In most parts of the world, becoming a politician is not a function of your academic qualification or even your career experience. You just have to be in the right place at the right time, be willing to join a party and contest in an election. But if you really want to adequately prepare for a career in politics, you need to make conscious career decisions that can play into your advantage during campaigns and in discharging your duty. Some undergraduate degrees, prepare you for a career in the political arena better than others. So if you want to prepare ahead for a career in politics here are the top 10 degrees that will prepare you best for a political career.
Watch – Best Degrees for a Career in Politics
1. Public Administration
If you want to be part of the backbone that holds governmental institutions together, then a public administration degree is right for you. Public administration is the “implementation of government policies.” As a public administrator, you’ll be responsible for upholding the laws, policies, and regulations that have been imposed by your government, and an undergraduate degree in public administration is the best way to prepare for this career path.
In your public administration undergraduate program, you’ll learn all about the rigorous process that puts government policies into law. These programs cover the processes that administrators use to implement government policies, and they also prepare future administrators for their roles with management and budgeting courses. A degree in public administration can prepare you for a career in a variety of federal regulatory organizations. It can also help you get started in a variety of other forms of civil service at the federal, state, and local level. If you become an expert in public administration, you could even build a career as a public administration consultant.
2. International Business
The global economy has revolutionized the ways small businesses and large enterprises operate. An international business degree can prepare you to understand the complexities of foreign economic policy. International business programs focus on building skills like data analysis and communication. They also help students learn how to keep on top of international news, practice cultural sensitivity, and gain comprehensive perspectives on international politics and trade regulations.
An international business major can pave the way to your career as a diplomat. This degree can also help you become a lawyer who specializes in international business, and many lawyers go on to be extraordinarily successful politicians.
3. International Relations
If you want to be a diplomat, you should pursue a degree in international relations. Every politician’s career requires an intimate understanding of his or her countries relationship with other countries, and studying international relations can prepare you for understanding the complex and constantly shifting arena of international politics.
Undergraduates pursuing degrees in international relations will study political science and economics to get a grasp of how things work at home. From there, international studies programs cover international law. Unlike some of the other degrees that help you on your career path as a politician, a degree in international relations directly prepares you for a variety of political careers. For instance, many famous diplomats studied international relations in college.
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4. Business Administration
Running a governmental agency can be a lot like running a business. Having a strong understanding of the basics of business will help you allocate resources and efficiently pursue your goals. Business administration undergraduate programs cover the basics of starting and running businesses.
Your business administration degree will prepare you for the financial aspects of being a successful politician. As a prominent public servant, you’ll have a lot of people on your payroll, and understanding how to allocate campaign funds and predict economic trends will increase your political capital.
5. Political Science
Political science is the art of understanding how politics works. Graduates with political science degrees are experts on the different political systems that have shaped the contemporary world, and they understand how political ideologies originate. Undergraduates who focus on political science learn all there is to know about political systems like capitalism, fascism, and communism. They learn how to compare different political ideologies and find the benefits and detractors of each approach.
Many political science graduates go on to pursue post-graduate degrees in this field. A degree in political science can prepare you for practically any career in politics; by understanding the mechanisms that make politics run, you’ll have a leg up in finding your particular political calling.
Economics is one of the most important aspects of politics. When the economy is doing well, the country does well, and when it isn’t, the country divides. Learning about economics gives you the power to manipulate one of the biggest levers in modern political discourse. Wherever you come down on the economic philosophy spectrum, learning more about economics will help you excel in whatever political career path you choose.
During the course of an economics undergraduate program, you will learn about inflation, interest rates, and the role of the monetary governing bodies. You’ll also learn about how the energy, agriculture and other economic sectors contribute to the overall economy and political makeup of your country. Economics degrees generally prepare graduates for careers in business or accounting. However, a firm understanding of economics will also help you aim at political opportunities.
If you’re shy, you won’t have a successful political career. Politicians are in the public eye all the time, and a politician’s communication skills are his or her sword and shield. Getting better at gathering and processing information is the main focus of every communications program. Since your communications program will focus on problem-solving, decision making, leadership, and conflict resolution, a communications degree might be right for you if you want to focus on the interpersonal side of being a politician.
While a communications career won’t prepare you as well for the intricacies of politics as other degrees, the right communications degree can prepare you for a career in diplomacy or as a bureaucrat. It’s then up to you to learn enough to make sure that you don’t seem like an empty suit.
8. Public Policy
Public policy majors are the gurus who help prominent politicians understand what voters are thinking. They craft policies that help average people live better lives, and they interact with voters at various events along the campaign trail. With experience, public policy degree holders can even rise through the political ranks to become senators, governors, or even presidents.
In a public policy undergraduate program, you’ll learn everything there is to know about crafting policies from the ground up. Your political policy degree will prepare you for an exciting career of helping political front men and women rise to power. You’ll be responsible for creating policies that impact the lives of millions of people, and studying public policy will give you the tools to act on the passion that you have to reshape the world.
9. Public Health
The public health field is rapidly growing as governmental agencies assume increasingly active roles in healthcare around the country. As a public health degree holder, you’ll prepare yourself for a career of helping people make decisions that will keep them from getting sick. You’ll learn about the policies that have been put in place to protect the health of citizens and the deficiencies of such policies. You’ll also learn about where the future of public health is headed and gain insight into tools you can use to change policy in the arena of public health. It’s also possible to set yourself up as a public health policy expert who can advise various political campaigns on the best policy strategies.
Understanding law is a huge component of becoming a successful politician. Many prominent politicians started their careers as lawyers, and since politics is essentially all about creating and interpreting laws, every politician will need to learn about law at one point or another.
If you’re an aspiring politician, a law degree won’t prepare you for a career in politics by itself, but it will give you firsthand knowledge of the mechanics of the justice system. During your time in a law program, you can learn more about the current state of the law in your country and develop your objectives as a future lawmaker or interpreter of the law.
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The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé