If you are a regular consumer of political news, enjoy staying up to date on current events, and are involved in the actions of the government at the local, state, and federal level, you may want to consider turning this passion into a career by pursuing an online political science degree. Political science is the study of political systems, the political process, and any issue dealing with the government. Earning a degree in political science online will teach you how to study and evaluate current events and governmental action, analyze policies, learn what the community, city, state, or country needs, and develop policies to meet those needs. Many institutions are offering accredited online political science degrees that can help you start your career.
Classes and Assignments of a Political Science Major
A political science degree program will focus heavily on multiple aspects of politics and government. Some of your courses may cover topics such as political theory, American politics, international politics, the presidency, and urban politics and governance. You will also have courses that cover American history, analysis, law, public administration, and the Constitution. Many of your assignments may involve studying and analyzing policies, procedures, or events and writing reports about your conclusion regarding the issue. Some political science programs encourage students to attend events such as town hall meetings, community outreach events, city council meetings, and political speeches to see politics in action in the real world.
Degree Levels for Political Science Majors
- Associate. Online associate political science degrees will include basic and introductory courses such as U.S. history, U.S. government, introduction to political theory, and cultural anthropology. This degree may help you get an entry-level position in many different industries.
- Bachelor’s. Online bachelors political science degrees will include courses such as critical thinking in world politics, international relations, American political theory, and statistics and data analysis. This degree may qualify you for an entry-level position with a government agency, research organization, or consulting firm.
- Master’s. Online masters political science degrees will expand on what you learned in a bachelor’s degree program and progress into more advanced and specific courses, such as political reform, ethnic and minority politics, politics of budgeting, U.S. immigration policy and law, and the United Nations and world community. This degree may qualify you for administrative or research positions with government agencies, research organizations, or consulting firms.
- Doctoral. A doctoral degree program in political science will emphasize political research and instruction with courses such as research methodology, judicial research, teaching political science, and formal political modeling. A doctoral degree can be used toward a teaching or research position with a university.
A Future as a Political Science Major
The analytical skills that you acquire through a political science program make you a valuable asset to organizations in just about every industry. Many political science majors work as policy analysts for local, state, and federal government agencies, for labor, community, and political organizations, and for corporations. This usually involves researching past and current events and policies, conducting market research to learn about the community and its needs, and consulting with other professionals to develop new and better policies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states the average salary for a political scientist is around $108,000 a year, but this amount depends on several factors, including the industry you’re in, your degree level, the organization you work for, and the amount of experience you have. The BLS also shows an expected 21% increase in employment for political scientists, which is better than many other occupations.