Student Job Opportunities
What can I do with a Political Studies Degree?
As one student put it: "The thing I like most about the Political Studies program is the breadth of knowledge to which a student is exposed. A degree in Political Studies will give you an upper-hand in any chosen field simply because of the essential skills that are developed, such as the ability to write papers and conduct research."
Fields of Employment
The Foreign Service
Foreign Service officers are employed by the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Industry Canada, and Human Resources Development Canada, all of which are involved in representing Canada's interests abroad. Men and women applying for the Foreign Service must have a university degree and very often have majored in Political Studies.
The Federal Government
A few examples of job opportunities within the federal government would be: a human rights officer; administrator for a Crown corporation; labour relations officer; executive assistant to a federal or provincial cabinet minister.
Provincial and Local Government
Housing, public safety and public welfare are only some of the current urban problems with which provincial and local governments must deal. Political studies graduates should have developed special insights into these matters.
The Canadian Political Science Association, in collaboration with their respective Speakers, sponsors internship programs in the House of Commons and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Both programs are designed to provide back-bench members with highly qualified assistants. They give university graduates an opportunity to supplement their theoretical knowledge of Parliament and legislation with practical experience of the day-to-day work of the Members. The graduates of the program are better able to make a significant contribution to Canadian public life.
The interns' responsibilities include working with Members, conducting scholarly research, and undertaking study travel.
Ten Parliamentary and eight Legislative interns are usually selected annually.
Political parties have full-time professional staff to aid party leaders, candidates at elections time and Members of Parliament. Political Studies graduates are frequently employed to do research for the parliamentary caucus or individual Members of Parliament.
Public and Private Interest Groups
There are hundreds of public and private interest groups in Canada, mostly centred in Ottawa and the various provincial capitals, who work to influence governmental policy decisions. Most of the persons employed by these interest groups collect and analyze data before it is relayed to governmental agents and agencies.
Many lawyers are employees of corporations, labour unions, business and trade associations and government, all of which have some connection with political life. Many of them have degrees in Political Studies.
Political Studies graduates may also find jobs in the fields of journalism, teaching, educational administration or survey research. Those who have combined Political Studies with Economics may well be attracted to careers in marketing, personnel, advertising, public relations, banking and finance.
Students with particular interests in Political Studies who receive high undergraduate standing are encouraged to apply to do graduate work.
What some of our graduates are doing now:
- Accountant, Integrated Business Systems in Virginia
- Immigration Officer, Foreign Affairs
- Associate Professor of Law, Duke University
- MLA, Saskatoon Silversprings Constituency
- Policy Advisor, Privy Counsel Office, Ottawa
- Communications Strategist, Western Hemisphere Summit
- Director of Inter-University Centre for Terrorism Studies, Israel
- Trade Commissioner, Canadian Foreign Service in Havana, Cuba
- Professor, Political Science, Trinity College, Dublin
- Policy & Research Officer, Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
- Intern, Research Branch of the Parliamentary Library
- Policy Planning Analyst at Environment Canada, Edmonton
- Public Affairs Officer, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Ottawa
- Youth Policy Analyst, Department of Culture, Youth & Recreation, Deputy Minister's Office, Regina
- Analyst, Human Resources Development Canada, Employment Policy Directorate
- Director, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs in New York
- Research Assistant on local government issues, Saskatoon & Region Home Builders' Association
- Budget and Business Planning Analyst with Alberta Finance
- Director, Senior Management Services, Office of the Deputy Minister to the Premier
* Note: Major corporations recruit Political Studies students on a regular basis.