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Articles on Government:
   A future in Government
   Government Major...A Closer Look
   Explore a Career in Government

A future in Government

By Jennifer Bailey

Government majors learn the practical understandings of democracy. They study the causes, as well as the consequences, of authoritarian and revolutionary political regimes. They also analyze constitutional orders, political parties, electoral systems, government bureaucracies, judiciaries, militaries and how other institutions of governance affect outcomes in the political realm.

The field of government is generally divided into "subfields." These include; American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory/public law as well as political analysis.

Getting a degree in government includes taking classes in political philosophy, political theory, comparative government and politics, political parties, interest groups, international relations, public opinion, political research methods and studies of historical governments and their politics. You will obtain a good knowledge of not only our American government and system both presently and historically, but other countries as well.

When trying to determine the best career direction for yourself, it is good to think about what interests you. If you are considering a career in government, perhaps ask yourself if the political philosophers of ancient Greece, Plato and Aristotle interest you? Do you desire to understand what justice is? What is human nature? Or, what is virtue? Consider the relationship between politics and philosophy? What is the right way to live? Is there a right way to live? What is the ideal relationship between religion and politics? What role should theology have in a society that aspires to be moral and free and at the same time also be tolerant of religious differences? Deep thoughts, right?! Does it stir you?

The key things you will learn, in addition to all of the above, are writing, development skills, analytical and critical thinking, communication skills and research development. Majoring in government will prepare you for jobs in and out of government itself that include law, political science, history and public policy. You can go on to earn an advanced degree and would need to in order to practice law, for example.

The outlook in this field is strong and growing and jobs exist at the federal, state and local levels. Great positions are available in nonprofit organizations and the business sector in addition to local, state and federal agencies of all types.

There are many internship opportunities available to give you great hands-on experience and gain good insights for furthering your long-term career goals. Some areas for internships might include: communications, media, Congressional offices such as your local and national offices of U.S. Senators or Congressmen/women, Education such as curatorial, research, historical, public affairs, Naval Historical Center or perhaps you’d enjoy interning for a government consulting firm or nonprofit organization, a lobbying firm, a political action committee like the American Israel Public Affairs committee or even a think tank like the Heritage Foundation.

Once a degree in government is obtained, you can find long term employment in many diverse areas such as: A campaign worker, a lobbyist, a political consultant, policy analyst, an urban planner, an intelligence officer, a fundraiser, a program manager, a volunteer coordinator, a grant writer, a journalist, an immigration agent, paralegal/Legal assistant, regulatory specialist, public affairs specialist, research assistant or as a lawyer.