College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Political Science

Careers in Political Science: Parties, Campaigns, Polling

With thousands of public elections held every year in the United States and the sophistication of modern campaigning constantly increasing, there is growing demand for experienced personnel in this field. The road to becoming a campaign consultant or manager usually begins at the lowest levels. Many acquire experience in campaigning through volunteer efforts for a particular candidate or for their political party. Working in fund-raising, media relations, polling or get-out-the-vote drives provides invaluable experience. Those interested in this area need to be flexible in terms of pay, hours, location and specific tasks assigned. Successful experiences and networking are the most important criteria for advancement. In addition to campaigns there are many polling and market research companies, including Gallup, Roper, Pew, Zogby International as well as news media companies that carry out polls (almost all newspapers and TV networks) hire people to write, process and analyze the polls that are conducted. Methodological skills, including advanced statistical analyses, are the most useful.