College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Political Science

Careers in Political Science: Government Service

Federal Government:

Federal employment generally offers excellent entry level salaries, job stability and good benefits. There are opportunities in the federal government throughout the country. The job prospects in the federal government are expected to rise rapidly in the next several years, both to replace retiring workers and to meet the needs in certain expanding fields, particularly defense, intelligence and homeland security. Some positions, particularly at the management level and those involving foreign affairs analysis, may require additional graduate training (see the Graduate School link on our website). Examples of possible careers include: researcher, Congressional Research Service; foreign service officer or public affairs specialist, Department of State; intelligence analyst, Central Intelligence Agency; tax inspector, Department of the Treasury; management auditor, Department of Labor; staff aide, Congressional Committee; program analyst, Environmental Protection Agency; budget analyst, Department of Commerce; program officer, Department of Education; technology manager, Department of Homeland Security. For further information, visit the websites of the specific agency or branch of government you might be interested in, or see: U.S. Government Office of Personnel Management.

State and Local Government:

States, counties and municipalities around the country are increasingly responsible for overseeing such issues as housing, education, health, public safety, welfare, and transportation. As state and local government handle more of these complex issues, they are increasingly looking to hire those with diverse skills and knowledge in the public policy and management area. The various “emphases” offered in the Public Administration major help students gain the greater expertise of a particular policy area, while methodology and statistics courses sharpen the skills needed to analyze the data upon which policy decisions are made. Many positions in this field are in the civil service, and offer competitive salaries and benefits as well as job security. Examples of possible careers in this area include personnel director, state energy department; city project coordinator; city planner; senior criminologist; labor relations specialist; legislative coordinator for the mayor; county treasurer; county budget examiner; purchasing officer for a state, county or municipal government; juvenile justice case worker; city manager; supervisor of welfare-to-work program.