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Online Masters Degree in Political Science

Your political affiliation may not be just the result of your social environment and experience. According to scientists at Harvard University and UC San Diego, genetics and high school sociability might affect whether a person becomes a liberal or conservative. Researchers claim that the presence of the gene DRD4, combined with a socially active high school life, creates a predisposition for liberalism.

Luckily, there is room in politics for people of all genes, levels of sociability and ideological leanings. If you're fascinated by government, master's degrees in political science can prepare you for jobs throughout the political arena.

Types of master's degrees in political science

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professionals in this field earn graduate degrees in political science, public affairs, public administration, public policy or related disciplines. The Journal of Public Affairs Education notes that some degrees may be similar, but with a difference in focus. Master's degree programs often offer concentrations such as the following:

  1. American politics
  2. Comparative politics
  3. International relations
  4. Models and methods
  5. Public safety
  6. Security studies

Graduate programs should include training in economics, political policy, political theory, research and statistics. A master's thesis is typically required.

Political science career options and outlook

The American Political Science Association lists diverse job possibilities, for example, budget analyst, campaign operative, congressional officer or policy analyst. You could also seek work as a corporate, government or non-profit administrator. The BLS reports that more than half of political scientists work for the federal government.

Here are the 2010 median annual salaries for political scientists in various institutions, as reported by the BLS:

  1. Colleges, universities and professional schools: $47,810
  2. Federal government: $119,130
  3. Scientific research and development services: $95,640

The BLS predicts below average growth for political scientists between 2010 and 2020, with the best opportunities for those who have graduate degrees and experience.

Academic options in political science

For academic and other high-level jobs, a Ph.D. is usually required. Your master's degree can be used toward entry into a Ph.D. program.

The BLS foresees ongoing demand for individuals with in-depth knowledge of political systems, institutions and policies. Whether or not you already work in political science, there are convenient ways to earn your degree. The flexibility of online education allows you to maintain your current job and other obligations as you advance your education.

Featured Online Political Science Degree Programs

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