When it comes to studying, they say that you should study what you enjoy, what you are good at, and what you are passionate about. But for some subjects, is enjoying them and being passionate about them enough? For example, a college degree in politics can sound great in theory, but how many people that study that go on to be the next President of the United States or a senator? The numbers are pretty slim. So what other kinds of options are there, if something like politics does interest you?
The truth is that a politics degree does open doors to a wide range of careers, including work in politics, social research, political research, journalism, human resources, and even marketing. So if you want to study something specific like politics at somewhere like George Washington University, then be empowered to do it, rather than thinking that you won’t have many options after.
To help you to even be considered on a political science or political management degree, then getting some work experience can be vital, as well as it being important after graduation too. It can be a good idea to consider working for charities, global development bodies, human and civil rights organisations, conservation organisations, political campaigns, and for political parties.
Campaigning organisations or what could be called ‘pressure groups’ have an international presence, making them a great choice if you are looking for an international career. If you’re a student, at school or in college, then running for things like officers in your Students’ Union can be some vital experience, as well as gaining some volunteering experience through your community. All of these things can demonstrate leadership skills, organizational skills, and using your initiative, not to mention helping your communication skills. Some degree courses can even let you take a year as work experience, or a placement, so that you can get some on-the-job experience for when it comes to life after graduation.
Skills for your resume
If you want to study politics, then it does actually enable you to work on some pretty specific subject knowledge. You’ll learn how politics works, how organizations like the UN work, and how to best think about interpreting global events and global political issues. You can gain plenty of transferable skills from a degree in politics, which can be great for your resume, to help you to get the job that you want, after graduation.
Degrees, in any subject, help you to research, examine, source, and dissect information in a clear and thorough way, which is an important skill to master. A degree, politics or not, will help you to analyze evidence in a critical way, and help you to construct some coherent arguments with the information that has been given. That can be an important thing for a number of job roles. A politics degree also gives you the chance to look at your written and oratory skills, and can help to improve them, as there will be a lot of writing and orating involved! As such, your teamwork skills can improve, and having a flexible and a much more open-minded approach to studying can be achieved.
Getting a bachelor’s degree in one subject doesn’t mean that that is the only subject that you will have to learn about or get a career in. Of course, there is always the option to study even more, and hone your passions and expertise further. Examples of post-graduate study that you could undertake include:
- Environmental studies and politics
- Human rights
- International politics or international relations
- Campaigning and advocacy
- Vocational postgraduate courses like accountancy, journalism, or teaching could also be considerations, if you want to move away from politics
There is a lot of data and information around what graduates do, and it tends to be pretty good for politics graduates, with the majority in full-time work six months after graduating. A lot of roles that are popular for graduates tend to be in the marketing and business side of things, as well as HR, PR, and finance. Of course, there tends to be a large percentage of graduates that look for work in politics, working on policy work, journalism, charity work, and political research.
It can feel daunting to sometimes put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Choosing what to study is important, but it is all about your experience, the skills you gain, and the path that you want to go down afterwards that makes all of the difference.