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Beyond the Clichés: Political Science Honours

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A student pursuing Political science always deals with the question which someone or the other inevitably will put forth, that of joining the civil services. Civil services and  politics are one of the only few options people are usually aware about while studying political science. Today a score of options are available for students and the sky is the limit. With the right combination, one can be anything, from a lawyer to a radio journalist. Although holding the right degree might not always get you the right job. Nowadays, companies prefer job skills more than a piece of paper certifying your qualification.

As a Political Science student, one has to develop skills in four particular areas:

  • Communication
  • Research and Quantitative methods
  • Analysis
  • Planning and Development

These skills will prove crucial in landing them their dream job. A political science degree equips you with fine knowledge of how the government works and therefore qualifying one to take up any job that requires management and planning in the government and non government sector alike. A career in business and teaching are also available as options.

  • Government and Advocacy jobs – In this area one can work in a number of fields such as city planning, management and even intelligence. One can become a political scientist if analyzing political systems, studying the political mood and analyzing election results is what one finds appealing. As a political scientist one can also help private organizations and government draft policies in accordance to existing rules and regulations.
  • One can go for a career in Law – This usually entails enforcement of national and international rules, understanding the framework of operation within and outside the government, interpreting political ideas and use of analytical skills.
  • Lobbying –  Lobbying  the government on behalf of interest  groups or Non Governmental Organisations  are also options.  These jobs require a strong connection and cooperation with various stages of the government. As a lobbyist one can influence policy decisions and negotiate with elected officials. This usually requires a simple graduate degree although advanced degrees will help you stand out in the market.
  • Business and Entrepreneurship – A political science student can also have a career in business. Banking, advertising, personnel and public relations are available choices. Excellent verbal and communication skills are required to enter this line of work. Depending on the type of job, a good knowledge of working economics and computer skills also go a long way in ensuring a successful venture. A post graduate degree will qualify for a position in human resources and management. Those with advanced degrees are often consulted by major corporations.
  • Teaching positions – I’m mentioning this so as to not leave out anything obvious.  A political scientist can also hold a teaching position at universities and colleges. The goal of a political scientist is to analyse and evaluate everything within the sphere of political influence and a teaching position can prove to be very rewarding.
  • Research – Many researchers also hold teaching positions in universities and colleges. Usually universities, IT institutes, management institutes and the like, have research as a part of teaching.  One can also conduct research as a part of an NGO, university, business or advocacy sector. Some even conduct research as part of their entrepreneurial venture and have their own firms.
  • Journalism – A career in journalism is a well treaded path for many political science students.  Films, television, radio and other media are some of the available choices. One can easily apply for a job as a political correspondent and cover domestic and international policy. Jobs as Editors and  directors are also available in the media industry.
  • International Relations – For those aspirants who want to pursue a career with international agencies such as the UN and Global organizations such as WTO, or even transnational NGOs, a study of International Relations (IR) will provide a big boost to their opportunities.
  • Political Advisers Knowing the political system of the country like the back of your hand can have many advantages. One can become an adviser to politicians and parties and also help the government and the system by becoming a part of various think tank groups ensuring smooth and effective functioning of all units in the system.

Excellent written and oral skills are a must if you call yourself a political science graduate because the job skills one has to inculcate, over the years, are based on  these. A thorough knowledge on parliamentary procedures is also a must. Political science is a diverse subject having its nose in almost everything. Sometimes a good knowledge of human psychology also serves well. Since it is a social science, there can literally be no dearth of opportunities out there.  All one needs to do is find the right combination to land the perfect job for themselves.

Arindam Goswami

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Currently in my third year, studying Political Science major at Ramjas College. I love chicken and books and sleeping. If you want to talk, feel free to drop me a mail at [email protected] or you can reach me through Facebook, Arindam Goswami. Kudos!

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