The dynamic world of political science is subject to constantly shifting trends and issues that may impact practitioners’ ability to do their jobs effectively. Let’s look at a few of these trends, both domestic and international, and see the role education may play in helping political science professionals address such trends in the future.

Growing Judicial Shortages

The United States is experiencing a severe judge shortage at the federal level that threatens to bring many important legal cases to a halt. As of summer 2021, fewer than 700 federal judges were handling more than 715,000 cases—meaning each judge had more than 1,000 cases on their docket for the year. When compared to the previous year, that represents a 20% increase in caseload, and a 36% increase in caseload since 2016. There is a clear trend of federal judges having increasingly unworkable caseloads, and there’s no indication that will reverse soon.

Emerging Skill Requirements

We hear them mentioned all the time, but what do political consultants actually do? Their primary role is to aid politicians in managing their election campaigns. Political consulting has long played a key role in the political process, though like all aspects of the field, it’s not static. The role of a political consultant is evolving in terms of the skills they’re expected to possess. A current trend that is certain to continue and become standard practice is for political consultants to be well-versed in acquiring and analyzing data. With the aid of data analytics, political scientists can conduct more effective public opinion surveys and exit polls, trace policy changes over time, model the dynamics of intricate political networks, and even leverage social media data to get a clearer view of shifting national and international attitudes.

Disappearing Democracy

Around the world, from Russia to Turkey to Brazil, governments are becoming increasingly autocratic, with even elected leaders consolidating power, suppressing dissent, and outstaying their stated terms of office. As an example, while the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union represented a seismic shift in the world’s geopolitical landscape and gave rise to renewed hope for democracy, the continued presence of Vladimir Putin as Russia’s leader after more than 20 years in power points to a need for the U.S. and other countries to pivot in how they contend with such countries politically and diplomatically.

The Foundation of a Political Science Career

The path to a professional mastery of political science starts with a degree from a regionally accredited institution. The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program was created for those who wish to gain the knowledge needed to excel in a career in government, in various legal roles, or who plan to attend law school.

At the outset of your degree program, you’ll complete a broad selection of general education courses. This well-rounded educational foundation will prove enormously useful in your professional life and beyond. As you continue through our program, you’ll examine topics such as American politics from the local to national level and discover how government entities operate individually and in connection with each other. You’ll also explore judicial politics, a broad topic encompassing the U.S. judicial system, the function of our laws and court system, judicial policymaking, and organizational structure and practices. Regarding those political science trends, you’ll also:

  • Gain foundational knowledge for law school, which can lead to a career as an attorney and, subsequently, a judge.

Potential Political Science Career Paths

With a BA in political science on your resume, you’ll be primed to pursue a variety of rewarding careers, such as:

  • Attorney
  • Journalist
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Political Consultant
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Servant

The Quality and Convenience of Our Online Degree Program

UTPB’s online BA in political science features the same rigorous curriculum taught by the same doctoral-level professors as our campus-based program. The quality of our online program is complemented by added convenience you won’t experience in a traditional classroom. All courses are presented in an asynchronous online format that allows you to complete your studies at your own pace from just about anywhere in the world, from Paris, Texas to Paris, France. If you have professional and/or personal responsibilities, you’ll find this flexibility indispensable.

Earn your political science bachelor’s degree and build the expertise for a rewarding career!