Political Science Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Political Science Degree

Political science degree programs provide individuals with the knowledge, theories, and skills necessary to advance to a number of careers within the legal system, international businesses, social work, and other fields. Political science programs offer students an understanding of political theories and applications, political life, the legal system, international relations, government, law, global issues, and even social entrepreneurship. Students enrolled within political science degree programs may concentrate studies in a variety of fields to gain specialized knowledge in the development and operations of political science, social systems, human society, and business. Graduates who complete studies in political science often enter employment using skills learned in degree programs to analyze and solve problems within government and public service sectors.

The increasing demand for education to extend beyond traditional campus grounds has prompted many colleges and universities to develop innovative online programs. Online programs offer students managing work and family responsibilities virtually the same educational experiences as on-campus instruction from any location with an Internet connection. Online courses also provide students with an added flexibility of course scheduling and 24 hour access to class materials, instruction, and information. Online programs generally give students a more personalized degree experience, featuring smaller classes with groups of 25 students or less, and increased interactions with other classmates and instructors through one on one Internet chats. Online degree programs are frequently one of the most convenient, affordable, and efficient means of expanding education necessary to meet personal, educational, and professional goals.

What Students Learn Within A Political Science Degree Program

Political science degree programs offer students a versatile educational basis necessary for a variety of careers. Political science programs offer students knowledge related to political systems and processes, government, public policies, philosophy, economics, and global societies. Most political science professionals are required to complete a minimum of a bachelor degree to qualify for employment within political science fields though many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree to qualify for upper level employment. Many students begin their education within associate’s degree programs to gain a basic understanding of the field. Courses include: introduction to cultural anthropology, introduction to computer based systems, U.S. history, U.S. national politics, English composition, college Algebra, introduction to biology, public speaking, oral interpretation of literature, principles of macroeconomics, principles of microeconomics, introduction to public administration, introduction to state and local government, introduction to comparative government systems, introduction to global studies, survey of economic principles, Western civilization, introduction to philosophy, symbolic logic and critical thinking, world human geography, introduction to social science research methods, introduction to law, introduction to psychology, abnormal psychology, introduction to sociology, statistics, and an internship. Graduates who complete studies in associate degree programs may qualify for entry level employment within various organizations or continue studies in higher degree programs.

A bachelor degree program in political science provides students with an expanded understanding of the discipline of political science. Courses include: global wealth and wellness, English composition, lifetime fitness and wellness, college Algebra, introduction to political science, introduction to biology, statistics, human geography, world civilization to the 18th Century, world civilization from the 18th Century, effective speaking, world literature, American national government, elementary foreign language, American civilization to 1865, introduction to sociology, the African-American experience, African-American literature, comparative government, critical thinking, American civilization from 1865, ethics, contemporary political ideologies, international politics, research methods in political science, methods of sociological research, global societies, introduction to law, introduction to administrative law, constitutional law, statistics, international relations, political theory, and an internship. Students who complete studies in bachelor degree programs may advance to employment or master’s degree programs.

Master’s degree programs in the field of political science provide studies with specialized skills and knowledge necessary to advance to a number of upper level employment options upon graduation. Courses include: quantitative techniques, perspectives on social science, methods of analysis, American government and politics, international relations, American political institutions and processes, seminar in American government and politics, seminar in comparative government and politics, public policy, seminar in international relations, political thought, seminar in public policy, interest groups, international political economy, and an internship. Master’s degree graduates may advance to employment or continue studies within doctoral degree programs.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the knowledge necessary to qualify as experts in the field of political science. Courses include: introduction to political inquiry, graduate research methods, basic statistics for social science, formal theory, advanced methods of inquiry, American politics, comparative politics, public law, international politics, politics in film and reality, American presidency, congress and the legislative process, campaigns and civic engagement, parties and elections, agenda setting and public policy, political analysis and research methods, models of individual and public choice, American foreign policy, foreign language, and a clinical experience. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs are considered experts and generally advance to teaching positions within colleges and universities.

Prospective Jobs For Political Science Degree Graduates

Graduates with political science degrees gain a solid educational basis required to qualify for a number of employment options. Employment for political science graduates is based upon the level of education, area of specialty, work experience, and often geographic location. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports job growth for political science professionals will increase by 21 percent at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. Associate degree graduates generally advance to entry level positions as a legal assistant, political consultants, administrative assistants, or public affairs assistants. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs may advance to employment as middle school teachers, legal assistants, political consultants, political fundraisers, lobbyists, campaign managers, research assistants, policy examiners, press secretaries, or market analysts. Graduates with master’s degrees often advance to positions as political scientists, market researchers, policy analysts, management analysts, management consultants, instructors at community colleges, or public affairs specialists. Doctoral degree graduates may advance to employment as legislators, lead researchers, expert level political scientists, or instructors within colleges and universities.

Salary Range For Political Science Degree Graduates

Earnings for graduates with political science degrees vary significantly and are based upon level of education, area/s of specialty, and work experiences. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports earnings for political scientists range from $71,800 to $136,770 annually. Graduates with associate’s degrees who work as legal assistants generally earn $36,080 to $59,310 annually. Bachelor degree graduates who work as policy analysts earn $39,200 to $70,980 annually. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs and advance to employment entry level management analysts earn $54,890 to $99,700 annually. Graduates with doctoral degrees who work as instructors at colleges and universities generally earn $51,050 to $95,670 annually. As with most occupations, graduates with advanced degrees who specialize training and gain work experience often have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less education, training, and experience.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Graduates With Political Science Degrees

Graduates with political science degrees gain the skills, knowledge, and training to gain employment as professionals within a number of fields. Graduates who complete studies within master’s or doctoral degree programs have an increased employability over graduates with less education. The demand for qualified individuals in the field of political science is expected to increase by 21 percent at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018 per reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Job growth in the field of political science is due to increasing populations and the importance of public policy and research. Changing policies in health care, social, environmental, and foreign affairs affected by budgetary constraints of public resources will also add to the demand for political science graduates.

Graduates who complete associate and bachelor degree programs often begin employment within entry level positions and advance to positions with greater responsibilities upon gaining relevant work experience and continuing education. Graduates with master’s degrees often begin employment entry level management analysts or instructors at community colleges and advance to larger universities or positions with greater responsibilities upon gaining work experience. Graduates with doctoral degrees generally begin employment as political scientists for the federal government and may advance to positions as educators and researchers within colleges and universities. Some graduates may also work as independent consultants upon gaining necessary experience and funding.

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