The liberal arts training in political science allows a student to explore a number of career opportunities. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006-2007 edition of Occupational Outlook Handbook states that "the growing importance and popularity of social science subjects in secondary schools is strengthening the demand for social science teachers at that level.Because of the wide range of skills and knowledge possessed by social scientists, many compete for jobs with other workers, such as market and survey researchers, psychologists, engineers, urban and regional planners and statisticians. Political scientists will be able to utilize their knowledge of political institutions to further the interests of nonprofit, political lobbying, and social organizations." The American Political Science Association reports that the job market outlook for political scientists is positive and is increasing.
Some career areas include:
Law: Although there are no specific undergraduate requirements for admission
to law school other than a high grade point average and high LSAT scores, political science continues to be the most popular major for potential law students, garnering almost 20 percent of the seats in law school. SFA has a very active pre-law support program with the Pre-law Club and Moot Court teams. The moot court team has won both national and state competitive awards. The SFA pre-law adviser is located in the department for advising.
- Education: Certification in composite social studies is available for students interested in high school teaching credentials. A specific course of study is required as preparation for the TExES certification exam.
- Government Employment: Nearly 22 million people are employed in positions in federal, state and local government. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only the state of California exceeds Texas in the number of people employed in state and local governments. With more than one-third of federal employees eligible to retire by 2006, many employment opportunities will be available (careers and the study of political science). Students majoring in public administration may be given the opportunity to intern with area government agencies to enhance their employment potential.
- Nonprofits: Political scientists and public administrators are regularly employed in voluntary associations who take an active role in government. These associations rank as the third-largest industry in Washington, D.C. Many businesses have government affairs divisions to track public policy developments.
Business: A large number of political science graduates have traditionally found employment in the business sector of the economy. Students may consider choosing a minor in general business, computer science, management,
marketing, economics, etc., that will be compatible with their future interests in the business community.
- Journalism: A political science major can provide substantial expertise and analytical and communications training if he/she is interested in print or broadcast journalism. A former SFA journalism-political science major has worked as a Washington, D.C., reporter for the Wall Street Journal and now as a staff member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
- Graduate School: Graduate education beyond the SFA bachelor degree is available in programs for SFA master's candidates or doctorate degrees at other universities. Advanced degrees are required for community college or university teaching positions. In addition, there are many specialized professional programs in public administration, public policy analysis, international relations, and political campaign management. A master of public administration degree is offered by the department.
For more information, contact the Department of Government at firstname.lastname@example.org or 936.468.3903.