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Careers: Academia

Becoming a professional political scientist

Political scientists require advanced degrees in almost every instance. Career openings may be found in colleges, universities, professional research organizations, survey research institutes, and foreign affairs research organizations that operate either privately or under the sponsorship of the government. In addition, some political scientists work on the staffs of committees of Congress or state legislatures and within a variety of governmental agencies.

Graduate schools do not require undergraduate majors in political science, but most undergraduates pursuing this career have obtained a major in political science. The acquisition of special skills by undergraduates in mathematics, statistics, or computers weigh in the candidate's favor.

The job market for professional political scientists in educational institutions has been relatively tight over the past few years. Nevertheless, there is likely to be continued demand for intelligent, well-trained Ph. D.'s in both academic and non-academic institutions.

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