6 Degrees to Help you Land a Job in Politics

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public policy and politicsAn article by contributor Anica Oaks.

If you have ever considered a career in politics and are looking to work for a Mayor, Governor, Congressman or even the President of the United States, there are a multiple degrees one can consider. Getting into politics is not as complicated as one may think. Politicians generally have excellent communication, presentation, public speaking, crisis management and problem solving skills, in addition to understanding their constituents, policy and social media. There are a variety of degree programs one can pursue to help you hone these skills and break into a political career. Here are 6 of the best:

Political Science

Obviously, political science is one of the first degrees that most future politicians and political workers think about obtaining when looking to break into the field. Students in this degree track will take a wide variety of courses related to American politics, elections history, Presidential Politics, State/Local Politics and International Politics. A political science degree coaches students on public policy and law, and some students turn their degree into a career in law. It’s no wonder why many politicians begin their careers as lawyers!

Political Sociology

Political sociology is another awesome degree to pursue if you are looking to land a job working for a politician. Sociology will prepare you to understand the complexities of society, the evolution of social problems, social movements and theories on how certain social systems come into play. Understanding your role in a community, and being able to connect with your constituents is a huge part of being a politician. Sociology students will take courses like American Society, Law and Society, Sociological Theory and Social Research.


History is another good choice to land a gig in the political world. History will prepare students to understand the evolution of modern political systems from a historical perspective. Students will take courses such as US History, History of the Civil War, Modern World History, History of WWI and WWII, etc.

Public Policy

Public policy also seems to be another degree that a lot of prospective political workers think will prepare them for a role inside of Congress, Senate or another legislative body. Students, especially those who pursue an online master of public policy, will have the opportunity to take courses specifically related to public policy analysis, community development, urban planning, etc. This will give students the opportunity to really understand the intricacies of how public policies are shaped into enforceable laws administered by public agencies.

Foreign Language Studies

Foreign language studies is perfect for the student who wants to work specifically in international politics. Whether one wants to work for the United Nations, United States State Department or perhaps a US consulate, learning and speaking a language like Arabic, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi and Japanese is in high demand.

Cultural Studies

Lastly, studying a form of cultural studies, i.e. African American Studies or Latino Studies is another good degree option for students working in political affairs. These degrees are usually a mix of history, sociology and political science courses that are contextualized to study a particular culture or ethnicity.

There are a wide number of degree options anyone can easily pursue to land a job in the world of politics. Play to your strengths, and find the right degree for you!

Anica Oaks is a freelance writer and web enthusiast. You can find more of her published work on her Google+ page.

About the Author

Esme Smith

Esme received her M.A. In Counseling from St. Edward's University, and worked with students at Concordia University Texas' Career Center. She developed a passion for Career Counseling after leaving undergrad without much guidance, and grappling with unsatisfying work. She strives to help others bridge the gap between graduation and "the real world."

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