Due to the small size of Political Science classes and the dedication of the faculty, Lander College students receive extensive individual attention. This will enhance the development of your skills. When you match the skills you develop as a political science major to the job market, you will find that you are well-positioned to find employment after graduation.
What skills do students learn by majoring in political science?
- Knowledge of how government works (or doesn’t). This knowledge is also valuable to the many employers who interact with government regularly.
- Ability to critically analyze problems and identify solutions. The ability to analyze complex situations and develop solutions to problems is highly desired by many employers.
- Good writing skills. Unlike many departments, the political science department requires you to write and rewrite your papers. This gives you valuable experience in responding to detailed criticism and improving your future writing.
- Public presentation skills. Many employers need staff who are accomplished public speakers. Many political science courses require oral reports, PowerPoint presentations, or even oral arguments.
What employers seek job applicants with these skills?
- The most important source of jobs for political science majors is in city, state and Federal government. New York City agencies need staff to deliver a wide variety of services ranging from education to health care planning to public assistance. City Council members need staff who can help constituents solve problems they encounter with all levels of government. There are also numerous state and federal offices in New York City that hire staff each year.
- Investment banks and portfolio managers look for employees with strong analytical and writing skills. Knowledge of government processes is especially helpful in evaluating stocks in areas such as health care, insurance, defense production, and agriculture. A political science degree will help you gain this knowledge.
- Community organizations need the skills of political science majors to help them do everything from raise funds to plan programs to coordinate the delivery of those programs with government agencies. Strong speaking and writing skills are especially valued, both for organizations that specialize in service delivery (job training, housing, educational programming, rehabilitation) and for those that manage grants for a variety of projects (research foundations, grassroots organizing, community development).
- Not surprisingly, all levels of the education industry needs the skills that political science majors possess. At the primary and secondary levels, political science majors make ideal teachers in such areas as social studies, civics, and government. This is in addition to the political scientists who teach, research, and perform public policy analysis at the university level. Political science training is also quite helpful for those who serve in education administration, which requires well-developed writing and speaking skills.
- International organizations also need the skills that political science graduates have. Political science majors have become valuable employees at organizations that serve international constituencies, especially religious and philanthropic groups.
- Other areas where the skills of a political science major are helpful are media and journalism, political campaigns and polling, public finance, lobbying, consulting, and editing.
- Finally, the study of political science provides a good undergraduate background for post-graduate study in law, public administration/public policy, and international business.