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Political Scientists Career

Career Description

Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

What Job Titles Political Scientists Might Have

  • International Affairs Vice President
  • State-Federal Relations Deputy Director
  • Technical Director

What Political Scientists Do

  • Teach political science.
  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Identify issues for research and analysis.
  • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, or statistical sources.
  • Maintain current knowledge of government policy decisions.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data such as election results and public opinion surveys, reporting on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Evaluate programs and policies, and make related recommendations to institutions and organizations.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use.

What Political Scientists Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Political Scientists Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Political Scientists Need to Learn

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $114,290

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.