Discover the Earning Potential for Careers in Political Science, Law, and Government

The U.S. political system is a dynamic mix of ideology and functioning governance. It is a nearly 250-year work in progress. Shaped by political policy, laws, and government regulations, the U.S. system adapts to realities on the ground — the war in Ukraine, for instance — and the choices made by political actors. Sounds pretty tricky, right? t’s no wonder that a career in law, government, or political science can be not only rewarding and challenging, but lucrative. I

So what kind of salary can future lawyers, government employees, and poly-sci majors expect? And what are the various careers in these respective fields? For teens looking for a possible future in any of these prosperous industries, look no further. 

The U.S. Government Job Outlook

The U.S. Government currently employs 23.7 million fulltime and part-time employees, including 14 million federal employees, 5.5 million state employees, and 14.2 million local employees. As a large employer, the federal government may have a variety of career opportunities you may be interested in, most commonly in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), although there are other disciplines, too. 

A government job can provide flexibility and a range of appealing benefits, such as job security and competitive pay. You may also be able to secure a high-paying position, depending on your experience, education and skill set. Political affairs is among the top-paying government jobs, with a median salary of $117,000 a year. While government mathematicians and mechanical engineers can earn more than $95,000 a year each, respectively. Civil engineers and auditors are two additional high-paying government jobs, each making just under $90k a year.

Criminal Law

Criminal law is designed to protect society from criminal behavior. This is accomplished by penalizing those who break the law and deterring others from also conducting crimes. Just as important: criminal law is designed to provide justice for victims of crime. Whether prosecutors or defense attorneys, this unique subset of law is lucrative: with a median salary of nearly $100,000 a year

If you’re a teen interested in a potential career in criminal law, Wake Forest University has just the course for you. This truly fascinating course allows you to delve into the anatomy of a criminal case. You’ll learn through the lens of both the prosecution and defense attorneys while studying the process from evidence and witness interviewing to sentencing. You‘ll get an essential introduction to this exciting field. 

Political Science

Although studying political science may be a launching pad into a potential career in politics, it isn’t exactly the nature of the industry. More importantly, political science is the study of how politics affect us in our daily lives. As a branch of the social sciences category, political science takes into account four social-science subsets: sociology, anthropology, economics, and psychology. Subsets of this category include American politics, international relations, comparative politics, or political theory. 

Although poli-sci majors can lead to a lucrative career, with a median salary of $122,000, hard work is on the horizon, like most other top-earning careers. Students in this field are required to have at least a master’s degree in political science, public administration, or a similar field. 

For those interested in learning more about politics college prep, you’ll find online law or government courses from notable universities, like Georgetown University and Wake Forest University. They provide just the types of online courses to jumpstart your future. 

How teens can experience these fields while in high school

If you are a teen interested in the legal field, U.S. politics, government, or international relations and would like to explore these subjects in-depth before college, many top universities offer precollege law immersion courses

Georgetown University provides a variety of relevant online law courses for high school students ages 13 and older. Each course features dynamic video lessons by renowned Georgetown faculty and access to mentors. The program is available year-round, and the online format enables you to study anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.

Relevant political, government, and law courses include:

  • Law 
  • International Relations
  • Cybersecurity
  • International Law
  • U.S. Politics and Government 

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