Whether you're a new graduate with a political science degree or you're simply looking to change careers and move into this field, you'll find several avenues that can help you get started. The right entry-level political science jobs will give you a chance to build connections, strengthen your skill set, and learn more about this field and what you'd like to do in it. We've put together several suggestions for entry-level positions that will allow you to jump in and start experiencing this career arena.
What is an entry-level political science job?
Political science is the study of government and policies. It can focus on issues anywhere from a local level to an international scale. Political science careers focus on things like policy, government, and economics. If you have a fresh degree in political science, an entry-level job is the best way to get your foot in the door in a relevant field. Filling out your resume with some of these jobs will help you position yourself for a more significant role in government and policy later in your career.
8 entry-level political science jobs to get you started
If you're not sure how to start your job search for entry-level political science jobs, here are a few relevant careers to get you going. You can use these jobs to gain entry into the field and make the valuable connections that are necessary in the world of politics and government.
Legislative assistants work alongside policymakers, advocacy groups, and nonprofit organizations to assist these individuals with the process of drafting and passing new legislation. A legislative assistant handles a wide variety of organizational tasks involved in this process. This begins with detailed research into legal topics. Legislative assistants may have to request copies of records and testimonies, attend committee hearings, and uncover studies that help support their bills.
Legislative assistants then go on to help coordinate activities that will draw support for the proposed policy changes. They handle tasks like drafting talking points, creating media plans, drafting press releases, and even writing or editing legislation and memos.
Legislative assistants help gather support for policy changes and act as a helpful point of contact between legislators and constituents. They may answer phone calls, draft letters to constituents, and arrange meetings. Some assistants may even attend meetings on the legislator's behalf. This entry-level career offers powerful networking opportunities and provides an effective way for new graduates to get involved in policymaking.
Policy analysts have a research-heavy job that involves evaluating complex problems and developing effective solutions to recommend to policymakers. Policy analysts address issues relating to health care, public safety, education, and the environment. They assess the current social situation to identify areas of concern.
Policy analysts may focus on gathering new statistics in an area previously overlooked for new policy recommendations, or they might focus instead on evaluating the effects of existing policies to determine whether they're successful. They may share their findings to effect change via:
- Fact sheets
- Public speaking engagements
Market research analyst
Market research analysts evaluate a particular segment of the market. In the field of political science, a market researcher may focus on a specific political party or group. These professionals typically draft surveys or interview questions, evaluate the results, and develop reports or presentations to effectively summarize the information.
Market research analysts use their data on consumer thoughts, opinions, and behaviors to develop effective strategies for reaching these individuals. They may help political candidates find the best way to connect with potential voters, reach an untapped audience, or communicate with unconvinced individuals in a more effective manner. They deliver a deeper understanding of the key people that a policymaker must connect with to facilitate more successful activities and campaigns.
"Filling out your resume with some of these jobs will help you position yourself for a more significant role in government and policy later in your career."
Public relations coordinator
Public relations coordinators address the public image of their individual clients or organizations. In political science, a public relations coordinator may focus on managing the public opinion of a particular policymaker or government group. The coordinator will develop PR campaigns designed to influence public opinion and generate favorable results, such as a successful election.
The job duties of a PR coordinator include drafting press releases, creating social media posts, scheduling press conferences and interviews, coordinating public events, and managing relationships with major media outlets. The coordinator must continually assess the outcome of their PR campaigns and adjust as needed to produce the desired public image.
A press assistant provides support to the communications department. This is a great entry-level political science job if you want to eventually work as a social media manager, public relations manager, or communications executive. Press assistants handle a variety of administrative duties, such as maintaining a media contact list, confirming media participation in special events, putting together media kits, and drafting press releases.
Press assistants may also support the creation and dissemination of media. This might include editing podcast clips, crafting social media posts, drafting newsletters, or photographing events.
Political consultants manage election campaigns for politicians. These professionals help politicians hone their message and craft a strong and effective platform. They then organize press conferences, plan fundraisers, prepare press releases, and otherwise help to publicize their candidate.
Political consultants are essentially responsible for "selling" their candidate, which combines marketing and politics. This is a great job for individuals with a strong background volunteering to help with political campaigns. This experience and knowledge may help you land an entry-level job as a political consultant for a local politician.
If you're looking for an entry-level political science job that you can get with minimal workplace or volunteer experience, a staff assistant is a good place to start. Look for a job in a government agency or with an electoral campaign to gain essential experience in the field of political science.
Staff assistants handle the general clerical and organizational tasks that are necessary in an office environment. They may help manage schedules, organize data, and act as liaisons between the public and those in the office.
Political campaigns and nonprofit agencies are typically funded by donors. Professional fundraisers are necessary for these organizations to continually maintain the required income for their activities. Fundraisers identify potential donors and find creative ways to communicate with them. This may include planning events, developing mail or email campaigns, creating online marketing campaigns, and managing social media accounts.
Fundraisers continually monitor and evaluate the success of their campaigns so they can adjust their approach as needed. They keep meticulous records of donors and donations and manage the legal reporting that's required for these funds.
Polish up your resume and get set to receive relevant email alerts from CareerBuilder to help you during your job hunt. This way, you'll never miss a great opportunity in the field of political science, and you can start working as soon as possible.
More tips for finding and succeeding in a political science job:
Make your job search more efficient so you can land a great job in no time.
Consider working for a judge to kick off your political science career.
Learn how to benefit from your coworker relationships on the job.
Harness learning opportunities at work that will position you for future success.