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3 exciting careers a master’s in political science can help prepare you for

By Stephanie L

Updated July 12, 2021 Updated July 12, 2021

Sponsored by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

From government to non-profit, international affairs to education, media to marketing, a master’s in political science can equip you with the transferable skillset you’ll need for a rewarding and successful career.

Political science graduates are in high demand among a wide range of employers all over the world. At Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, many political science graduates have gone on to pursue career paths spanning various sectors and organisations. 

Here are just some of them…

Policy officer

Policy officers work in local and central government, think tanks, charity organisations as well as the private and public sectors.

They carry out developmental work and are tasked with creating reports that offer supporting evidence related to data. Policy officers then use their findings to identify areas and trends that can be used to support the implementation of new policies within the organisation. As well as advising on new policies, policy officers analyse and revise existing policies as and when necessary.

Master in International Cooperation and Development graduate Paola from Mexico has worked her way around the world in several roles for various organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). In her current role, Paola is the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at Partners in Health Mexico, where she works to bring high-quality healthcare services to rural Mexico.

Paola had always wanted to pursue a career in public health, but it wasn’t a straightforward path to pursue within Mexico. She undertook various courses and programmes that would allow her to work in an international setting more effectively – one of which was the master’s in International Cooperation and Development at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

She said: “The master’s has definitely allowed me to make better and more informed choices as to which areas of international cooperation I can best put my training into service.

“At medical school I didn’t learn much about global economics, law or management, so the master’s has really given me the extra tools to be able to address the issues in my field in a more comprehensive manner,” she added.

Charity officer

Charity officers work to raise the profile of their organisation through marketing initiatives and public relations activities. Depending on the size of the organisation, charity officers may manage multiple activities alone or focus on one specific area such as business development, project management, or fundraising and volunteering management.

A holistic understanding of fundraising strategies and event planning are a must, as is the ability to build successful partnerships and stay up to date with current news, events and trends within their field. Charity officers also need to be skilled in financial reporting and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Rizka Diandra is from Indonesia and studied the Master in Cultural Diplomacy at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. She is a Policy and Communications Associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab Southeast Asiav or J-PAL SEA, a regional office of J-PAL – a global research centre based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In her role she supports and organises fundraising activities and identifies new funding opportunities from donor organisations. She is also responsible for creating publication materials and managing the centre’s social media account.

“The Master of Cultural Diplomacy taught me a lot, especially in terms of actual project management,” said Rizka. “I learned how to identify an issue, think critically and communicate with stakeholders. This helps me greatly, especially with the fundraising activities for which I am responsible.”

Government research officer

Government research officers commission and manage research projects to ensure government departments have a thorough and accurate understanding of social issues and trends so they can make well-informed decisions about new and existing policies.

Such research projects involve reviewing policy documents, conducting surveys, interviewing members of the public, processing data, and examining research papers. It is an analytical profession that requires strong research and data analysis skills. Government research officers also need excellent problem-solving skills as they monitor and evaluate the outcomes of policy decisions.

Stefania also studied the Master in Cultural Diplomacy. After graduating in 2019, she secured a role as communications consultant at RES4Africa Foundation – an organisation she had interned at during her master’s.

“Through this first professional experience, I largely benefited from working in a small organisation in terms of staff where I could play an active role and have my voice heard - all this, in a multilingual and international environment spanning two continents,” she said.

She now works as a research officer at the French-Canadian Cultural Federation in Ottawa – a role that was created based on her unique skillset.

As research officer, Stefania’s roles and responsibilities vary from day to day, but her main duties involve representing the francophone minority in important issues such as Canada’s official languages, broadcasting, copyright, exportation of creative industries and cultural diplomacy.

Stefania has always been interested in culture, international relations and communications and whilst she recognises that her career path has changed over the years, she believes her master’s “will have a long-lasting effect” on her future. 

“I will always be guided to be a force for good for the organisation I work with, a community or the world,” she said.

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The Master in International Cooperation & Development and Master in Cultural Diplomacy are part of a dedicated postgraduate school for international relations which also offers master’s degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Advanced Global Studies.

This article was originally published in July 2021 .

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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