Community & Social Services

Political Scientist

Political scientists study the development and operation of political systems, and research government policies, political ideas and trends.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Political Scientist do?

Political scientists study the development and operation of political systems, and research government policies, political ideas and trends.

MORE

Work activities

As a political scientist, you would:

  • research topics and issues that affect the government, economy and society
  • use various research methods including interviews, statistics and opinion polls to gather data
  • analyse data and form conclusions or propose theories
  • write up your research for publication and presentation
  • keep up to date with government and policy changes
  • liaise with government departments, and other organisations
  • teach political science at university.
MORE

Key skills and interests

To become a political scientist, you would need:

  • a passion for politics and government
  • excellent written and oral communication skills
  • a thorough knowledge of a range of political systems
  • an interest in government affairs and current affairs
  • an analytical mind
  • good research skills
  • the ability to work with statistics and analyse data
  • planning and organisational skills.
MORE

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a political scientist, you would work a standard number of hours per week, with necessary overtime to meet deadlines.

Conditions

You would be based in an office but attend meetings and interviews to gather data. In an educational setting, you would also give lectures and attend tutorials, either in person or online.

MORE

How to become an Political Scientist?

Entry Level Education

To become a political scientist, you usually need to complete a degree majoring in politics, political science or international relations. To get into these undergraduate courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, business studies and economics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

While it is possible to gain entry-level employment with a bachelor's degree, more senior level roles for political scientists usually require the completion of a master's or PhD program in an area such as public policy, public administration or public affairs.

MORE

Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of political scientists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

However, because this is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only a small number of actual roles, so candidates should expect very strong competition for these jobs.

MORE
Devices

CareerHQ Compass

Discover the path to your future

How can CareerHQ Compass help you?