Political Scientist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Studies the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Disseminates research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Teaches political science.
  • Develops and tests theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, or statistical sources.
  • Identifies issues for research and analysis.
  • Interprets and analyzes policies, public issues, legislation, or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Maintains current knowledge of government policy decisions.
  • Collects, analyzes, and interprets data such as election results and public opinion surveys, reporting on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Provides media commentary or criticism related to public policy and political issues and events.
  • Evaluates programs and policies, and makes related recommendations to institutions and organizations.
  • Forecasts political, economic, and social trends.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

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