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Monday, September 19, 2011

Jobs in Politics and Government

Students in introductory courses sometimes ask, "What kind of a job can I get by studying American government?" There is no simple answer to the question, since undergraduate degrees in political science, government and related fields usually do not have a vocational bent. Nevertheless, many students who take such courses do eventually seek such jobs. And there is some rare good news on the employment front. Roll Call reports:
Members of Congress lament the country’s unemployment problems on a daily basis, but when it comes to Beltway jobs, they have little to worry about.

The downturn in the economy has not dimmed job prospects among the political class, career experts said. The job climate is instead dictated by — surprise — politics.

“There are always going to be jobs in politics,” said Mag Gottlieb, career development director at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. “I think honestly we’re fairly immune.”

Brad Traverse, who runs an employment-listing website with about 6,500 subscribers, said he has been posting as many job openings as ever. The site,, focuses on jobs on Capitol Hill or in government affairs, public affairs and communications.

“I’m not seeing any drop in employers looking for government affairs and public relations policy jobs,” he said. “I’m still listing probably anywhere from 20 to 60 a day, and even on the weekends.”

How does one get such jobs? As an earlier post indicated, internships are a very good way to gain relevant experience and contacts. And although the Traverse site is by subscription, there are number of free sites with employment information. Here are a few: