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How Hard Is Political Science?

Political scientists, PR specialists, and data analysts all have one thing in common: many people in these fields hold a degree in political science. A political science degree is highly beneficial to someone interested in any facet of a political career. So, how difficult is it to study political science?

While political science is challenging in its own respect, it might not be as hard as other topics. You may not have to memorize formulas and theories, but you’ll need to learn how to effectively argue a point, adapt to changing political climates, and learn how to read people during a debate.

In short, the better way to describe political science is “challenging” rather than “hard.” In this article, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of studying political science and compare political science to economics too.

How hard is Political Science coursework?

Is Political Science Harder Than Economics?

Your strong suit in either math or English/writing plays a major role in the debate between political science and economics. If you’re a strong writer, political science may come easier to you. However, if math is more your forte, then economics will suffice better.

Generally speaking, the “harder” subject is always going to be the one you’re the least interested in pursuing. 

If you’re debating between the two, it’s helpful to keep in mind that it may be easier to explain your economics degree to a potential employer than a political science degree would. Most people are familiar with the economy and what an economist does. 

A political science degree, on the other hand, is broad.

It’s also easier to make more money with an economics degree than political science. With that said, the major you choose should reflect what you want to focus on in your career. If you go the political science route but focus on statistics and quantitative methods and minor in economics, you open yourself up to more job opportunities.

Ultimately, you should choose the one that you feel more connected to. 

Don’t choose an economics degree just because it’ll be more likely to make you more money. If you’re passionate about politics and government, go for political science. You’ll be much more successful in your studies if you’re studying something you love.

Pros and Cons of Studying Political Science

There are many pros and cons to studying political science, regardless of how easy or difficult a person believes it is. Let’s talk more about these right now.

Pros

  • You will study foreign and domestic government policies. Familiarizing yourself with government practices outside of the US can help give you a broader perspective in policymaking. You learn what does and doesn’t work in different countries, and you can share these findings to improve political systems at home.
  • You learn several different ways to analyze things. Not only is this helpful in a political field, but you can also use these skills in other aspects of your life. A broad understanding of analysis can help you see things from different perspectives.
  • You develop an in-depth understanding of policy issues. Throughout your coursework, you’ll study a variety of political issues in detail. Then, you’ll be able to use your own beliefs and values to propose a change in these sectors.
  • It’s a social science. When studying social sciences, you have the opportunity to customize your course studies. If you’re interested in activism, you can choose to take classes in women and gender studies, disability studies, and others like that.
  • It’s a great major for those who enjoy writing. In this field of study, you’re going to be required to write a lot. If writing is something you’re strong in, you’re likely to excel.

Cons

  • Political science jobs are considered “high-stress.” Most political science careers deal with law and politics, which are incredibly stressful for many people. 
  • There’s a lot of reading required. If you enjoyed reading before starting your studies, the amount of required reading for this major might make it more challenging to read for pleasure.
  • It makes arguing with “non-political science” majors difficult. Throughout your undergrad, you learn about the ins and outs of governmental systems and political parties. Because of this, it can be tedious trying to argue or debate with someone who doesn’t have this knowledge.

Careers in the Political Sciences

There are a variety of career paths you can choose once you’ve earned your political science degree. For starters, a political science degree all but guarantees you a career in politics. Whether you help run a candidate’s campaign, work in foreign policy, or run your own campaign, your political science degree will take you far in your future career. 

Beyond that, there are several other careers to choose from:

  • Lobbyist: Lobbyists are professional advocates for a cause they’re passionate about. Their main job is to help influence political decisions on behalf of individual people or organizations.
  • Lawyer: Many people choose political science as their undergraduate pre-law track. An undergraduate degree in political science will help you go into law school with a solid understanding of government and how laws work.
  • University professor: If you’re passionate about teaching others political science, you may choose to pursue academia and become a professor.
  • Communications/PR professional: Those who want a career in political PR would do well in getting their political science degree. It may also be helpful to obtain a minor or double major in journalism for this career track.
  • Political analyst: A political analyst’s job is to study how a political system originated and developed. They also watch closely how the system operates. Their findings help influence and inform policymakers in their decision-making processes.

Source: Maryville University

Final Thoughts

Choosing to study political science will come with its challenges. 

However, you can prepare yourself by enhancing your writing and argumentative skills. You’re guaranteed to exercise your writing ability throughout undergrad, so it’s important to know what to expect.

While it isn’t as math-heavy as a major like economics, it can still present its own difficulties and challenges. Reminding yourself what to expect will help keep you on track and ensure success in your undergraduate endeavor.