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California State University, Long Beach
Student receiving Career advise on choosing a Major
 

POLITICAL SCIENCE & GOVERNMENT: What can I do with this Major?

GOVERNMENT
CAREER
Public Policy
Research
Regional Planning
City or Town Management
Intelligence
Foreign Service
Law Enforcement
Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
Program Administration
EMPLOYERS
Federal, state, and local government
STRATEGIES
Complete an internship in government or related area. Serve in model United Nations. Become involved in student government. Participate in cross-cultural groups and organizations. Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs. Develop skills in computers, statistics, and data analysis.
Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions. Supplement curriculum with business courses. Earn a graduate degree in political science or public administration for advancement. Volunteer with the staff of a government official. Participate in local or national campaigns.
LAW
CAREER
EMPLOYERS
Law firms
Corporations
Federal, state, and local government
Private practice
Special interest groups
Universities
STRATEGIES
Develop excellent research, writing, analysis, and communication skills. Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree. Obtain specialized certification for paralegal positions.
POLITICS
CAREER

Elected or Appointed Leadership
Campaign Management
Staff Administration
Special Interest Advocacy

EMPLOYERS
Legislative, executive, or judicial officials
National, state, or local government
Political action committees
Special interest groups
Political parties
Campaigns (national, state, or local)
STRATEGIES
Volunteer for national or local campaigns. Gain experience through internships in government. Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations. Seek leadership roles on the regional or national level. Become involved in campus political organizations, student government, campus publications, or community service projects. Take courses in statistics, computer science, environmental protection, or public policy. Develop a network of personal contacts. Be prepared to begin a political career as a volunteer before moving to full-time or paid positions.
NONPROFIT
CAREER
Administration
Management
Public Relations
Fund Raising
EMPLOYERS
Nonprofit organizations
Foundations
Professional associations
Special interest groups
STRATEGIES
Gain experience through volunteering or completing an internship. Supplement curriculum with courses in business, psychology, sociology, or social work. Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations. Develop strong written and oral communication skills. Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area (e.g., public health, environment, urban issues).
BUSINESS
CAREER
Sales
Human Resources
Management
Advertising
Public Relations
EMPLOYERS
Product and service organizations
Retail stores
Hotels
Restaurants
Manufacturers
Financial companies
Insurance companies
Print and electronic media
Other business corporations
STRATEGIES
Develop strong analytical, verbal, writing, and computer skills. Acquire a business minor or add business as a double major. Gain experience in an area of interest through internships or other employment. Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations. Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills.
JOURNALISM
CAREER

Editing
Reporting
Circulation
Sales

EMPLOYERS
Newspapers (national, local, or trade)
Wire services
Magazines
Internet sites
Large corporations
Political parties
Political action committees
STRATEGIES
Obtain summer or part-time work experience with a newspaper or magazine.
Complete an internship in journalism. Choose writing intensive coursework.
Become proficient in desktop publishing and photography. Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills. Join the college newspaper, yearbook, or other publication staff. Become a student member of professional associations. Create a portfolio of published writing samples. Obtain experience in and knowledge of a specialty area of interest.
BROADCASTING
CAREER
News Programming
Production
EMPLOYERS
Television stations (network, cable, or public)
Radio stations (regional or national)
Independent syndications
STRATEGIES
Complete an internship in radio or television. Experience in government or political affairs is usually required for specialized reporting positions. Volunteer with public or campus media. Develop strong reporting, writing, and debating skills. Cultivate an attractive and appealing appearance. Volunteer to announce local or campus sporting events. Become involved in drama (i.e., direct, act, or work with technical crew).
EDUCATION
CAREER
EMPLOYERS
Public schools
Private schools
Colleges and universities
STRATEGIES
Obtain appropriate state teacher certification for public school opportunities.
Gain certification in more than one subject for greater marketability. Earn a Ph.D. for college teaching or research positions. Volunteer with community or church youth programs to gain experience working with children and adolescents.
Become involved in student organizations, debate, publications, government, and athletics.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • An undergraduate degree in political science is good preparation for graduate or professional study in areas such as psychology, law, or business.
  • Research the pre-requisites of the area of interest and tailor program of study to meet curricular and skill needs.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to politics or government.
  • Become familiar with the government application process for opportunities in federal, state, or local government.
  • For careers in politics, be prepared to volunteer extensively before being hired or elected as an employee or official. Begin by working with the campaign or official of choice while in college.
  • Many elected public officials begin careers in other fields (law, medicine, business) before campaigning for office.