Careers in Political Science

Positive employment news for Political Science students!  According to Western's 2017-2018 Graduate Outcomes Report, Political Science students are largely successful in the job market upon graduation.  Based on the data within six months of graduation:

  • Political Science graduates are 73% employed with average earnings of $29,538
  • Economics/Political Science graduates are 71% employed with average earnings of $30,874
  • Politics, Philosophy, Economics graduates are 75% employed with average earnings of $35,161
  • Political Science/Social Studies graduates are 100% employed with average earnings of $45,281

Many of the students not employed were pursuing further education or “other opportunities” (a category that includes those who found employment outside Washington state and whose salaries are not captured in the data).

It’s noteworthy that students who had completed an internship had a 9% greater rate of employment and 20% higher wages earned. 

Looking at earnings a few years after graduation, according to 2016 data from median earnings for students with a BA in Political Science were $63,312 at 5-9 years and more than $99,996 at 20+ years. (Source:

Employers and Career Ideas

Here is a list of prospective employers and fields of employment for Political Science graduates.  Another useful resource is the Careers in Political Science page of the American Political Science Association website.  Students who are interested in learning more about career opportunities in Political Science are also encouraged to visit the Western Career Services Center and sign up for Viking CareerLink, a free online internship and job posting database available to students, alumni, and employers. In addition Western has launched a platform called WE Connect.  The platform was created to connect students preparing to graduate with people already working in a profession.


Common Employers for Political Science Graduates

  • Colleges & Universities
  • Media Organizations
  • Research Organizations
  • Polling Organizations
  • Think Tanks
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Consulting Firms
  • Embassies
  • Environmental Organizations
  • CIA
  • FBI
  • State & Local Government Agencies
  • International Agencies
  • Campaign Organizations
  • Labor Unions
  • Law Firms
  • Magazine Publishing Companies
  • Network/Cable/Public Broadcasting Stations
  • Corporations
  • Courts
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Political Interest Groups
  • Radio Stations and Lobbying Firms.

Career Ideas for Political Science Majors


  • Campaign Manager
  • Special Interest Advocacy
  • Lobbyist
  • Press Secretary
  • Speech Writer
  • Legislative or Congressional Aide
  • Activist
  • Public Opinion Analyst
  • Pollster
  • Elected or Appointed Positions at Local/State/National level


  • Attorney
  • Judicial Clerk
  • Private Practice
  • Paralegal
  • Civil Rights Advocate
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Corporate Legal Counsel
  • Judge/Mediator
  • Juvenile Justice Specialist


  • Public Policy Specialist
  • Embassy Employee
  • Urban Policy Planner
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • FBI/CIA Analyst or Agent
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Foreign Intelligence
  • Customs/Immigration Officer
  • Legislative/ Executive/ Judicial Services
  • Peace Corps Officer
  • International Research Specialist
  • Adviser for Governmental Relations
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Public Affairs Adviser
  • Archives/Records Management


  • Administration/Management
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Research
  • Fund Raising


  • Journalist/Author
  • Communications Director
  • Political Commentator
  • Editor of Political Journal

Private Sector

  • Health Care Administrator
  • Corporate Analyst
  • Contract Administrator
  • Governmental Liaison
  • Grant Writer
  • Research Specialist
  • Survey Analyst
  • Banking Executive
  • Financial Consultant
  • Entrepreneur


  • High School Government Teacher
  • University Professor
  • University Administrator