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A Comprehensive Guide for Making a Career in Political Science

Career in Political Science

Are you interested in gauging public opinion for a popular politician? Do you have a keen interest in studying public policies and programs and assessing their implementation? Do you have strong opinions about the political system of the country and the functionality of the government? Are you likely to monitor the election of a newly formed government? If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, then a career in political science may just be the right career option for you, as you will be doing all of this and more.  

What is Political Science all about?

Political Science is the study of governments, public policies and processes, and political behaviors. Greek Philosopher Aristotle once called Political Science master science as every human social endeavor on this planet gets affected by politics. Some subjects that are closely associated with political science include economics, statistics, law, sociology, psychology, and history.

As a student of Political Science, you will learn how to assess public policies, develop them, conduct research and analyze and interpret data. You will also gain an in-depth understanding of the distribution of political power.

Education Requirement

A student interested in pursuing a career in Political Science should study Humanities at the plus-two level and opt-in for Political Science as a subject to gain some basic understanding of the subject. After that, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science can enable one for a successful career in this field. Those inclined towards academics and research should pursue MPhil/Ph.D. degree as well

In India, most universities offer specialized UG and PG courses in the field of Political Science, including, but not limited to, University of Delhi, Delhi; Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi; University of Calcutta, Kolkata; Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi; University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Punjab University, Chandigarh; the University of Pune, Pune among several others. 

Top Indian Universities

University of Delhi, Delhi
Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi
University of Calcutta, Kolkata
Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi
University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
Jadavpur University, Kolkata
Punjab University, Chandigarh
University of Pune, Pune

If you are planning to study abroad, some of the best-known institutions in this field include University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Harvard University, USA; University of Columbia, USA; Heidelberg University, Germany; Sciences Po, Paris; Yale University, USA; the University of California, the USA among others.

Top International Universities

University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Harvard University, USA
University of Columbia, USA
Heidelberg University, Germany
Sciences Po, Paris
Yale University, USA
University of California, USA

Skills Required

You need to be extremely comfortable with research, data analysis, and interpretation if you want a lucrative career in Political Science. You must be someone who is comfortable in reading extensively. You must be a critical thinker with the ability to conduct research effectively. You must also have a flair in writing and public speaking for effectively communicating your research findings and recommendations with interested groups.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate or post-graduate in Political Science, you can find meaningful career opportunities in academia, think-tanks, journalism, law, the non-government sector and even in the corporate sector. You can become a professor of the subject at a university level and continue exploring the subject by doing research.

Political Science graduates are much in demand in non-government organizations, including Oxfam, UNO, WWF, Greenpeace among other prominent names. These days, many corporate organizations hire students with a Political Science background for CSR and sustainability jobs. You can also get associated with a political party as its campaign manager.  

Fee Structure

The cost of pursuing a UG or PG degree program in Political Science will depend on the institute you are pursuing it from. As government colleges are highly subsidized, the cost of pursuing the course from a government college will be very low whereas private colleges may be costlier. All in all, pursuing a course in Political Science may cost you anywhere from Rs 15,000 to several lakhs depending on the institute you pursue it from.

Salary Structure

As there are many different kinds of jobs that open up for you as a graduate in Political Science, your remuneration will depend on the kind of work you do. If you begin your career in the academic field, you can expect to earn around Rs 40000 or more per month as an Assistant Professor. A job with an NGO can pay you anything between Rs 15000 to Rs 100000 depending upon the organization and your role. A job with a research firm or think-tank may earn anywhere close to Rs 25000 to Rs 60000 per month.

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