For those with a eye toward politics a degree in political science opens up many career opportunities. Whether it’s local, state or federal government a degree in political science will give a student the necessary skills for employment. Students in these programs learn about the political process plus the theory and practice behind government. Distance learning programs exist for political science at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels with each offering a unique set of skills to students.
Political Science Bachelor’s Degree
Much like a traditional classroom-based degree students enrolled in online Bachelor’s degree programs can choose between a Bachelor of Science in Political Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Depending upon the program students can choose a concentration within the degree. Some examples of concentrations are:
- International Relations
- American Politics
- Political Theory
- Research Methods
- Comparative Politics
These courses teach students the basics of political science and build a foundation for a well-rounded education. Students learn about political relationships worldwide and how fragile some can be, the history of American politics and its future, research methods such as exit polls and other methods to gauge the voting public’s mood. For those students wishing to work internationally it is suggested they become fluent in a second language in the region they wish to live and work.
Political Science Bachelor’s Degree Courses
Students pursuing this degree need computers with internet access and webcams to attend electronic lectures and participate in class discussions. General education classes in creative writing, sociology, arts and literature are encouraged. A core of political science courses is taken that includes:
- Politics and the Media
- American Presidential Politics
- Introduction to International Relations
- Political Thought
- International Development Politics and Policy
Students learn about the role media plays in politics, past and present political thought and international policy.
Bachelor’s Degree Careers in Political Science
These degrees prepare graduates for a variety of careers such as sales representatives, research assistants, market analysts and management trainees. Employment is expected to be strong for these occupations with the Bureau of Labor Statistics stating salaries for management trainees and sales representatives averaging over $56,000 yearly while experiencing 16% growth through 2018.
Master’s Degree in Political Science
Students in Master’s degree programs utilize computer technology to get the most out of their studies. Electronic blackboards, conferencing software, live chat and instant messaging are used to enhance learning. Distance learning students also have access to library material and support services electronically. A Bachelor’s degree and 3.0 GPA are required for acceptance and students must choose a concentration emphasizing such areas as:
- Urban Politics
- World Politics
- International Relations
Students in these concentrations can choose from thesis and non-thesis programs depending upon their needs and career goals. A strong emphasis on analyzing political policy and political systems is included in a Master’s program.
Master’s Degree Courses for Political Science
An online program is ideal for working professionals seeking advancement opportunities. The degree can be completed in two years and students can choose from a variety of classes including:
- Alternative Political Theory
- Communist and Post-Communist Systems
- Public Policy Analysis
- Politics of Developing Areas
- Constitutional Theory and Practice
Political Science Master’s Degree Careers
Graduates can look forward to exciting jobs such as political consultants, campaign managers, lobbyists and political correspondents. Job growth is expected to be as fast as average for these occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for political scientists average $86,000 per year.