A political scientist is someone who studies the field of politics. This can include the study of government, public policy, and political theory. Political scientists may also work in fields such as international relations or sociology.
Types of Political Scientists
There are four main types of political scientists:
- Comparative Politics
- International Relations
- Public Administration
- Political Theory
Comparative politics is the study of different political systems around the world. Comparative political scientists strive to understand how and why different countries have different political systems. They also seek to understand how and why these systems change over time.
International relations is the study of how different countries interact with one another. International relations scholars seek to explain patterns of cooperation and conflict between states. They also examine the role of international organizations, such as the United Nations, in shaping global politics.
Public administration is the study of how governments operate. Public administration scholars examine issues such as bureaucracies, elections, and public policymaking. They often work in government or nonprofit organizations that help shape public policy.
Political theory scholars play an important role in shaping public policy and debates. Their work helps us to better understand the world we live in and make informed decisions about the future.
What Do Political Scientists Do
A political scientist is someone who studies the allocation and transfer of power in order to explain how and why decisions are made. They may study a variety of topics such as public opinion, voting behavior, campaign finance, or interest groups.
While some political scientists focus on theory, others conduct empirical research to test hypotheses about political behavior. Regardless of their approach, all political scientists strive to improve our understanding of the complex workings of government and politics.
What Skills Must a Political Scientist Have?
There are many different skills that a political scientist must have in order to be successful.
Some of the most important skills are:
- The ability to think critically and analytically about political issues.
- The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, both in writing and orally.
- The ability to understand and use statistical methods and other quantitative techniques.
- The ability to conduct research using primary sources, such as government documents or interviews with politicians.
- The ability to keep up with current events and developments in the field of politics.
Where Political Scientists Work
Most political scientists work in think tanks, government, or academia. They use their skills to analyze data and create models to predict human behavior.
Political scientists working in think tanks conduct research on a variety of topics and provide policy recommendations to government officials and private organizations. Many think tanks are nonpartisan, but some have a political affiliation.
Government agencies at the federal, state, and local level employ political scientists in a variety of roles. They may help develop and implement public policy, evaluate programs, or conduct research on social issues.
Academia is another popular career choice for political scientists. They may teach at colleges and universities or conduct research at research institutes. Political scientists often publish their findings in academic journals.
How to Become A Political Scientist
If you’re interested in becoming a political scientist, you should first obtain a bachelor’s degree in political science or a related field. During your undergraduate studies, you’ll likely take courses on topics such as American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and public policy. After completing your bachelor’s degree, you may choose to pursue a master’s degree or doctorate in political science.
While completing your graduate studies, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of interest, such as public administration, elections and campaigns, or legislative politics.