October 1, 2015
There are no shortage of ways political science graduates can apply their knowledge of political systems to accomplish changes at all levels of government. Still, there's a degree of misperception that the average person has over what political science actually is.
Perhaps the best way to understand what it is is to focus on what political science is not so you can move forward with some clarity. Here are three statements about political science. Let’s explore why they can be considered myth rather than reality.
Some people may think that earning a political science degree is only useful if you’re planning to run for office or work on a political campaign. While you don’t need a political science degree to enter politics, you also don’t have to work in politics either to benefit from earning a political science degree.
The in-depth knowledge of the American political and legal systems that you’ll gain, along with valuable skills in research and data analysis, are applicable to a wide range of careers, both inside and outside of government.
To hear politicos on Capitol Hill tell it, there's no reason to pretend politics happen anywhere other than in our nation's capitol. That's obviously not true. There are many locations, all across the country, where you can put your political science degree to work.
In fact, Southern New Hampshire University's home state is the site of some of the most hotly contested political battles every election cycle. As a key state in the U.S. presidential primary process, New Hampshire offers a unique setting not only to study political science, but to earn valuable field experience, too.
"Studying at a New Hampshire-based university gives students the perfect vantage point to observe and understand our political system," Maura Keefe, chief of staff to Senator Jeanne Shaheen, told SNHU in a press release. "It affords students the opportunity to discuss politics in the moment they happen and see political theory applied in the real world."
Yes, you won't find political scientists wearing lab coats or peering through microscopes. But as a social science, political science does use observation, controlled studies and data analysis to reach conclusions about how political systems function.
Thus, while you might be interested in political science for the very reason that it's not heavy on formulas and experimentation, there is still an essential grounding in statistical analysis involved in most programs.
SNHU's online bachelor's program in political science has students take courses like "Analysis and Research in Political Science" as well as "Campaign Finance and Fundraising." The tasks might range from analyzing a sample vote count to auditing the funding of a failed political run, but the lessons learned prepare you to understand why large groups of voters lean certain ways and how well-funded candidates sometimes have to drop out of the running before they should.
In SNHU's online master's program in political science, students combine a foundation in data analysis with specialty courses in areas like "Law & Ethics" or "Advanced Campaign Management."
Now that you have a better understanding of what political science is not, you should better be able to judge if it's the right field for you. If you're interested in politics, then why wait to start a career in political science? With flexible yet rigorous online programs from SNHU, you could take your first step toward a new and fulfilling political science career that helps change the country.
If you're interested in getting to the root of health issues that impact large populations of people, a public health degree from SNHU might be for you.
The Strangers Project, an ongoing collection of more than 20,000 anonymous "journal entries" shared spontaneously by passing strangers, kicked-off its first national story tour at SNHU on September 7.
As you prepare to help your organization manage change while keeping the workforce motivated and productive, consider how furthering your education can help you build upon your existing skill set.