Putting Your Political Science Degree to Work

Degree to work

If the words “political science” immediately conjure up images of election year advertising and endless debates, you’re probably not alone. The often divisive and sluggish nature of government can make us forget all of the good that comes from public service and the study of political science. When it comes to the actual work, it’s not just what you see on cable news, and although you’ll find political science graduates working in all levels of government, you don’t have to pursue a career in politics to put your skills to work.

“Political scientists are found in every major corporation, helping aggressive businesses gauge the political winds,” according to Dr. Jean Gabriel Jolivet, Program Chair of Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government.

In addition to deepening your knowledge of political policy and research methodology, a political science program will develop the soft skills – understanding nuance, ambivalence, and gray areas – that can be essential in roles outside of government, in industries that include financial, professional, and education services, and retail.

One Ashford graduate, Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy, used her political science credentials to jump-start her interest in public administration. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in 2014 and finishing law school at the same time, she returned to Ashford to pursue her Master of Public Administration.

“I could not have achieved my academic goals without Ashford University,” Baldwin-Kennedy said.

Dr. Jolivet credited part of the success of political science graduates to the versatility and adaptability of skills learned in the program.

“Studying political science makes you a student of human behavior and, from there, you will learn the skills necessary to read between the lines, to investigate degrees and shades of difference,” he said. “Our students learn that life is filled with distinctions, gradation, and very important parts of life that are not clearly defined or understood, but well worth learning more about.”

And while a political science degree will immerse you in historical concepts that include Congress, the Presidency, and the American Constitution, the program is much more than a history lesson.

“History for a political scientist is often a story about power, security, anarchy, and the development of the rule of law based on extremely successful political documents, like our Constitution,” Dr. Jolivet said. “While history can paint a huge tapestry on human endeavor, history cannot paint that tapestry without the vibrant colors and tints that politics infuses into the history of humankind.”

Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

References

What’s It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Retrieved from: https://cew.georgetown.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/11/whatsitworth-complete.pdf

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