Political analysts research a nation’s foreign and domestic policy, political processes and economic trends. Political analysts must at least have a bachelor’s degree in political science, research or analysis. Relevant fields for political analyst careers include foreign area studies, international relations, history or national security studies, according to the Central Intelligence Agency. Depending on the position, some political analyst roles may require a master’s degree.
Undergraduates who wish to become political analysts can major in political science and international relations or related fields. In addition to core course requirements, students must take elective courses in the social sciences, humanities and the arts. Depending on the program, students may have the opportunity to learn the practical application of their training by working as interns at a nonprofit or government organization. To enter the program, prospective students must meet minimum grade point requirements and should have a high school diploma.
To qualify for political analyst careers, students must receive comprehensive training in research methods and political theory; they must also learn the latest developments in the field. A typical program in political analysis includes introductory and advanced coursework in international relations and comparative politics. A master’s degree in political analysis requires coursework in leadership and government administration. Students are also required to write a thesis based on independent research.
Course highlights for political analyst degrees include topics in contemporary American politics, introductory coursework in international relations, comparative politics and global political issues. Students learn to research and analyze information from a variety of sources. Through these courses, students develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Undergraduate students who specialize in political analysis can further their studies by getting advanced degrees in fields such as law and information science.
Training in political analysis prepares students to develop innovative research and statistical analysis on a nation’s political and economic activity. They write reports, present their findings and make recommendations to key officials or the general public. In addition to their formal training, political analysts must have strong communication and interpersonal skills because their duties include collaborative works; they also conduct interviews. Individuals who speak multiple languages are ideal candidates for political analyst positions.