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Summary Report for:
19-3094.00 - Political Scientists

Study 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.

Sample of reported job titles: International Affairs Vice President, State-Federal Relations Deputy Director, Technical Director

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Teach political science. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify issues for research and analysis. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, and/or statistical sources. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain current knowledge of government policy decisions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data such as election results and public opinion surveys; report on findings, recommendations, and conclusions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, and/or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Evaluate programs and policies, and make related recommendations to institutions and organizations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Audioconferencing systems — Conference phones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Overhead projectors — Overhead display projectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — DataMystic TextPipe Pro; JudgeIt II *; SAS software; SPSS software (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base management system software — Bare Bones Software BBEdit 10 software; IDM Computer Solutions UltraEdit software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — CQ Press Political Reference Suite; Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) database; Library of Congress E-resources Online Catalog *; Microsoft Access (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Information retrieval or search software — EBSCO Publishing Academic Search Premier; EBSCO Publishing Political Science Complete; ProQuest Worldwide Political Science Abstracts; Sage Reference Online (see all 9 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — R * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpret research or operational data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Forecast economic, political, or social trends. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct research on social issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate civic projects or public policies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise others on matters of public policy. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare information or documentation related to legal or regulatory matters. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 87% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 74% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 83% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 61% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 59% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 43% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Public Speaking — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 35% responded “Moderately competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 27% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 36% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
78   Doctoral degree
17   Master's degree
4   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IAS

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $50.44 hourly, $104,920 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 7,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 2,500
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Political Scientists external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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