Careers with a Political Science Degree

After graduation, political science majors are employed in almost every part of the public and private sectors. Some graduates go to law school or accept positions with government at the federal, state, or local level -- the traditional goal of political science majors -- but many go into business, the arts, public relations, teaching in secondary schools, campaign consulting, urban and regional planning, or journalism. Others pursue any of the other careers common to liberal arts majors. And some political science majors have gone on to quite lucrative careers, as the New York Times has reported. Studies on employer preferences show that the writing and research skills and creative thinking abilities offered by a political science degree can be quite valuable in the contemporary job market.

diplomaPolitical Science majors from Cal State LA are regularly admitted to national and regional law schools. Admits over the last few years include Boston College, Chapman University, Columbia University, DePaul University, Loyola, New York University, Pepperdine, Southwestern, University of La Verne, UC Davis, UC Hastings College of Law, the University of Chicago, Yale,   University of San Diego, and the University of Santa Clara. Our students have been accepted for graduate training at a wide range of institutions, including Arizona State University, Brown University, Claremont Graduate School, Emory University, Florida State University, George Washington University, the London School of Economics, the New School (NYC), the University of Hawaii, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, the University of Southern California,  and the University of Texas at Austin. 

career center

Cal State LA graduates have occupied important positions in the public sector at the federal, state, and local levels. At least eight graduates of Cal State LA have served as members of the United States House of Representatives. Some activities of recent alumni can be found on our "Alumni Profiles" page.

Useful discussions of political science careers can be found at the website of the American Political Science Association and on College Express. Students are encouraged to consult with faculty about their future plans after graduation, as well as to visit the campus Career Development Center, and to join the Department's Facebook page and LinkedIn Alumni network

Possible Careers

Activist, Advocate/Organizer
Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit, etc.
​Archivist, Online Political Data
Budget Examiner or Analyst
Banking Analyst or Executive
Campaign Operative, Worker
Career Counselor
CIA Analyst or Agent
City Planner
City Housing Administrator
Congressional Office/Committee Staffer
Congressional Research Service
Coordinator of Federal or State Aid
Communications Director
Consultant, Political
Corporate Analyst
Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
Corporate Economist
Corporate Manager
Corporate Information Analyst
Corporate Adviser for Govt'l. Relations
Corporate Executive
Corporation Legislative Issues Manager
County Treasurer
Customs Officer
Editor, Online Political Journal
Education Policy Analyst
FBI Agent
Federal Government Analyst
Financial Consultant
Foreign Service Officer
Foundation President
Free-lance writer
High School Government Teacher
Immigration Officer
Information Manager
Intelligence Officer
International Agency Officer
International Research Specialist
Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
Juvenile Justice Specialist
Labor Relations Specialist
Legislative Analyst / Coordinator
Management Analyst
Plans and Review Officer, USIA
Policy Analyst
Political Commentator
Political Director
Public Affairs Research Analyst
Public Opinion Analyst
Public Relations
Research Analyst
State Legislator
Survey Analyst, Systems Analyst
Teacher, University Professor
University Administrator
Urban Policy Planner
Web Content Editor

Source: American Political Science Association, Careers and the Study of Political Science: A Guide for Undergraduates, 6th Edition (

Online Job Boards

America's Job Bank
U.S. Dept. of Labor-sponsored site that links to state job banks
Public employment job opportunities site owned and operated by California public agencies
Volunteer, internship and job opportunities in the non-profit and public service sector

International City/County Management Association
Job opportunities in state and local government

Careers in California State Government
Job opportunities in the non-profit sector
National Forum for Black Public Administrators
Primarily job opportunities in state and local government

Non-Profit Talent Match
Non-profit job opportunities site sponsored by the business publication Nonprofit Times

The Nooner
Daily bulletin about California politics every weekday at noon frequently has ads for jobs in state politics.
Public service career opportunities site sponsored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)

Roll Call Jobs
Washington, D.C.-area job opportunities sites sponsored by the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call

Southern California Public Management Association-Human Resources
Job and professional development opportunities in human resources management

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Job opportunities in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors
Federal internship and job opportunities for students and recent graduates 
Students and graduates also may find internship and job opportunities advertised on the Web sites of local governments and agencies. For example, the City of Los Angeles advertises city job opportunities. Students and graduates are advised to visit the web sites of any agency of interest to find more information about internship and career opportunities.