After I purchased a home and settled down in a city, I realized that my local elections mattered more than ever. In addition to dictating my property taxes and the overall health of our city roads, those elections might also determine the quality of the city website, irrigation system, and even our water rights for the year. Instead of simply ignoring the elections and focusing on my personal life, I started analyzing the local politics and reading up on the candidates. It took a lot of work, but eventually I felt comfortable with my choice of candidate. I want others to understand local elections, which is why this entire blog is about government and politics.
A career in politics can be a great choice for individuals that have passionate feelings about public policy and a strong desire to help improve their country. Unfortunately, many people may not realize the wide range of careers that are available to those in this field. In order to help you better appreciate the opportunities that are available in politics, you should be mindful of these three career paths.
Political campaigns are one of the most important focuses during the political cycle. In order to obtain elected office, candidates must run increasingly sophisticated campaigns. At the heart of these campaigns are the field organizers. These individuals are responsible for organizing the local activities of the campaign for their district. Often, these districts will encompass several counties, and the organizer will be responsible for planning rallies, get-out-the-vote efforts, and voter outreach. When campaigns are successful, it can be possible for particularly effective field organizers to be hired onto the full-time staff of the candidate.
Writing laws for a large and complex country can be an almost overwhelming task. Not surprisingly, politicians rely on the expertise of policy analysts to help them better understand the intent, methodology, and goals of particular proposals. These individuals will usually possess advanced degrees in public administration, law, or political science, and they will spend much of their time preparing policy briefs for the politician to review.
In addition to being employed by politicians, policy analysts can also be hired by government departments, nonprofit organizations, and any other group that is particularly effective by legislation or administrative changes. By preparing policy briefs for these groups, a policy analyst will help them to understand the impacts that they can expect as well as the steps that they can take to minimize any disruptions that can come from policy changes.
Academic positions can be another major role for those in political science. While most people will assume that a political scientist will only be able to teach at the college level, this is not always the case. While teaching at the college level may be the goal for many individuals, it is not the only option. For example, there are many high schools that offer civic courses to their students, and a background in political science can be excellent training for those that are wanting to teach these courses. In addition to teaching the formal mechanisms of government, these courses can also be an excellent opportunity to teach students the often complicated ways that political decisions impact their daily lives.
Talk to various officials, such as Katharine Hamilton, to learn more about possible roles for people involved in politics.