By Jessica Buck
You’re in the thick of your undergraduate career, and on top of stressing about finals and financial aid, there’s that burning question of what you’ll do with a PoliSci degree. But what if the typical political analyst, legal assistant, or attorney jobs aren’t interesting to you?
Lucky for you and everyone who’s asking, there are plenty of some not-so-obvious opportunities for political science majors that are both engaging and rewarding.
1. Political journalist
Are you naturally detail-oriented? Know how to ask the right questions dig up stories? Take all those hours spent studying public policy and government history and use them in the media. You’ll be able to write confidently about policy and social change from an informed and analytical perspective and you’ll follow and analyze how political powerhouses stay on top, and why.
2. Program coordinator / program manager
Program coordinators get things done. They manage projects (and sometimes people), schedules, budgets, and processes. Program coordinators/managers exist across all industries, but if you’re interested in social change or policy, you can put your analytical and organizational skills to use at a nonprofit, NGO, social change organization, or even in the public sector. At the right organization, this type of position can put you on track for a position in upper management or in a more front-facing role working for the causes you hold dear.
3. Urban and regional planner
This is a real boss-lady job—with a master’s degree required in most cases—where you’ll develop plans and programs to grow communities by attracting businesses that create jobs and inject capital into the community, maintaining and growing public infrastructure, promoting a healthy community, and ensuring citizens live in a safe and thriving environment. You’ll use the entirety of your political science degree to persuade investors, analyze proposals, and gather data to back your mission and make the world a better place.
4. Crisis manager / communications manager / public relations pro
You can be the Olivia Pope of your company or organization as a crisis manager. If you have a knack for conveying complex information clearly and succinctly, you may thrive in a position where you’re at the front lines of communication, anticipating all possible outcomes, and fixing issues in record time and with finesse. Crisis managers stay one step ahead at all times, so this job is perfect for high-energy problem solvers.
5. Community service manager
Community service managers stay in the loop on public policy to ensure social service programs and community organizations are effective and get the help they need. Community service management means getting in the thick of local and state government policy to formulate tangible change in communities. Your political science major could ultimately help clean up the neighborhood, provide employment programs, educate kids, or build a park for a community that needs it.
6. Social media manager
If you have strong writing skills, an understanding of branding, and a flair for reputation management, a job like social media management could be exactly what you’re looking for. Social media pros are employable just about anywhere, but if the corporate world isn’t up your alley, you could spend your career raising awareness about endangered animals, mass incarceration, or gender equality!