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Education

Best Degrees For a Career in Politics

In most parts of the world, becoming a politician isn’t a function of your academic qualification or career experience. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. Also, you must be willing to join a party and contest in an election.

But if you really want to adequately prepare for a career in politics, you need to make conscious career decisions that can play to your advantage during campaigns and in discharging your duty. Meanwhile, some undergraduate degrees prepare you for a career in the political arena better than others. So, if you want the best degrees for a career in politics, here are the top degrees for you:

1. Public Administration

If you want to be part of governmental institutions, then, a public administration degree is right for you. Technically, public administration is the “implementation of government policies.” As a public administrator, you will be responsible for keeping the laws, policies, and regulations that have been put up by your government. More so, an undergraduate degree in public administration is the best way to prepare for this career path.

Furthermore, in your public administration undergraduate program, you will learn all about the careful process that puts government policies into law. These programs cover the processes that administrators use to implement government policies. They also prepare future administrators for their roles with management and budgeting courses.

As one of the best degrees for a career in politics, public administration can prepare you for a career in a variety of federal regulatory organizations. It can also help you get started in civil service at the federal, state, and local levels. Moreover, if you become an expert in public administration, you could build a career as a public administration consultant.

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2. International Business

The global economy has changed the ways small and large businesses operate. Consequently, an international business degree can prepare you to understand the complexities of foreign economic policy. International business programs focus on building skills like data analysis and communication.

They, however, help students learn how to keep on top of international news and practice cultural sensitivity. They also gain comprehensive perspectives on international politics and trade regulations.

Certainly, an international business major can pave the way to your career as a diplomat. This degree can also help you become a lawyer who specializes in international business, and many lawyers go on to be extraordinarily successful politicians.

3. International Relations

If you want to be a diplomat, you should pursue a degree in international relations. Every politician’s career requires an intimate understanding of his or her country’s relationship with other countries. Therefore, studying international relations can prepare you for understanding the complex and constantly shifting arena of international politics.

Hence, undergraduates pursuing degrees in international relations will study political science and economics to get a grasp of how things work at home. Unlike some of the other degrees that help you on your career path as a politician, a degree in international relations directly prepares you for a variety of political careers. For instance, many famous diplomats studied international relations in college. Therefore, it is one of the best degrees for a career in politics. 

4. Business Administration

Running a governmental agency can be a lot like running a business. Hence, having a strong understanding of the basics of business will help you allocate resources and efficiently pursue your goals. Business administration undergraduate programs cover the basics of starting and running businesses.

Significantly, your business administration degree will prepare you for the financial aspects of being a successful politician. As a prominent public servant, you will have a lot of people on your payroll, and understanding how to allocate campaign funds and predict economic trends will increase your political capital.

5. Political Science

As one of the best degrees for a career in politics, political science is the art of understanding how politics works. Undoubtedly, graduates with political science degrees are experts on the different political systems. These systems equally have shaped the contemporary world, and they understand how political ideologies originate.

Also, undergraduates who focus on political science learn all there is to know about political systems. Such systems include capitalism, fascism, and communism. In addition, they learn how to compare different political ideologies and find the benefits and detractors of each approach.

Many political science graduates go on to pursue post-graduate degrees in this field. A degree in political science can prepare you for practically any career in politics. Hence, by understanding the mechanisms that make politics run, you’ll have a leg up in finding your particular political calling.

6. Economics

Economics is one of the most important aspects of politics. When the economy is doing well, the country does well, and when it isn’t, the country divides. What is more, learning about economics gives you the power to manipulate one of the biggest levers in modern political discourse. Wherever you come down on the economic philosophy spectrum, learning more about economics will help you excel in whatever political career path you choose.

Further, during the course of an economics undergraduate program, you will learn about inflation, interest rates, and the role of the monetary governing bodies. You’ll also learn about how the energy, agriculture and other economic sectors contribute to the overall economy and political makeup of your country. Economics degrees generally prepare graduates for careers in business or accounting. 

However, a firm understanding of economics will also help you aim at political opportunities. In essence, economics is one of the best degrees for a career in politics that you can pursue.

7. Communications

If you’re shy, you won’t have a successful political career, for sure. Politicians are in the public eye all the time. Also, a politician’s communication skills are his or her sword and shield. Getting better at gathering and processing information is the main focus of every communications program.

Since your communications program will focus on problem-solving, decision making, leadership, and conflict resolution, a communications degree might be right for you if you want to focus on the interpersonal side of being a politician.

While a communications career won’t prepare you as well for the intricacies of politics as other degrees, the right communications degree can prepare you for a career in diplomacy or as a bureaucrat. It’s then up to you to learn enough to make sure that you don’t seem like an empty suit.

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