What should (could) I do with a Poli Sci degree?

Come September, I will be entering my second year of college as a Political Science student (History minor). Although I still have plenty of time to figure out what I’m going to do with my life, I’m the kind of person that likes to have at least a little direction.

The one thing I know for sure is that, when I graduate with my BA I want to go to more school. Now, that school might be law school or it might be grad school, but school none the less.

Everyone thinks I should be a lawyer, as I was the captain of the debate team in high school and all that jazz. My thing is that I really like being in front of people, speaking, and having a direct influence. It is my understanding that most of an attorney’s time is spent in office, researching, writing, etc. My other problem is the whole moral thing: how do you defend someone you think is guilty or prosecute someone that you just…feel…is innocent? Or: how do you actively help people divorce (I would think family law could make someone rather cynical)? Of course I understand that attorneys help do good things more then the rare bad, but how is that handled? Maybe some attorneys could tell me your experiences? Do you like your job? Is it worth it?

I could be a professor- that could be neat. I could babble all day, constantly interact with people, make good money. So far, this seems to be the most promising option. So? What’s it like being a professor? Do you like it? Would you suggest it?

Of course, I could go into politics. I’ve worked on a few campaigns here in the valley, and it seems interesting. This is option seems to be the most unsure, as anything could really happen.

What else could I do? I appreciate any ideas, advice, etc.

Maybe I should go back to my plan from when I was 8: be an Egyptologist :smiley: .

It’s great that you’re already looking ahead to what you’ll want to do after graduation. Although trying to set things in stone too early can also cause problems, having some direction in mind could help you gather experience towards your goals now.

  1. Law: It’s is an option if you are serious about being an attorney. Yes, lots of research and writing. Much of it depends on what area of practice you like. Personally, I steer far far away from family law and criminal law, so I keep out of the muck.

As far as representing some bad apples, you have some options:

(1) Keep it in your head that you are there to help someone fairly and legally resolve a dispute. Even if your client isn’t a saint, you can help them mitigate their losses and make sure they are only responsible for their wrongs and no more. For example, perhaps your client did x wrong, but was also wrongfully accused of y and z, and the damages stemming from x were clearly trumped up.

(2) If the case has no merit or you simply don’t want to get involved, refuse the case.

I initially questioned whether being an attorney was worth it, but then I started my own practice and I am enjoying it much more.

Also, unless you’re rich or get a scholarship or grant, expect huge student loans.

  1. Politics: You can come to Sacramento and work for the state. You could also work for the city, county, administrative agencies, special districts, lobbyists, etc. The Capitol has a fellowship program you might investigate. You might also look into a Masters in Public Administration (MPA).

Start getting involved in local politics and government. Join a local political club (Young Democrats/Republicans). Check out your county Central Committee for your political party.

Otherwise, you will end up scoring standardized tests like I do! It isn’t a bad job, but probably not what you went to college for.

Political Science/Economics