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What Can You Do With a Master's in Political Science?

A master's degree in political science enables individuals to pursue careers in areas like research, teaching and PR. These opportunities will be discussed with a focus on salary and growth potential, along with job duties.

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Possible Careers with a Master's Degree in Political Science

Individuals who are interested in pursuing a master's degree in political science will have a number of career choices available to them once they complete their degree. Beyond working as political scientists, graduates might also consider careers in research, analysis, PR and education. Below we will explore five of these options in greater detail by covering what each of these jobs entails, as well as salary and job growth statistics.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Political Scientist $114,290 3%
Postsecondary Political Science Teacher $79,210 11%
Broadcast News Analyst $56,680 0%
Public Relations and Fundraising Manager $107,320 10%
Survey Researcher $54,470 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Information About Jobs You Can Do with a Master's in Political Science

Political Scientist

As a political scientist, you may work in a variety of capacities conducting researching, collecting and analyzing data, and studying policies and trends related to public policies and economics. Often, political scientists specialize in a particular topic, like international relations and foreign policy, domestic politics, or political theory. Political scientists may be responsible for developing polls, conducting surveys, and analyzing policies for organizations and governments. To become a political scientist, you will typically need at least a master's degree in political science.

Postsecondary Political Science Teacher

As a postsecondary teacher of political science, you will be responsible for conducting courses on topics related to political science, like political theory or comparative politics, for university-level students. Some of your duties will include lecturing, assigning homework, mentoring students, administering exams, and assigning students grades based on their performance. A master's degree in political science is typically the minimum requirement to become a postsecondary political science teacher at community colleges, as well as for some part-time positions. To teach at a 4-year university or college, candidates will need to continue their education to earn a Ph.D.

Broadcast News Analyst

Broadcast news analysts typically work for media and news organizations providing analysis to the public, often through a televised news program or a print publication. While they work in the field of journalism, these professionals may specialize in a specific field, like political science, in order to provide the most in-depth coverage and analysis possible and help them understand critical issues. Typically, a bachelor's degree in journalism is required for these jobs, though employers may consider candidates with a political science degree, since it's a related field. Individuals with a master's degree in political science would have an in-depth background for a position as a broadcast news analyst, especially if they had also completed some coursework in journalism.

Public Relations and Fundraising Manager

As a public relations and fundraising manager, you may be responsible for managing an organization's public image as well as helping it establish and meet fundraising goals. With a political science background, you could potentially get a job as a public relations and fundraising manager for a political campaign, which would involve working in the community to increase public support for your candidate through fundraising and donations. You may also be responsible for handling all of the politician's interactions with the news media. A bachelor's degree is the more common requirement for this job, but some employers do prefer candidates who hold a master's. A master's degree in political science would generally fulfill the necessary requirements to become a public relations and fundraising manager, though candidates considering this path would benefit from taking electives in areas like communications, fundraising, PR and journalism.

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers are experts at designing surveys to collect and analyze different types of data, often on the behalf of research organizations, businesses, or the government. They are often interested in determining what the public opinion is on a specific topic, like education, healthcare, a political race, or a proposed policy. They use various research design techniques to create and administer surveys in order to gather data and then analyze it to establish trends and help organizations and companies make decisions. A master's degree in political science would be sufficient for becoming a survey researcher, especially if the student took several research and statistics-focused courses.

To summarize, there are a number of job opportunities available to individuals who obtain a master's degree in political science, including work as a political scientist, survey researcher, or postsecondary teacher. Students may want to consider tailoring their electives to their desired career path to add more flexibility to their political science degree.

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