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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Political Science

Political Science

Description of Major
Students who complete the political science major are able to critically analyze not only the behavior of political actors, but also their respective political institutions and political systems. The main objectives of the political science major are to enable students to use strong analytical skills and critical thinking in their analysis of theories, institutions, and processes in political science. The program prepares students for work in government and private business, and it prepares students for additional training in law and graduate programs.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM political science faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying political science are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- conceptualizing
- applying data
- organizing
- promoting change
- selling, promoting, negotiating,
- analyzing
- identifying problems and needs
- managing time, energy and resources
- inventing
- ability to work self-directedly
- directing others
- making decisions
- setting goals
- initiating projects or ideas
- identifying alternative courses of action
- identifying the critical issues and making
decisions quickly and accurately


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- dealing with the public
- speaking effectively to groups
- using argumentation techniques to
persuade others
- writing factual material clearly and
- writing effectively
- speaking effectively to another individual
- using media formats to present ideas
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- articulateness


Instructing/Educational Skills:
- training someone in something


Research/Analytical Skills:
- sorting data and objects
- cataloging information
- using library and research facilities
- using a variety of sources of information
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas form several perspectives
- compiling and selecting information
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- reading


Technical/Manual Skills:
- doing detailed and accurate work  


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the Political Science Discipline:
- critical thinking
- training for government services
- learning by internship (field studies)
- personalized system of learning
- analysis of theories, institutions and
political processes
- learning by simulation
- extra-curricular learning


Jobs Obtained by Political Science Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Over 47% of the political science graduates from 1964-1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM political science graduates:

Academic Advisor
Accounting Staff
Accounts Payable Specialist
Administrative Assistant
Advertising Paste-Up Artist
Air Force Missile Combat Crew Commander/Instructor
Benefits Specialist
Business and Systems Instructor
Business Executive
Business Manager
Business Owner
Call Center Supervisor
City Administrator
City Planner
Client Executive
Communications Consultant
Communications Specialist
Compensation Clerk
Computer Consultant
Computer Programmer
Congressional Aide
Contract Specialist
Correctional Officer
Court Administrator
Criminal Investigator
Customer Service Quality Assurance
Customer Service Supervisor
Database Administrator
Department Manager
District Attorney
Electrical Engineer
Financial Planner
Government Manager
Health Policy Analyst
Hospital Quality Manager
Hotel Manager
House Communications Specialist
House Constituent Service Rep.
Human Services Case Aid
Information Technology Sales
Insurance Claims
Insurance Examiner
Land Use Planner
Law Clerk
Librarian Assistant
Loan Officer
Management Analyst
Management Trainee
Manager Customer Service
Marketing Analyst
Marketing Information Analyst
Naturalist/Outdoor Instructor
Network Administrator
Network Technical Engineer
Office Manager
Ombudsman (Advocate)
Operations Manager
Pension Benefits Analyst
Personnel Manager
Personnel Security
Policy Analyst
Political Consultant
Political Field Director
Postal Worker
Probation/Parole Officer
Procurement Director
Product Manager
Production Worker
Program Coordinator
Program Manager
Project Manager
Provider Relations Coordinator
Public Relations
Recycling Assistant
Research Assistant
Retail Buyer
Retail Management
Sales Director
Securities/Investments Manager
Security Officer
Senior Sales Engineer
Shelter Assistant
Social Worker
Software Engineer
Stock Broker
Technical Writer
Technology Analyst
Trade Assistant
Trade Association Vice President
Transportation Manager
Trust Administrator
U. S. Senate Staff Assistant
University Administrator
Utility Rates Analyst
Vice President


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of one-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain sills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one’s general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Political Science (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in Political Science
Links to Political Science Jobs