What Degree will Prepare a Veteran to Hold a Political Office?

According to the American Political Science Association (APSA), data, writing, analytical and communication skills are highly valued in political careers. There are many majors that will teach veterans these skills. Veterans can select from the following degree options to help start their career in politics.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Political science coursework will develop students’ analytical reasoning and critical thinking abilities while providing hands-on experience with local political organizations. Because political science is an academically flexible area, students are usually free to tailor their program of study to suit their career goals. Upper-level courses usually emphasize research-based projects that allow students to broaden their understanding of law, business, journalism, current events and public policy and administration. 

For military students, these degrees will refine the knowledge needed for career advancement as a civilian in the government. These degrees are perfect for students who need introductory classes about the development and nature of American political culture, processes and structures. Students will also be exposed to contemporary political ideologies, so they will learn about topics such as socialism, liberalism, conservatism and environmentalism.

Related Resource: Is Political Science A Good Degree For Former Military?

A Political Business Specialization

A veteran who wants to enter the political world should consider a specialization, such as a dual degree in politics and business. This program allows students to study the interactions and relationships between the domestic and international worlds of business and political activities. These programs focus on the international political economy, international business development and the political impacts of international trade. 

This major is perfect for veterans who are interested in regulating the global exchange of goods and services across borders. These students will learn about the political implications, socio-economic factors and trade benefits that arise from international trade policies. These degrees will require students to create theoretical studies and perform empirical research on topics like how to stimulate competition, foreign investments and environmental preservation.

Public Administration

Veterans who want to handle the daily operations of local and state agencies should study public administration. These degrees are intended to appeal to students interested in careers in public service, program evaluation and policy analysis and advocacy. The selected courses will build the students’ knowledge of government workings, the relationships between elected and appointed officials and the institutions that drive the development and implementation of public policies. Public administration degrees teach students the core competencies needed to serve their constituents. 

This includes classes on how to communicate with diverse audiences, craft collaborative public policies and engage in effective leadership and management. Many public administration degrees focus on standard business courses related to technology and project management. For example, students will be exposed to information management systems and technologies used by various government departments. These degrees usually culminate in a final project that puts the students’ research and data analysis skills to the test.  

A veteran who wishes to hold a political office should select a degree that helps them understand politics, broadens their understanding of the goverment and sharpens their business skills.