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Introduction to American Government

What Political Scientists Do

The Other Social Sciences

What Political Scientists Do, page 2

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Scholars of American government are known as political scientists. A background in political science generally and American government specifically is useful in many different fields.

Public Policy

Government policy affects nearly everything that we do, so public policy experts can work in a variety of areas:

  • Issue advocate
  • Government official
  • Activist
  • City planner
  • Legislative analyst


Many political science majors spend time working on campaigns, which can lead to one of several careers in politics:

  • Pollster
  • Event organizer
  • Public opinion analyst
  • Communications director

Law and Law Enforcement

Many students of political science go on to choose one of the following careers in law and law enforcement:

  • Attorney
  • Judge
  • Police officer
  • Parole officer
  • FBI or CIA agent
  • Prison administrator


Although political science does not deal directly with business matters, it does teach the analytical and data interpretation skills needed for many careers in the private sector. Political scientists interested in working in business might take the following kinds of jobs:

  • Bank executive
  • Career counselor
  • Corporate economist
  • Government relations manager
  • Management analyst
  • Systems analyst


Many political scientists earn a PhD and do specialized research and scholarship at a “think tank.” Still others may choose one of the following jobs :

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