2 Online Associate Degree Programs Available in Political Science
What Are the Benefits of an Online Political Science Associates Degree?
Politics is always a hotbed of activity, and given the diverse nature of the governed body, it doesn't look like the field will calm down any time soon. Earning an online political science associates degree may give you the opportunity to play your part in the realm of politics, whether... it's through law, teaching or a job in government.
The basics of political science
The field entails the study of political institutions, their history, their influence on people and government, their relationship to society as a whole and the ways in which they change over time. Due to politics' close relationship with government, the field focuses plenty on law. Given that politics, government and finance are all so intertwined, there is also a good deal of emphasis on business.
An online political science associates degree serves as an introduction to this field of study, giving students an insight into political structures and how they work. Since the science of the field deals largely with people's roles in the public sphere, there may be a wide scope of study on everything from English and communications to sociology, history and law.
Putting your degree to use
The greatest value of an associate's degree is that it may put you on the track to pursue a bachelor's degree in the same field. Many of the positions that are directly related to the field of politics - including the position of political scientist - generally require at least a bachelor's degree, if not a master's degree. Becoming a lobbyist doesn't necessarily require that level of education, as many lobbyists are volunteers, however, a bachelor's degree may serve as an easier starting point in pursuing this line of work. People who choose to earn an associate's degree can still make their way in such high-qualified fields, but the degree can also serve as a valuable foundation for attaining that higher education.
Apart from pursuing higher learning, there are still plenty of job types for which an associate's degree is applicable. If you're interested in politics in its relation to law, then you may want to consider becoming a paralegal. These positions involve providing aid and assistance to lawyers through research, writing and organization. A paralegal may be expected to investigate cases, draft legal documents, review court transcripts call witnesses and organize legal files.
Studying the field of political scientist may also better qualify people for a variety of indirectly related political work ranging from lobbyist to legal secretary to freelance writer. It may also serve as a valuable foundation for people who look to get certified as a court reporter, which generally requires specific certification in that field. Court reporting generally requires a strong grasp of the English language as well as legal procedures and terminology, as people in this position must write transcriptions for trials and depositions.
The expected annual median wage and job outlook for someone who has earned an associate's degree changes depending on the field they choose to enter.
- Paralegals: $46,990[i] (17 percent job growth expected through 2022)[ii]
- Court reporter: $48,160[iii] (10 percent job growth expected through 2022)[iv]
To perform in any of these roles, strong research skills are likely required, as well as the ability to prepare written statements. A working knowledge of law or the pertaining field of politics are also needed. Organization and good decision-making skills are also valuable. In terms of court reporting, excellent typing and listening skills are key to performing the job, as well as a firm understanding of law vocabulary.
Earning an associate's degree in political science is possible at a number of schools. Programs may focus specifically on one aspect of the system of law, and may also tie in the fields of sociology, English, history and psychology.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-5 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-6 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/court-reporters.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/legal/court-reporters.htm#tab-6