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Political Science Degree: Online Political Science Master Degree, Political Science Major, Careers and Class

Political science careers are available in a variety of government and research sectors, offering a range of positions in law, education, government campaigning, and political consultation. Political science careers are focused on the legislative and federal processes, rules, and regulations as they pertain to government and the general public. Legislators and lobbyists are just one aspect of political science; professionals in the industry are involved with understanding and influence government policies, exploring controversial ideas, and researching the effect of laws and legislation.

What is the Field of Political Science?

The field of political sciences covers a range of topics and courses of study. Political scientist and researchers are most commonly involved with reviewing history, consulting analysts, and taking part in debates. Political science courses allow students to explore controversial issues and debate to support an idea. Career opportunities exist in the federal, state, and local government, as well as areas such as electoral politics, nonprofit associations, journalism, and teaching. Political science majors are heavily involved with writing essays, letters, and other correspondence to influential people in the government, and training in the field offers students a chance to gain a world perspective on current events, issues, and policies.

Political scientists are mostly involved with research, reporting, and communications. They are often required to serve as ambassadors and presenters on public policies and programs, and a politician is just one of the many career opportunities available with a political science major.

Job Description and Responsibilities with a Political Science Degree

A political science degree often leads to positions in the arena of public debate, political talk shows, positions in the public office, or media relations where professionals are involved with lobbying and campaigning. A political science major may choose to work in Washington, D.C. in order to work beside senators and representatives, while others work with the city government to:

  • Study and participate in the political system

  • Understand key processes and traditions in lawmaking

  • Present themselves successfully in a debate setting

  • Consult with lawmakers and lobbyists to gather data and conduct research

  • Interview citizens and politicians as needed

  • Write effective letters to policy makers and newspaper editors

  • Gain an understanding of local, national, and international policies and procedures

Training and Education for Political Science Careers

Even though an associate's degree in political science is offered at many technical colleges and universities, students will gain extensive knowledge and direct application of their skills with a bachelor's or master's degree program. An online political science degree also allows students to engage in discussions and attend lectures presented from all over the world. A political science class or program allows students to take advantage of today's leading learning technologies and enhance their communication skills in the process. Most online programs require students to conduct in-depth research and collaborate with other students, giving them additional learning advantages over campus-based courses and programs.

Political science careers can be a very rewarding opportunity and course of study for students interested in influential positions in the public and government sector. Common positions with political science major include:

  • Politician

  • Political Consultant

  • Research Assistant

  • Survey Worker

  • Lawyer

  • Lobbyist

  • Government Worker

  • Judge

  • Editor

  • Educator

  • Campaign Worker

  • Diplomat

  • FBI/CIA Agent

Political Science Major Requirements and Courses

Political science major courses and degree programs offer students a chance to apply real-life experiences learned in political science class. Political science major programs may include courses such as:

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • History of Government
  • Social Politics
  • Economics
  • Business Law
  • Language and Communications

Pursuing an Online Political Science Degree

An online political science degree offers a flexible opportunity for students who wish to complete their education from a distance or simply take classes at their own pace. Students are encouraged to work in a collaborative online environment, conduct extensive research using databases and public records, and put together compelling letters and correspondence. An online political science degree program requires students to become proficient in using the internet and email communications.

A master degree online in political science offers students a chance to take specialized courses and programs in the field. Common course with a master degree online in political science include:

  • Public Policy
  • Nonprofit Law
  • Labor Management Relations
  • Administrative Theory
  • Regulatory Policy

Online programs are ideal for working professionals or those who wish to supplement their educational career with a concentration in the field of politics. A master's degree in political science often leads to political science careers such as campaigning, civil servant positions, and teaching or education. Political science class formats vary significantly from campus-based programs, offering students more flexibility with scheduling and earning necessary credits at their own pace.

Employment Prospects and Job Opportunities for a Career in Political Sciences

Employment prospects for political scientists are favorable, but are expected to grow slower than average for other occupations through 2014. Individuals who specialize in particular areas of public policy and gain experience have the most opportunities to enjoy a rewarding career in the field. Finding jobs in public policy can be difficult, and many political science majors find that they need to relocate in order to pursue their interests. Political scientists can also enter fields in marketing, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations, and political consulting.

Median annual earnings for political scientists were $86,750 in 2004, and those with advanced degrees and specialized experience can start a political science career at higher rates. Related occupations include:

  • Urban and regional planners

  • Market researchers

  • Legal assistants

  • News analysts or reporters

  • Judges or magistrates


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