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Political Science at WGU

Are You Looking to Get a Political Science Degree?

While it’s true that a political science degree can be a stepping stone to a career in politics, there are many other options outside of becoming a political science major that can put you on the same career path—and may be an even better fit.

If you’re interested in the political world, or considering a political science major, read on to explore some degrees at WGU that lend themselves especially well to a job in politics.

Pathways to a Political Science Career

Maybe you see yourself shaping public policy, lobbying on behalf of nonprofits, creating laws that drive change in your community, or even getting involved in international relations. Whatever sparks your passion for politics, the good news is, there are multiple ways to get your foot in the door.

Many of today’s politicians come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, including business administration, accounting, management, and more. Depending on your specific interests and goals, you might consider the below degree programs related to political science. Each can help you gain a wide range of skills and knowledge that are needed in political careers.

 

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Business Management

A degree in business management can help you thrive in any setting, but it lends itself well to a career in politics.

Courses cover change management, organizational behavior, ethics, emotional and cultural intelligence, and more, which can be applied to a career in politics.

Some of the skills learned in a business management program that can prepare you for a job in politics include:

  • Strategic thinking

  • Value-based leadership

  • Ethics

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accounting

Every organization and government operation relies on accountants to help meet regulations and achieve financial objectives. If you like working with numbers and want a job in politics, there’s definitely a place for you. Getting a degree in accounting helps you learn about how companies and organizations should budget, invest, and more. A business administration degree focused on accounting will prepare you for roles like a finance manager, staff accountant, campaign manager, political compliance officer, and more.

Some specific skills you’ll learn in this program that directly apply to a career in politics include:

  • Financial planning

  • Budgeting

  • Employment and tax law

  • Economics

  • Critical thinking

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Instead of a degree focused just on American political science, an MBA can give you additional insight and skills in leadership, economics, communication, and more. The curriculum includes principles of effective management and leadership and incorporates teamwork, development, and simulations to help students master the knowledge and skills necessary in many political jobs.

Some specific skills you’ll learn in an MBA program that can directly apply to a career in politics include:

  • Budgeting

  • Finance

  • Performance management

  • Economics

  • Leadership

Master of Management and Leadership (MSML)

The MSML degree program can help you develop the managerial and leadership skills needed to execute organizational change, drive strategic initiatives, and develop high-performance teams. It teaches leadership theory and ethics, business acumen, leading teams, and strategic and tactical change management. Graduates of the MSML program gain the skills needed to become qualified, capable leaders.

Some specific skills you’ll learn in an MSML program that directly apply to a career in politics include:

  • Ethics

  • Organizational management

  • Communication

  • Change management

  • Leadership

Business women converse together in a staff meeting.

$58,000

is the average annual salary for those with a business administration degree

Business professionals shake hands after a successful meeting.

$53,000

is the average annual salary for those with a political science degree

Political Science Career Options

You might be surprised to learn that many jobs in politics don’t require a degree in political science or social science. So, based on your career aspirations, an MSML, MBA, or bachelor’s in business administration degree could be a better fit and give you a wider knowledge base to work with. To help you better understand your options, here are some jobs in politics you can potentially land with the degree programs mentioned above.

What does a politician do?

Politicians work in public administration on a local or national scale to propose, support, reject, and create laws. They have influence over various bureaucratic processes and government decisions on behalf of the community they represent.

What does a mayor do?

Mayors oversee a city's main departments, including the police, fire, education, housing, and transportation departments.

What does a senator do?

Senators, along with members of the House of Representatives, propose, author, and vote on federal legislation that touches upon all aspects of U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

What does a county commissioner do?

Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the county's management and administration, and they represent county interests at the state and federal level.

What does a nonprofit director do?

A nonprofit director works to provide the board with the resources it needs to create change and promote growth. They also play a role in selecting board members and act as a liaison between the board and the staff.

What does a political strategist do?

Political strategists work as consultants for politicians. They utilize political theory to handle polling research, fundraising, public relations, speechwriting, etc. All of these tasks are designed to help a candidate win at the voting booth or advance a piece of legislation.

employment growth

9%

Projected employment growth of political scientists from 2020 to 2030

More Political Science Career Options

City managers are local government leaders that serve residents by ensuring that city services run smoothly and efficiently. In most cities, all departments report to the city manager, who reports to the city council.

Members of congress represent the people of their district in the U.S. Congress by holding hearings, as well as developing and voting on legislation.

City councilors are elected officials that make rules and pass ordinances that help preserve health, peace, order, strong public relations, and good government at the city level. 

Lobbyists work on behalf of nonprofits and other organizations to voice their concerns to Congress about legislation and how it affects their cause or issue.

Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the county's management and administration, and they represent county interests at the state and federal level.


As you can see, exploring a career in politics can open a world of possibilities. Whatever your political aspirations, a business undergraduate or graduate degree can be a great first step, helping you prepare for law school, lead a political campaign, work in business, shape public policy, and more.

Why choose WGU?

There are several reasons WGU’s online degree programs are a great fit for students:

Affordability.

Tuition is charged per six-month term—not per credit hour—which means you can complete more courses in one term without paying more money.

Self-paced.

Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge to your advantage. Move through courses at your own pace to accelerate your program and graduate faster.

Accessibility.

We offer scholarships and financial aid to help with our already-affordable tuition, making college education accessible for even more students.

Relevancy.

The coursework in our online programs is directly applicable to your career and provides you with a portfolio of relevant work before you even graduate, which can make you more marketable to future employers.

They're Prepared

97% said that their WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs

97% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They're Top Candidates

95% said they would hire another WGU graduate

95% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

They Wow

98% of employers said WGU graduates meet or exceed expectations

98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

Source: 2021 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers

Which Degree Should You Choose?

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.

Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Accounting manager
  • Financial director
  • Vice president of finance and operations
  • Chief financial officer
  • Forensic accountant

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Management and Leadership – M.S.

An online master's degree focused on change management,...

An online master's degree focused on change...

An online master's degree focused on change management, innovation, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Director of operations
  • Executive director

Develop a comprehensive suite of leadership skills and your confidence to navigate changing business structures.