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Become A Political Advisor

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Working As A Political Advisor

  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Political Advisor Do

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and related issues.

Duties

Political scientists typically do the following:

  • Research political subjects, such as the U.S. political system, relations between the United States and foreign countries, and political ideologies
  • Collect and analyze data from sources, such as public opinion surveys and election results
  • Develop theories, using qualitative sources, such as historical documents
  • Test theories, using quantitative methods, such as statistical analysis
  • Evaluate the effects of policies and laws on government, businesses, and people
  • Monitor current events, policy decisions, and other issues relevant to their work
  • Forecast political, economic, and social trends
  • Present research results by writing reports, giving presentations, and publishing articles

Political scientists usually conduct research within one of four primary subfields: national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.

Often, political scientists use qualitative methods in their research, gathering information from numerous sources. For example, they may use historical documents to analyze past government structures and policies. Political scientists also rely heavily on quantitative methods to develop and research theories. For example, they may analyze data to see whether a relationship exists between a certain political system and a particular outcome. Political scientists study topics such as U.S. political parties, how political structures differ among countries, globalization, and the history of political thought.

Political scientists also work as policy analysts, where they may work for organizations that have a stake in policy, such as government, labor, and political organizations. They evaluate current policies and events using public opinion surveys, economic data, and election results. From these sources, they can learn the expected impact of new policies.

Political scientists often research the effects of government policies on a particular region or population, both domestically and internationally. As a result, they provide information and analysis that help in planning, developing, or carrying out policies.

Many people with a political science background become postsecondary teachers and high school teachers.

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How To Become A Political Advisor

Political scientists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in political science, public administration, or a related field.

Education

Most political scientists need to complete either a master’s or Ph.D. program. To be admitted to a graduate program, applicants should complete undergraduate courses in political science, writing, and statistics. Applicants also benefit from having related work or internship experience.

Political scientists often complete a master of public administration (MPA), master of public policy (MPP), or master of public affairs degree. These programs usually combine several disciplines, and students can choose to concentrate in a specific area of interest. Most offer core courses in research methods, policy formation, program evaluation, and statistics. Some colleges and universities also offer master’s degrees in political science, international relations, or other applied political science specialties.

Some political scientists also complete a Ph.D. program, which requires several years of coursework followed by independent research for a dissertation. Most Ph.D. candidates choose to specialize in one of four primary subfields of political science: national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.

Political scientists who teach at colleges and universities need a Ph.D. Graduates with a master’s degree in political science sometimes become postsecondary teachers and high school teachers.

Jobseekers with a bachelor’s degree in political science usually qualify for entry-level positions in a related field, such as assistants or research assistants for research organizations, political campaigns, or nonprofit organization. They may also qualify for some government positions. Others go into fields outside of politics and policymaking, such as business or law.

Other Experience

Jobseekers who have earned a bachelor’s degree can benefit from internships or volunteer work when looking for entry-level positions in political science or a related field. Internships can give students a chance to apply their academic knowledge in a professional setting and to develop the analytic, research, and writing skills needed for the field.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Political scientists often use qualitative and quantitative research methods. They rely on their analytical skills when they collect, evaluate, and interpret data.

Communication skills. Political scientists often collaborate with other researchers when writing reports or giving presentations. They must communicate their findings to a wide variety of audiences.

Critical-thinking skills. Political scientists must be able to examine and process available information and draw logical conclusions from their findings.

Intellectual curiosity. Political scientists must continually explore new ideas and information to produce original papers and research. They must stay current on political subjects and come up with new ways to think about and address issues.

Writing skills. Writing skills are essential for political scientists, because they often write research papers. They must be able to convey their research results clearly.

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Political Advisor Typical Career Paths

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Top Skills for A Political Advisor

  1. Policy Issues
  2. Political Parties
  3. Government Agencies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Advise campaigns on Veteran, Military, and Foreign Policy issues.
  • Provided Human Terrain estimates to the unit commander during initial mission analysis.
  • Assisted with campaign strategy for California Democratic Party Convention.
  • Called for financial support and sponsorship from unions, private companies, and private people.
  • Selected from over 3,000 candidates as the first military chaplain seconded to the US State Department.

Political Advisor Demographics

Gender

Male

65.2%

Female

22.5%

Unknown

12.3%
Ethnicity

White

54.5%

Black or African American

14.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Unknown

8.7%

Asian

7.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

15.1%

German

13.2%

Arabic

13.2%

French

11.3%

Russian

7.5%

Urdu

5.7%

Hindi

3.8%

Mandarin

3.8%

Dari

3.8%

Italian

3.8%

Turkish

1.9%

Azerbaijani

1.9%

Danish

1.9%

Ukrainian

1.9%

Armenian

1.9%

Greek

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Czech

1.9%

Kinyarwanda

1.9%
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Political Advisor Education

Schools

University of California - Santa Barbara

8.1%

National University

8.1%

American University

8.1%

Columbia University

8.1%

Howard University

8.1%

Citadel

5.4%

University of Houston

5.4%

Webster University

5.4%

Auburn University

5.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.4%

University of Southern California

5.4%

Georgetown University

5.4%

University of Alabama

2.7%

California State University - Northridge

2.7%

Ohio State University

2.7%

Harvard University

2.7%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.7%

University of Notre Dame

2.7%

University of Mississippi

2.7%
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Majors

Political Science

20.7%

Business

16.2%

International Relations

12.6%

Law

9.0%

History

5.4%

Public Administration

4.5%

Management

2.7%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.7%

Legal Studies

2.7%

Economics

2.7%

Communication

2.7%

Public Policy Analysis

2.7%

Social Work

2.7%

Psychology

1.8%

Mental Health Counseling

1.8%

Music

1.8%

Area Studies

1.8%

Fine Arts

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%

Environmental Science

1.8%
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Degrees

Masters

47.0%

Bachelors

20.1%

Other

16.1%

Doctorate

10.7%

Certificate

2.0%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

2.0%
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