Today's globalized world favors professionals who can navigate the cultural differences and politics of organizations. Bachelor's degrees in political science provide a versatile foundation for careers in domestic policy, international commerce, news media, public affairs and other social arenas. In political science programs, you can gain social and political knowledge, plus valuable skills in critical thinking and communication that are useful in varied industries.
Earning bachelor's degrees in political science
In these degree programs, you study how political systems originate and develop, while analyzing governments, policies and political trends. Undergraduate studies include core courses in math, science and liberal arts, which provide quantitative and language skills. Core subjects include these:
- American politics
- Global economy
- International relations
- Political philosophy
- Public policy
- Research methodology
Elective courses cover topics like democracy, economic development, the justice system, the U.S. electoral system, constitutional law, human rights and regional politics worldwide. Some programs may also delve into themes like peace and conflict.
Career prospects for political science graduates
Bachelor's degrees in political science offer an entry point into many different career paths, from the political arena to business, education, law, media and scholarship. With some experience in public administration, you could seek work among social and community service managers, who earned 2010 yearly median wages of $57,950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS expects faster than average employment growth of 27 percent between 2010 and 2020 for these managers.
With further study and experience, you could seek the following advanced positions. The typical minimum qualification is shown here, along with the yearly wages reported by the BLS:
- College political science instructor or professor. Median earnings, 2010: $62,050. Ph.D.
- Lawyer. Median earnings, 2010: $112,760. Doctor of jurisprudence, or J.D.
- Political scientist. Median annual earnings, 2010: $107,420. Master's degree or Ph.D.
Most political scientists work for the federal government, but some are employed in nonprofit organizations, academia, political lobbying groups and labor organizations. Education is an important factor in career advancement for many political science-related positions. Degree options include the master's or Ph.D. in political science, public policy or international relations. Alternatively, political science graduates may pursue professional credentials such as the J.D. or MBA.
Web-based programs offer a means of completing your studies while you work. Online bachelor's degrees in political science can open doors to a world of career opportunities.