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What Are the Different Types of Political Scientist Jobs?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2018
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Political scientist jobs tend to vary in terms of industry, responsibility, and title. This is due to the fact that a degree in political science is generalist in nature. Career opportunities exist in national and local government, journalism, teaching, research, law, and economic analysis. Political science majors may also choose a business career in disciplines such as public relations or finance.

A good number of political scientist jobs are with government agencies or with organizations that support governments. While the most visible job is that of an elected official, numerous support jobs exist. Many involve providing advice and analysis based upon heavy research. For example, an economic advisor to a government official helps direct policy by presenting uncovered facts, personal interpretations and recommendations.

Industrialized nations often have opportunities for political scientists to work in national intelligence. This can be one of the more attractive types of political scientist jobs. Intelligence officers typically help protect a nation against military intrusions or other adverse consequences. They may monitor international communication and profile certain countries or organized groups that are viewed as potential threats. Some intelligence officers gather information, while others analyze it.

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A few individuals may choose to work in political scientist jobs that deal with the media. Spokespersons for political officials or campaign managers are examples. Others might obtain jobs in international journalism, either in broadcasting or print. Freelance writing and editing that takes a political stance is another type of political scientist job. These individuals may start their own publications that focus on a certain cause, such as environmentalism or a political point of view.

Media workers are often responsible for both research and presentation. Those who serve as spokespersons or media advisors to political figures may write speeches, strategically schedule public appearances, and help create the figure's public persona. They typically monitor public response to the politician and proactively modify the presentation accordingly.

Another of the more popular types of political scientist jobs is teaching. Some choose to teach the discipline at the middle or secondary school level. Others go on to teach at major universities or at community colleges. An advanced degree is usually required to teach at the post-secondary level.

Political science degree holders may also pursue a legal career. They may begin as a legal assistant or researcher. Some go on to obtain a law degree and specialize in environmental or national law. Others may eventually pursue an elected office at the local or national level.

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