Bachelor's Degree in Political Science: Online Degree
Does the political system interest you? Would you like a career in government? As a political scientist, you analyze questions and problems involving the government. One way to embark on such a career is to pursue a bachelor's degree in political science. Schools offering Political Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Can I Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science Online?
Because your personal or business schedule might preclude you from attending classes on campus, schools may offer you the opportunity to earn your degree in an online format. By contacting the political science or public affairs department at a postsecondary institution, you can find out if online degree programs are available. Online programs are very similar in content and offer the same value as one you might earn on campus.
What Do I Need for Online Participation?
In general, you must have a computer with high-speed Internet access. You may also need to be equipped with an up-to-date operating system, browser and DVD-ROM. Programs may be delivered asynchronously, so that you can log on to them at your convenience. Most of your communication with professors and classmates will take place via a course management system such as Blackboard.
What Makes Up a Program?
Typical courses you might encounter include state and local politics, foundations of political science, political theory, constitutional law, branches of government, public policy and international relations. You might be able to specialize in an area such as public administration, American politics or international politics. Some programs also have a foreign language requirement.
You may have the opportunity to serve an internship with an organization that has been approved by your faculty adviser. Internships cannot be completed online. In addition to your online courses, a school may require you to make a certain number of visits to campus for orientation purposes.
What Can I Do Once I Graduate?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the majority of positions as a political scientist or sociologist require you to hold a master's degree or more (www.bls.gov). In light of this, a political science bachelor's degree can be good preparation for graduate study in a wide variety of fields.
However, there are some occupations for which a bachelor's degree might be sufficient. These include public administration, policy analysis for organizations, community service, journalism, public relations and non-profit consultancy positions. With additional training and certification, you can become a middle or secondary school teacher.
The American Political Science Association (APSA) publishes journals dealing with political science careers and also carries an online list of resources that might help you locate a suitable position (www.apsanet.org).
In 2010, the BLS projected that employment for sociologists and political scientists would increase an average of 21% from 2008-2018. Employment opportunities for middle and secondary school teachers were projected to increase an average of 13% over the same time period.
Also in 2010, the mean annual wages ranged from $80,130 for sociologists to $107,930 for political scientists. Mean annual wages for teachers ranged from $54,880 for middle school teachers to $59,990 for secondary school teachers.
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