Political science provides a broad liberal arts education while focusing on politics and public life. The department prides itself on its interdisciplinary nature and many Political Science students double major in a variety of fields. Recruiters and advisors value the diverse and broadly applicable skill set developed as a part of a political science education, including organization, analysis, and communication. We highlight a few key alumni to further demonstrate the diversity of career paths available. Studying political science equips students with widely applicable skills that prepare them for a diverse range of careers in different fields.
97% of Political Science graduates are employed or in advanced study programs within one year after graduation. See below for some of the most popular career paths political science students pursue and examples of places alumni have worked in each of these industries:
- Government, law, or non-profit (25% of Political Science Graduates)
- Government agencies and organizations (U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, City of Evanston, Illinois House of Representatives, United Nations)
- Law firms and legal services (Kirkland Ellis, Latham Watkins, Baker McKenzie, Cook Country Public Defender)
- Non-profits and NGOs (National Immigrant Justice Center, One Acre Fund, Urban Initiatives)
- Business and financial services (24% of Political Science Graduates)
- Business operations (Wells Fargo, Goldman Sacs, PepsiCo)
- Business regulation (Securities and Exchange Commission, Illinois Business Commission)
- Graduate school (19% of Political Science Graduates, may be in combination with employment in other areas)
- Ph.D., Masters, or J.D. programs (Northwestern University Law School, Columbia University, London School of Economics, U.C Berkeley)
- Consulting (16% of Political Science Graduates)
- Benenson Strategy Group, Boston Consulting Group, Civic Consulting Alliance, Deloitte
- Communications, marketing, and media (16% of Political Science Graduates)
- Media (The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, CNN, Texas Tribune, WBEZ Chicago)
- Communications and marketing (Edelman, Digitas, World Business Chicago, Walker Sands Communications)
- Education and teaching (7% of Political Science Graduates)
- Fulbright English Teaching program, Teach for America, Chicago Public Schools
- Technology (5% of Political Science Graduates)
- Google, Amazon, Oracle
Data is collected from Northwestern Career Advancement Post-Undergraduate Surveys (2015 - 2019)
Northwestern has numerous resources available to help students find career and internship opportunities. Northwestern Career Advancement offers a variety of resources for all students, from how to write your first resume, to exploring different career paths, to applying to graduate schools. Students can network with alumni and make professional connections through Alumni Panels and Career Treks. Students can find alumni in a variety of fields to whom they can reach out for career advice or questions through the Northwestern Alumni Association.
Looking for a job or internship? Or just interested in knowing what’s out there? Northwestern Handshake allows for personalized searches for internships, job postings and other opportunities.