“Politics is more difficult than physics.” That’s what Einstein said. But is he right?
Well, he could be. After all, he is one of the greatest scientists of all time. But he also said that “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
So why don’t we list out the A-to-Z of pursuing a career in Political science, and you figure out whether that’s the right career choice for you or not.
Are you ready to explore the perks and pitfalls of having a career in political science?
Why Pursue a Career in Political Science?
1. Make a difference
Aren’t there certain situations that awake something within you but you shrug that feeling with the thought of “What can I do about it?”
Well, having a career in political science will present you with the opportunity to make a major difference in the society. You will have the chance to pursue careers that look after the issues of government, society, and public policies. You’ll be able to make considerable changes in the working and functioning of various systems that impact millions, if not more.
2. Diverse Career Options
Political science is linked with many career paths. It is due to the fact that a career in political science caters to different sections of the society and hence you get a plethora of options to go into. The popular career choices are listed in the latter part of the blog.
3. Lead the Nation
A career in Political Science is not only limited to changing the lives of the people from the background. There are many instances where one has to lead and take charge. And the stakes can be as high as it goes. You could be the leader of a district, a city, the state or the whole nation.
4. Unparalleled Experience
A career in Political Science doesn’t translate into your regular 9-to-5 of similar workload and the same responsibilities every day. You will face a unique situation every day that will never bring monotony into your job.
You’re going to have a dynamic routine because problems in a society are also not the same. Some people have big ones while some have small ones. You will have to be ready to face various cases that will educate you in every field there is.
5. Prestige and Power
Being a public servant brings you right into the eye of the people and society’s perspective towards you can bring a lot of prestige to your position. Being approachable is the biggest quality and is desired by people as it allows them to voice their concerns freely and openly. The way you act with people is directly proportional to the way people react to you.
Challenges of Pursuing a Career in Political Science
1. Intensive Study
Having the power of shaping the future of the nations is a big responsibility and the fact that one person can have that power can be haunting. Hence, to have a career in Political Science, one needs to be equipped with extensive knowledge to make an informed decision. You’ll have to regularly work on your knowledge of day-to-day events that may or may not impact the masses. So to be precise, the learnings never stops once you decide to pursue a career in Political Science.
2. Stressful Work Environment
You’re not going to face stress in every political science related field. But as you grow in your field, your position will also reach a higher level and at such a level, you will have to be responsible for thousands of people along with a million tasks that have very acute deadlines. We’re not saying that this will be the everyday story, but you have to be ready when the situation arises.
3. Face Challenging Situations
You will have to learn the art of dealing with difficult people because it’s one of the fundamental aspects of political science. Being answerable to the people, you’ll have to listen to every concern and complaint and that may bring up uncomfortable situations. But, there may be some career in Political science that does not have such a people-dealing aspect, but that is rare.
Skills Required To Make an Outstanding Career in Political Science
Lack of communication skills may disrupt your work. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about your ideas in writing or communicating it verbally, your communication should be transparent enough to convey what you want to say in an effective and efficient manner.
Unless there’s no connection between you and your followers or peers, you won’t be able to pursue your audience.
You should have a knack of researching through blogs, scholarly articles, newspapers & magazines, books, and other various information sources to gather new and innovative ways of problem-solving. When you engage in research & analysis, you reverse engineer the whole information to procure all the details that are necessary and required.
Proficient Writing Skills
Writing skills are something that are not only limited to a career in Political Science but are required in almost every career. But the mere importance of expressive writing skills in a political science career makes all the difference. Each and every career aspect requires extensive writing tasks and having this skill gives you a competitive edge over the others.
Those who can easily convince people through writing or speaking are expert in creativity. They research faster as compared to others and hence are more suitable for creative problem solving that these careers are all about. Moreover, they can also represent their ideas in a relatable manner.
Career In Political Science: A pool of Choices
A policy analyst thrives to achieve in-depth knowledge about a subject and is responsible for evaluating the merits of a policy and how it will impact the masses. This career in Political Science is a popular choice and involves extensive research and analytics.
Legislative Assistants responsibilities include providing written and verbal assistance to coordinate with ongoing political activities like policy issues, legislation, brief scripts for campaigns, etc.
Assembly members, senators, party representatives, and other high political officials tend to hire such assistants to reduce their workload and this opportunity provides direct access to the most powerful people in the country.
Public Relation Specialist
A Public Relation Specialist is expected to prepare persuasive stories to influence the opinions of the public using media. They simply draft attractive lines keeping in mind the current affairs. When the time arrives, they often organize press conferences and other events to compel media towards their ideas.
Market Research Analyst
As the name suggests, a market research analyst usually analyzes how consumers are reacting towards a particular party. They run polls and research campaigns to get an idea of what people are thinking and what their perspective is to certain members or parties. Such research helps major players to plan accordingly with a goal of converting potential voters.
A political consultant advises political parties on how can they gain more attention, support, and votes from the citizens. They suggest ways to brand and fix up the damaged image of the party.
In a way, a political consultant is like a salesman. They do everything in their power to pitch and make the public say “YES.” However, they may also work in favor of public interests to make the government agree with the changes that people of a nation want.
Many lawyers work for lobbying firms, political figures, and interest groups to conduct research based on policy and legislative matters. They shape up and express ideas on behalf of their client to get an agreement on a particular stance from the major decision makers.
Intelligence analyst works for latent agencies of the government. The most famed agencies include the National Security Agency and the CIA.
Some agencies don’t even show themselves to the world in which we live. These agencies secretly analyze patterns and keep a check on certain groups or communities which may pose a threat to the security of the nation. As an intelligence analyst, you will write reports based on your findings and present them in front of your agency.
Political graduates who have an inclination towards the radio, film, television and any other media often choose this field. Journalists who have majored in political science are able to make a report on the current international and domestic policy. They prepare reports so that the people can judge whether a certain policy is right for them or not.
Best Universities to Build a Career in Political Science
1. Harvard University
Being a 383 years old private university, Harvard puts emphasis on offering excellence in research, training, and learning. When it comes to Harvard, it’s hard to secure admission in this premium institution. More than 40% of the admittees are legacy derived. That means someone from their family has already studied at Harvard. Harvard University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) under the Department of Government for students willing to build a career in Political Science. The areas of study include Political Thought and Its History, American Government, International Relations and Comparative Politics.
2. Stanford University
It is a 184 years old private research university which is known for having excellence in wealth, academic strength, and ranking in the list of world’s best universities. Its proximity to silicon valley makes it even more appreciable. Currently, it is ranking at the 7th position in the 2019 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. Stanford holds its position among other great universities not only in academics but also in sports like golf and tennis. Stanford University offers courses in Political Science at both masters and Ph.D. level.
3. University of Rochester
It’s one of the most prestigious private research university in Rochester, New York. At present, it offers undergraduate and graduates degrees which also include professional and doctoral degrees. Students in this university love undertaking innovative projects. All the admitted students grow at a constant rate due to various clubs and extracurricular activities. The Department of Political Science, University of Rochester offers various courses and degrees in Political Science at undergraduate and graduate level.
4. Northwestern University
This university possesses an extensive geographical cover throughout the US. From Evanston to Chicago and Doha, Qatar to Miami, Florida to Washington DC, it has many campuses within the US. It attracts around $690 million in sponsored research every year. And if we have a look at the endowment, it is considered as the 9th largest university in the United States. NU has people from all professions – engineers, artists, politicians, future doctors, journalists, mathematicians and so on. The university offers courses in Political Science at both undergraduate and graduate level.
5. Vanderbilt University
Generally known as Vandy, it is a private research university which was established 146 years ago. Like Northwestern University, it also receives a considerable amount of endowment. In 2019 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities, it was ranked at the 14th position. The university provides financial aid to deserving students. In addition to this, Vandy has classrooms with a small batch size that will enable you to communicate with the professors conveniently. As the University of Rochester and Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University too offers courses in Political Science at both undergraduate and graduate level.
Making a career in Political Science is a challenge, we agree. But being responsible for the welfare of people requires someone with vigor and courage. We know you have it in you and we are here for you to hone out the best possible leader that you can be.
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