Political Scientists

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Teach political science.
  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Identify issues for research and analysis.
  • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, and/or statistical sources.
  • Maintain current knowledge of government policy decisions.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data such as election results and public opinion surveys; report on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, and/or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Evaluate programs and policies, and make related recommendations to institutions and organizations.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use.
  • Forecast political, economic, and social trends.
  • Consult with and advise government officials, civic bodies, research agencies, the media, political parties, and others concerned with political issues.
  • Provide media commentary and/or criticism related to public policy and political issues and events.

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.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
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.
History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
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.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Abilities

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Work Activities

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
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.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People
Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Work Context

Electronic Mail
How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions
How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Structured versus Unstructured Work
To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Telephone
How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions
How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Contact With Others
How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Level of Competition
To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
Spend Time Sitting
How much does this job require sitting?

Interests

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.
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.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Style

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
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.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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.
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.
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.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

International Affairs Vice President
Policy Officer
Political Advisor
Political Aide
Political Analyst
Political Consultant
Political Science Professor
Professor
State-Federal Relations Deputy Director
Strategist
Technical Director

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$49.04 hourly, $102,000 annual.
Employment (2008):
5,750 employees