanding how laws are made or choosing elected officials will likely make you want to make a difference in your own community. Many people like to sit back and complain about paying taxes or having an ill-advised mayor but without knowledge of how these decisions come about, people who do not understand the basics of political science have no right to complain!
An undergraduate degree in political science is also excellent preparation for graduate and professional schools. It is a very popular pre-law major but also can present opportunities in business schools and lead to work in the ever-growing field of health care, since this industry has grown so closely tied with politics. Another possible career path for a political science major is public administration where you can study the ways that government policies are implemented and find ways to improve such policies.
Political science undergraduates acquire skills in communication and analysis which encourage independent thought and tolerance. Studying political science will provide an informed interest in current affairs and you will gain the ability to define and solve a problem which is valued by many types of employers. So weather you’re taking a high school class or considering it as a college major, you cannot lose with learning about political science. Finally, keep in mind that the federal government is the country’s largest employer and always interested in hiring political science majors!
“The method of political science is the interpretation of life; its instrument is insight, a nice understanding of subtle, unformulated conditions.”
–Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States